I have two kids. They are beautiful, talented, perfect children.
Okay, they are beautiful and talented, and perfect in my mind.
Older though they may be now, it seems like only yesterday that Mr. Restaurant Gal and I were excited, giddy parents-to-be. I would be the beautiful pregnant lady–every day of all nine months. I would absolutely not use drugs during labor because I was the star student in my prenatal classes. My babies would sleep through the night after a few weeks. I would be at my pre-pregnancy weight within six weeks, max.
Uh huh. Sure.
It came to me in a flash of brilliance this evening as Chef chatted with his wife, and the other assistant manager confided his semi-panic to me, and our GM calmly said we were doing the best we could: I have definitely been here before.
The process ain’t pretty. But when the end product surpasses all your dreams, you eventually forget what led up to this wonderful result.
Thus, The Gal’s observations on birthing magnificent children and opening a 5-star restaurant:
Children: You and your spouse drink champagne and toast the decision to “start trying.”
Restaurant: You and your wife and a dozen or so investors drink champagne and toast the decision to “try it on my own.”
Children: “Trying” is fun the first month. It becomes work after that.
Restaurant: “Trying it on your own” is great until the investors want a say on color schemes for carpet and and paint.
Children: You are not beautiful every day of your pregnancy. You are ill, fat, and in no way resemble the perky, pregnant movie stars who wear spandex tops until they deliver.
Restaurant: Build-out is NEVER a pretty process.
Children: Your due date was two weeks ago. You are not amused. And you are actually huge and unwieldy, now.
Restaurant: Your opening date was two weeks ago. You and your investors are not amused. Your personal credit card bill is beyond bloated.
Children: You start labor and marvel how, after a few hours, “It’s actually not so bad.”
Restaurant: You are days away from mock service, and you think, “We’re ready.”
Children: You hit the 15-hour mark and glare at your husband every time he says, “You’re doing great!”
Restaurant: You hit the two-days-before-mock-service mark and glare at anyone who asks, “You’ll be ready, won’t you?”
Children: You think to yourself that there is NO WAY you will ever do this again, and what were you thinking nine months ago?
Restaurant: You think to yourself, I’m in it up to my neck now, but, um, what was I thinking a year ago?
Children: Give me drugs!
Restaurant: Give me a decent night’s sleep and something other than an 18-hour day!
Children: “Oh my God, you are so beautiful!”
Restaurant: “Oh my God, we really did it–and it’s beautiful!”
Pain. Panic. Pressure.
My angst aside, I am privileged to be a part of this.