One of my greatest challenges as a parent is trying to find a meal that everyone will eat. After ten years, we’ve managed to get the eating vs. non-eating ratio up to 3 out of 4 on most weekdays. Turkey chili? Everyone, but Annabel. Homemade pizzas? Everyone, but Daniel. Chicken always works, but then I’m adding pasta for the kids and salad options for the grown-ups and it feels like four different meals at the end anyway.
I did find the one golden ticket: Sushi. I say golden ticket because do you know how much raw fish costs these days? If you like sushi, then you do. If you don’t like sushi (wait, are there people who don’t like sushi?) Sushi had always been reserved for date night. When the kids were babies, we would leave them with a sitter and head out for sushi and a conversation. It became our monthly tradition. That gradually turned into weekly sushi date nights at home. We’d put the kids to bed at 7:30 and order sushi take-out. We’d open a bottle of wine and catch up on old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and then, later, Parenthood. I looked forward to it every Friday night. Then, when the kids got older, we let them try some of our sushi. They loved it. It’s healthy, so I was all about it. I didn’t know at that time the gigantic mistake I was making.
I now have sushi-obsessed children.
We began adding a roll here and extra orders of salmon sashimi there. Soon, the kids were sitting down with us on those Friday evenings and eating sushi instead of their usual microwave pasta delights. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun to share the love of sushi with my children. But it’s not cheap. We do it one time a week, either Friday or Saturday night. It’s the one meal all four of us completely agree on. Annabel loves her California rolls and fish eggs and Daniel has his salmon and crab. It’s now our FAMILY tradition.
Annabel recently joined the musical.ly app. It’s an app where you lip sync to songs or movie lines. (Necessary parental side note: Yes, she’s private. Only her friends can see her on it. It’s the only social media app that she is allowed on at this time.)
On her musical.ly bio, she has space to write one sentence about herself. This is what she wrote:
“Sushi is Life.”
Followed by a bunch of heart and smiley face emojis. You could see it for yourself, but she’s private. You’ll just have to believe me.
Now this sushi obsession has grown into the kids asking for it more than once-a-week. They see me muddling over the dinner menus and trying to fill in the blanks: “Annabel, will you please TRY chicken soup?” “No, I don’t like anything with broth.” “Daniel, can I make you a turkey burger? Everyone else eats them? “No, thanks.” Sigh. Then they always shout out in unison, “SUSHI! Can we have sushi on Thursday? or Monday? or TONIGHT??”
“No, guys. Sushi is once-a-week only. A special treat.”
The other afternoon we were all lounging around the living room after school. You know, that small window of time after activities and homework, but before dinner is ready? Annabel turns to me suddenly and says, “You know what, Mama? When I’m rich, I mean, DIRTY RICH, I’m going to eat sushi EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.”
Me, too, Annabel. Me, too.
The sushi pics are from our AMAZING dinner at Fat Salmon in Philly! Some of the best sushi we’ve ever had. Yum!