My kids are ridiculously difficult to impress. And you better believe I try to impress them. Yes, yes, I know it’s not my job as a parent to impress my kids with how awesome [I want them to think] I am, but I do it anyway.
And I fail miserably. Every time.
We were recently at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant in New Orleans. We had been scooting around the French Quarter all day and were utterly exhausted. Our kids are 7, 5, and 2, so we wanted to find somewhere easy and distracting to eat so their dad and I could just zone out a little in the cool air-conditioning. Run Forrest Run.
Finally seated at a table and able to relax, I realized that we had never shown the movie Forrest Gump to the kids before.
To impress upon them just how kid-friendly cool the restaurant was, I motioned around the room at all of the movie memorabilia and asked, “Hey guys, did you know this restaurant is based on a movie called Forrest Gump? And that movie is based on a book. Just like how mom is a writer! Now guess where that book was written?!”
I’m packing a lot of exclamation points and sweeping hand gestures in to my speech, leading up to my big reveal which was to be that Winston Groom wrote Forrest Gump in Point Clear, Alabama, where we go on our “Wimbledon Summer” family vacation every year. I considered this a double whammy: writers like mom are cool AND we vacation where Forrest Gump sort of lives.
Before I could get to my big reveal, however, Grey looked up from his cold soda and said, with slightly lifted eyebrows and thoughtfully downturned lips, “Oh, hey, did you write that book?”
And then promptly went back to drinking his soda and making faces at his brother!
He didn’t even wait for the answer. Which is a good thing because I was sitting there with a trumped expression on my face and my mouth still open in mid-whammy.
Let me tell you something, in case it isn’t clear, had I written Forrest Gump AND they’d turned it into a movie AND they’d opened a chain of restaurants based on that movie? Grey would have been impressed enough to look up with enough interest to last the span of time it takes to pluck a random chocolate from a box of chocolates.
This is… good to know. I now know exactly how my kids will react if I ever do write a book that is turned into a movie starting Tom Hanks that then gets turned into a restaurant that serves nine spajillion kinds of shrimp. And my kids love shrimp.
I’m thinking of buying a shrimp boat instead.
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