You Want Fries with That

With the beginning of school just over a week away, the list of things we need to get done on any particular day seems to be growing exponentially longer.  It makes the last week of a relaxing summer vacation anything but.  It seems we’re on the go with purpose almost every day.  As such, that often means we’re eating on the go as well.  The other day we hit one of our favorites, a dive hamburger joint downtown.

It’s old school, with counter seating throughout.  Old time diner stools that may or may not swivel and roughly enough seating for thirty people — tops.  There’s no concerted effort to pull off the nostalgic look — it’s truly old!  Typical diner food with daily specials, breakfast anytime and fresh homemade pies varying according to the owner’s whim.  And the milkshakes.  Intoxicating!!

The last time we were there was on a family movie night.  I’d taken the kids to that new Harry Potter flick and we stopped by the diner afterwards for a bite.  As is the norm, when you enter any type of establishment with five kids in tow you garner a bit of attention.  The waitress was talkative, much to her detriment, for in a matter of minutes Zella had revealed the entire story of the movie, which of course the waitress had yet to see.  Saved her 7 bucks.

We found ourselves back at the diner this past weekend taking a break between needing to be here or there.  The waitress was there and though not serving us stopped by to talk to the kids.

“So what have you guys been up to today?”

“Well,”  started Zoë.  “It’s been pretty busy.  I had a soccer game this morning and we bought our school clothes.  Oh, but before all that we had to do Simple Solutions.”

The waitress gave me a puzzled look.  I explained that Simple Solutions were the workbooks the kids complete in order to stay sharp during the summer break from school.  They are a review of the lessons and concepts learned during the past school year.  It’s encouraged by the school and essentially enables the students to begin the school year where they left off the previous one.  As opposed to spending the first quarter reviewing and relearning the things they already should know but forgot over the summer.

“It’s like homework,” Zoë said.

“Yeah, homework.  During the summer!” added Zia.

The waitress looked at me — shocked and then back to the kids.

“Really?” she asked.

To which Zane replied, “Yeah.  Welcome to my world.”


(I make no apologies for having my kids do schoolwork during summer break.)