By Stacy Johnson
I’m just a kid. We sit in a large booth, the one in the corner that fits our whole family. It is fun sliding around to get to the middle where I sit next to my dad. He orders a pig sandwich and asks if I want to split it with him, I reply in affirmative with an excited ”oh yes!” He orders corn on the cob as his side dish with French fries for me. The rolls that our waitress, Janette brings us are warm and soft, the butter just melts as I spread it on. There is sawdust on the floor and mom has to keep reminding my baby brother not to play in it. I’m in the 6th grade and eating out is a special event. Mom makes us wear nice pants with a blouse and she took the time to brush our hair. Walking through the cowboy doors, I feel like I own that restaurant on Main Street. Theone with the huge cow on the sign outside. Mom lets us order sarsaparilla in the brown glass bottle instead of milk, because today is an extraordinary day. Mom, dad, and 4 siblings are joining me as I graduated from elementary school earlier in the day. “Let’s make this a family tradition,” my mom suggests.
I’m just a kid on this day. I sit at the large table next to my dad. He orders a pig sandwich and asks if I want to split it with him. My smile is all he needs to know that I always share a sandwich with him. The sawdust is still on the floor and as I walk through the swinging doors, I am reminded that this place is special and today is an exceptional sort of day. Today I graduated from high school. Janette has been our waitress the last few years. Along with my sarsaparilla, I savor every bite of my deep dish apple pie as we sit and remember.
I’m just a kid on this day. Dad still sits next to me. The two large tables near us are full of family. My pig sandwich is as delicious as the first one I ever enjoyed. The sarsaparilla is sweet and cold, the deep dish apple pie warms my heart. The sawdust is still on the floor, though there were a few years when a lawsuit prevented it. I’m so glad it is back because as I walk through the swinging doors, I am flooded with years of memories. I’m still just a kid when I come to this place, even though today my oldest son is the same kid and he is graduating too.