Today is Take Your Child to Work Day. This is always my favorite day of the year. It also marks the 26th time my dad and I will celebrate this unique holiday together. Yes, we get funny looks from everyone. They think because I’m 38 years old I’m stepping on all the other kids’ toes. But I know why I come to work with my dad every year on Take Your Child to Work Day. He works downtown and takes ridiculously long lunch breaks at Rascal House. I learn so many things by being with him. Like how many Waffle Fries you can stack on top of a Seriously Substantial Overstuffed Sub or Sandwich without them falling. The record is 14.
I asked Dad a few years ago what he likes best about his job. He said “taking care of Mom and eating lunch with you.” I said, “that’s sweet, Dad, but we can eat lunch anywhere…it doesn’t always have to be at Rascal House.” He looked at me and we laughed. We both know that Rascal House is our tradition, and if we changed up things after all these years it wouldn’t be the same. Then he asked me how my job is going. After all, if it wasn’t for him bringing me to Rascal House during our very first Take Your Child to Work Day in ’93, I would’ve never been inspired to write about food. “Work’s fine, Dad. Although my boss joked the other day that there are other places to write about in Cleveland besides Rascal House. Yeah, I laughed when he said that, too!”
You see, what Dad taught me so many years ago was that work doesn’t always have to be so serious. “See that cashier, son? She’s always smiling. That rubs off on customers.” I looked around Rascal House and saw people laughing and having a good time. Like we do at recess. I was only 12, but he was making perfect sense.
We’re older now but still young at heart. We’re lucky we work near Rascal House. The pizza, wings, wraps, salads, pastas, subs, sandwiches, box lunches and delectable desserts really brighten the work week. We also agreed a long time ago to not quit Take Your Child to Work Day until we’ve tried everything on the menu at least once. With so many choices it looks like Dad will be taking me to work with him for the rest of the 21st century!