Tonight, we are going out for sushi dinner. It’s Friday, and I volunteered my day off for a day of professional development. It’s warm-ish, and it’s still light at 6:30. And one of the most joyful sounds in the world is the shriek my 4.5-year-old makes when he finds out we’re going for sushi.
He loves sushi. Not like, oh, he likes sushi. No, it’s love. When the swim instructor asks kids their favorite foods so she can count their back floats by “ice cream” seconds or “pizza” seconds, Nathaniel names “salmon nigiri,” and so counts by salmon nigiri seconds.
We’ll pull into our local kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi place, and in a moment he’s up on his knees, all big eyes and scrawny frame, scouting the belt for salmon nigiri. When it arrives, no sooner has it clonked onto the table, then he’s whipped off the little sneeze-protector cap and peeled the salmon off. “Chopsticks!” we remind him, a the slab of fish dangles out of his mouth, leaving a greasy slick on his chin.
In short order, our table will be piled with edamame hulls, a sprinkling of rice kernels, and, inevitably napkins soaked with soy sauce after a spill. Nathaniel will, by then, be on his third plate of salmon nigiri, and opening the negotiations for a trip to the frozen yogurt place next door. We’ll hem and haw, and occasionally threaten, and relent. And then we’ll traipse next door and start the process of topping selections, entertaining hearty debate about the relative merits of mochi and boba.
So, we’re having sushi dinner tonight. There’s too much joy not to.