Anxiety can kick in to high gear whenever we are put into an unknown situation, imagine putting yourself into one voluntarily! I often encourage my kids to try new things, whether it be meeting someone new, attempting a sport or instrument, or tasting something exotic. There is nothing more frustrating then someone saying “Oh, I don’t like that,” only to find they have never had it! I had the chance to expose my two younger boys to a new Japanese restaurant, not necessarily exotic because they eat sushi/Japanese regularly, but this place was different. We dropped older brother off at a party, and then set off on our adventure to find this restaurant. We had the address, and we went into what looked like a Japanese restaurant, but with a different name. We were told we were in the wrong place and needed to go to the building next door. Talk about anxiety building, we were cold and hungry, and didn’t know where we were going! Well the building next door was an office building, that was under construction mind you. That didn’t help my little one, who was already frustrated at the journey, who promptly remarked “What, are we going to eat bricks for dinner?” This is going to be fun, I thought! A fairly intimidating security guard directed us to the cinder-block lined stairwell and said, “Go down.” Down two flights of stairs, we descended into the basement and came upon a restaurant out of another world!
Deep breaths and a quick order of sake, and we were nestled in a corner. Needless to say we had a marvelous meal and my boys were brave and adventurous, plied with ginger ale, of course. My little one who perked up at the offering of grilled rice balls, ended up eating everything from chicken meatballs to homemade soba noodles. My middle, who is always a good sport, but usually pretty conservative, made the biggest leap! He happily tasted a dish called Onsen Tamago. This was a small bowl that included a barely poached egg, salmon roe, and sea urchin, swirling in a delightfully sweet, but cold broth. I know! So proud. Ok well maybe not at the moment my little one decided to see what would happen if he stuck rice to his face.
It’s a good thing he’s cute! With that little tale, I hope you are motivated to try something new, and help someone else try something new too! And tell us about it!! Send us a picture with your tale and your Totem to firstname.lastname@example.org
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