Sunday, June 15, 2008

Restaurant Review

I'm not an expert on Spanish food or tapas. I am, however, an expert on family dining. One parent hastily packing up food and waving for the check while another parent hurries misbehaving/sick/cranky/tired children out to the car. Both parents hastily shoveling comfort food into their mouths in the hopes of finishing soon after the children. Desperate parent distracting other diners with simulated gasps of horror while singing, "There's a spider on the floor, on the floor." Trust me, the terrible signing is better than terrible whining.

So even though my previous experiences with Spanish food have been . . . uninspiring so far, I was so excited to go to Modesto on the Hill on Saturday night that I prepared by eating a slice of pizza at 3:00 pm, just so that in case it sucked and no one else wanted dessert, at least I wouldn't starve.

I'd eaten at Modesto once before, you see. But it was for work and the paella dishes took forever (though perhaps that was just my perception of the passage of time) and I don't think I actually ever even saw a menu. Nor could I quite hear the server, way down at the end of the long table where I was seated, unfortunately far away from my boss.

This weekend's experience couldn't have been further from that one. First of all, I had quite a different frame of reference. THERE WERE NO CHILDREN. Not at my table, and not at any table near mine - though I was sitting near a pregnant woman, so you might quibble with my previous statement.

My kids are so fabulous. I love being a mom, and the girls have never been as much fun as they are right now.

But it's still fun to go out without them occasionally. To an adult place. Not that kind of adult place.

Our friends brought their two kids (almost 6 and almost 4) over to our house, and a fully grown up and dependable babysitter both families know and love came over to feed the kids pizza, put Ada to bed, and supervise the 3, 4, and 5 year-old. All that went great, and that's enough about that because this is about me!

I was out in our new grown-up car - at that time still without car seats - with other grown-ups, eating grown-up food and drinking grown-up drinks.

The food was almost indescribably delicious, especially the Aceitunas a la Sevillana, Dátiles Rellenos, and Queso de Cabra al Horno. The hands-down table favorite tapas dish was the Pinchos Morunos. OK, almost everything was perfectly fabulous. The only dishes I didn't love were the Bienmesabe (so environmentally evil and so fishy-tasting) and a rib dish whose name I don't remember.

And they made a delicious cappuccino, and everyone wanted dessert!

I think parents complain about being parents a lot and I've been trying to focus more on the positive. I chose to have a family, I wanted these children, and I love them with all of my heart. Sure, it's hard work sometimes. But it's much easier and better when I focus on the fun of it rather than thinking of my life as what happens after the babies go to sleep.

Still . . . going out with other adults and doing adult-type things - no, not those adult-type things. Though it might be fun to do those without one ear cocked for nearby children too -

I digress.

It's good to have some balance.


liss n kids said...

"'s much easier and better when I focus on the fun of it rather than thinking of my life as what happens after the babies go to sleep."

YES! I'm working on this, too! I think especially when I'm trying to balance writing and motherhood, I can sometimes wish them into bed so that I have some time for that other part of me. Or I try to do the writing as they are playing, and I'm really only giving them a tiny portion of me. Then I wonder why we're all unsatisfied.

David and I are starting a weekly date afternoon, and I hope that having that time to be an adult will help me find more balance and enjoy my time more with the kiddos, too!

Sarahlynn said...

The best thing I did for me as a mother was going back to work part time when Ellie was 15 months old. It was only a few hours a week, but it helped me regain a sense of myself as well as joy in being with my daughter. :)

Chris said...

Yes, it's all about balance.

Enough said :)