I often sit back and wonder what my children are missing out on being the kids in a small business family. I know that there are certain aspects of our life which I would like to change.
For instance, we don’t take many family vacations. We might go camping for a few days(which I love), but we cannot be away for too long or go too far. Fred usually leaves a day or two early so that he can get back to making soup. Packing up sucks. Like really sucks.
Our home life is also dictated by the needs of the restaurant. We are always running errands on the weekends and it is usually to the detriment of a family hike or outing. We don’t like it and try to make up for it in other ways, but it is what we have to do. The kids say they understand, but I know that it is hard on them.
One strange by-product in my children’s life is absence of the weekly grocery store trip. I cannot remember the last time I have gone to Stop & Shop for more than a handful of things. They don’t know the routine of weaving up and down the aisles, purchasing small boxes of pasta, cookies or cereal. We never buy one gallon of milk. We need at least four. Instead, we are constantly at BJ’s and Costco. The staff knows us all by name and know when we’re missing a kid. Even if we don’t.
For all of the things my children may be missing out on, there are many things for which I am grateful and would never change. They know our stores inside and out and feel equally at home in a commercial kitchen as they do their own living room. We are teaching them our art and we are blessed in so many ways that we can share it with them.
There are many different aspects of this life which the kids can gravitate towards and learn from. Jacob is more interested in the business side of the operation whereas Sarina & Sam love learning how to make raviolis and cakes. Jackson has a great palate and has become a food critic and Rowan & Bridget are our comic relief. They all pitch in when needed and we manage to have fun no matter what we are doing.
They enjoy a large extended family in our co-workers and customers. Since birth, they have been raised as very social and helpful people. They know what it is like to actively participate in community functions and charity events. We are adamant that they be involved and give back to the community which keeps us going. They must be humble and thankful.
Although we do yardwork and housework in frantic snippets and dinners are often leftovers from the day’s special, our children are a part of the family we call Liquid Lunch. It is all they know. It is not an easy life, but it truly is full of love and when I asked each of them what their favorite part is they each told me that they love the good food. At least there’s that!