Fred Taylor doesn't believe in Father's Day. He believes that children ought to live with a grateful attitude towards their father's everyday of the year. In his perspective, setting aside a day for children to be uncharacteristically appreciative of their fathers is bogus.
And so today, instead of showing special attention to our dad, our family went to Macaroni Grill to celebrate the 2 years Becca Schoff has lived with our family. Her teaching time at Whittier Christian Elementary School is coming to an end, and she will be leaving our home for Virginia this coming Thursday. In honor of her time with us, my dad, mom, brother (Jacob), sister (Jess), and myself braved the secular world in the dangerous company of ourselves.
Things were relatively normal, as normal as any conservative, argumentative, audacious family might be. My mom made a meal of an appetizer, and Jessica ordered nothing but blackberry ice tea as she spread her multicolored vocabulary flashcards across the table. Occassionally my dad or Jacob paused in their meals to help her memorize her words for her test tomorrow.
Our family ate peacefully, observing our foreign surroundings until we became comfortable enough to retreat back to our familiar methods of interaction. Jacob and I began doodling on the white craft paper drapped across our table. The restaurant provided the crayons. Everything he drew oddly enough resembled women's figures. When I grew tired of turning his figures into lamps and elephants and funny looking faces, Becca and I began to list Jacob's future wives. Wife #1 was the elephant woman, wife #2 was an oyster child, wife #3 was a mermaid, wife #4 was a horrific face, and wife #5 was a giant tadpole with lipstip, which in the end revolted against the stick figure-Jacob and ate him.
The crayons were perhaps the biggest hit, especially when my father's dinner was too cold for his liking. His request for a hotter meal evolved into several discussions with the waiter and a quick chat with the manager who had come to our table to apologize and ensure that my dad's "special day" hadn't been ruined by his room temperature meal. I picked up my crayon and drew a tornado as Becca finished drawing Jacob's sixth wife.
I cringe as I remember that we openly prayed before our meal. We ended up doggie-bagging over half of what we ordered. I can't imagine that our bill was very large—despite Jacob's calculation that each of his five lobster raviollis cost $3 each—nor that my dad's tip was ample generosity for a family of believers.
But as I like to say, at least it wasn't as bad as a concentration camp. No, in fact it could have been much worse. I once ate with a family who ordered five times as much and returned every third plate with a complaint about the quality. In the meantime the children found it commical to make more work for the poor waitress. One underage son flippantly asked, "When are you going to bring me my margarita?" The margarita came and the parents footed the bill.
Yes I have much to be thankful for: my dad most especially because he can't and won't complain when I give him his father's day card late.