We spent yesterday at a Japanese restaurant chosen by my grandson, Jadon, for his birthday party. Jadon turned 10 years old, and I am thankful that we had the opportunity to share in the festivities. But, I was so stuffed afterwards that I could barely walk back to the car. I nearly asked Douglas to roll me out of there!
I had never been to one of these types of restaurants before, and I probably will not eat at one again. It was spartan restaurant, devoid of pictures on the wall and with not a lot of seats, so we had a long wait, although they had made reservations for ten of us. But, it was the amount of food given that just overwhelmed me, although everything was delicious.
There seemed not to be a limit on how much rice each table could consume, and between Douglas and me, we brought home enough rice for the next three days’ dinners. Our plates were overfull with rice, vegetables, meat, and noodles. There was no way to finish it all. I asked the young chef who entertained us as he cooked our food if they bought take-out boxes by the truck load?
There was a harvest of vegetables, all cooked to perfection, but with all the other foods, plus salad and soup beforehand, I barely ate one bite of the vegetables, bringing them all home. We did not eat any dinner yesterday, believe me!
But, this tendency to serve so much food that people cannot eat it all exemplified the behaviors that leave so many Americans prey to overeating and the diseases that accompany it. I think that people go there because they feel that they get their money’s worth.
Certainly, my grandson loved the pageantry and fun of the preparation of the food. We did not spend much time talking to each other or have a lot of time between courses to really savor the food.
But, I did love seeing my grandchildren’s eyes light up when fire shot up off the grills and with the banging of the cooking utensils of the waiters and chefs as they cooked, although you could not hold a conversation with the person sitting next to you. Yet, it was Jadon’s choice and his birthday.
He was quite good at catching food flipped from the cook into his mouth. I did not participate in the game because I just knew that I would end up with a hot piece of shrimp going down my blouse instead of in my mouth, and that would have been a show that no one wanted to see! Jadon had a great time, and just being with him and his family and members of his mother’s family that I seldom see was so joyful, absolutely priceless!
His birthday gift had not been delivered on Sunday before we left home to meet them at the restaurant. His parents suggested I buy him a launch ramp for his new bicycle, a gift which brought images to my mind of a him laying broken on the ground. I printed him a picture of the ramp so he would know that we had not forgotten him, but also with a disclaimer: Grandmothers are not liable for broken bones.
As much as I enjoyed the day, I would have preferred a picnic in a glade surrounded by forest, someone quiet where we could have eaten and talked together, catching up with each other. I don’t see my grandchildren as much as I would like, even though they live only an hour away.
Between their busy schedules filled with seemingly every activity under the sun, Douglas’s job, and our travels, we sometimes forget just how important family getting together across generations really is. We have to adjust our schedules for more priceless family time together, but maybe not at restaurants. Yet, in spite of my rant on being stuffed to the gills, it was overall a great day, and we will not have to cook dinner for at least another two or three days. That’s not bad!