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23 May 2007

Nurturing Independence, through Food!

Impera came home from school on Monday very excited. She and her friends were talking, and decided that, on the last day of school (Monday June 4 at 11 am—talk about crazy bureaucracy!) they’d head over to the local diner after dismissal and get themselves some malts (the malts at this place are very very good, in case you didn’t know). I didn’t say anything, but I figured the next day some of the girls would report parents not too keen on the idea; you see, the diner is ten city blocks from school, and most of these kids get driven to and picked up from school—their parents don’t even consider walking to school an option (need I remind you that Impera walks the six blocks?).

Yesterday, Impera tells me that it sounds like a go (shows you how much I know). Except for one of her friends, whose mother said she’d need to talk in depth with the girl’s dad, because she wasn’t sure a group of 13-year-old girls going to the diner on their own would be a good idea.


Most of them have pocket money, thanks to the lucrative babysitting market available to this age group. They are all responsible kids, so I am confident they won’t be terrorizing the noontime crowd. So, what is there to conceivably stop them from doing this? I have no idea. Thoughts, anyone?

This plan reminded me of something I used to do at this age (in eighth grade). Three of my girlfriends and I would go to restaurants once a month, and then sleep over at one of our houses afterwards. It was so fun to pick a local restaurant, get dressed up, and do the whole “dining out” thing on our own. I have no memories of being treated badly by wait staff (and I’m one who would remember that sort of thing, believe you me!). I do remember one time, though, when we chose a restaurant a bit too expensive for us. We didn’t realize it until the bill came, and, although we could cover it, left us with about 15 cents to leave for a tip. We felt so terrible—we really didn’t do it on purpose.

(I got my due, though, a few years later when I was a waitress and got stiffed—as everyone in that business does, from time to time.)