Now I know why people say Europe is a very family-friendly place -- there is beer at every event.
Katie Wisdom Weinstein: My husband and I lived in Germany for three years with our young kids. Now I know why people say Europe is a very family-friendly place -- there is beer at every event. Every German beerfest and most restaurants have a great playground that bordered the fence of the outdoor picnic tables. We raised our steins and "prosted" the kids while they climbed and showed us all their antics. It was so ... civilized. It demystified the whole idea of drinking beer and why it was consumed.
The kids had us, we had our beer. Peace! Why do Americans live in such a puritanical state? I can hear the responses to this blog now. Don't bother. Once you experience beer with your meatballs at IKEA, call me and tell me you think I am evil. We were lucky to get an IKEA here, a year or so ago.
After getting meatballs with the kids, I asked the IKEA staff person, "When is the liquor license coming?" She looked at me like I was a deranged alcoholic. "No!" I said. "All IKEAs in Europe serve beer and wine!" She did not believe me.
Seriously, when one is sitting at a café, whether it is in Italy, France, or Germany, and the kids want to play nearby, you order your second glass of the local wine and gaze lovingly in their direction. My kids were just friggin cuter in Europe. I was relaxed and ready to listen to their incessant need for me to watch them swing around the bars, climb the ropes, and play tag.
We came home to the harsh reality of America. My meatballs at IKEA are a little dry without the beer. My husband and I are a little impatient at festivals and outdoor markets. We do not have the luxury to sit and enjoy our beers while the kids play at a safe distance. I suppose I am just asking for life to be a little like it was when I was a kid. Yes, perhaps my parents chose to ignore the lot of us while they licked clean their wine glasses and we drove shopping carts past the restaurant windows after begging to be released from the table. They just needed a little peace. I merely ask for the same. Give me a picnic table and a civilized glass of wine at the park. Let's let kids be kids and adults be adults, in public!
|Katie Wisdom Weinstein is a professional modern momma. She lives in Portland, Oregon in a 100 year old house with her husband, Jess, and her two children Ruby, age 10 and Skylar, age 12. Cooking, camping, negotiating with pre-teens and allowing a zoo of animals in her house are her pastimes.|