Sammy came in and announced to the group, "I like steak now."
I was pretty confused by this statement. To say that you like steak now implies that you didn't like it before, and surely that can't be true. Who doesn't like delicious cow flesh? Sure, some people are against it, but you could probably get a lot of them to admit it is one of life's natural highs to take a bite out of juicy steak, provided they can stop picturing bloody slaughterhouse walls. Then again, Sammy doesn't like bacon and is only so-so on french fries. I know that children are picky eaters, but I was under the impression that they only wanted to eat things like french fries.
Sidestepping the first mystery (whether Sammy's taste buds were broken), the next question was why he suddenly decided that steak could be good.
"Josh let me have a piece of rare steak."
See, now this is funny. Sammy's dad, my brother Barry, likes his steak to be thoroughly cooked. It's likely that every steak that Sammy has ever tasted has been cooked until the meat forgot it was ever red. Maybe Sammy never understood why beef was even called red meat, when clearly, it was gray. Gray meat sounds disgusting, as if it might be somehow related to gray water. Josh and I both prefer our steaks to spend only a brief time on the fire. We are medium-rare all the way. I assume that people who like medium-well or well done have preferences based on some sort of ick factor, because to my mind no one would ever pick overcooked in a taste test. I figure they're just squeamish, either about the blood itself or about getting sick from contaminated meat. Choosing gray meat over red meat would be like having a glass of gray water when there is Dr. Pepper available.
I am happy that Sammy is broadening his eating horizons, and even more so that I somehow was involved in broadening them (see, I brought Josh and Josh gave him the steak, so really, I get all the credit). Unfortunately for Sammy, he is ten years old. The next time his dad grills steak in the back yard, he'll probably cook it the way he likes it, which means Sammy will have a hot dog instead.
This is the problem with being a child. You are not in control of your steak destiny.
On this same trip with that same brother and his same family (not his other one?), I found a bucket of toiletries in the bathroom. It was like having really good hotel service, because these were full-sized shampoos and conditions, toothpaste and a toothbrush. There was even a can of women's shaving cream and some disposable razors. What a nice hotel!
These amenities had been supplied by my sister-in-law. She had prepared a bucket for each of the two bathrooms in the cabin. Each of her two children had a little plastic baggie with their name on it, containing a fresh toothbrush. And I, who had forgotten a couple of personal items just like I do every single time I travel, thought about how nice it would be to have someone take care of me like that. Me, I rotate what I forget. If I forgot deodorant last time, I'm so focused on remembering it this time that I manage to leave without packing any hair bands. It would be nice to just once, not forget anything at all. It's not that big of a deal. As an adult, I can drive down the street to the store and buy replacement toiletries. But it's just one more thing to think about. What really got to me was the way the kids didn't even notice they were being taken care of.
That's the nice thing about being a child. You don't have to be in control of your toothbrush destiny.
I guess what I'm getting at is that being an adult is a mixed bag. I can order my steak however I want it, but I have to remember my own toothbrush. Increased freedom means increased responsibility, which decreases your freedom. Except that Josh can eat his steak medium-rare, and I packed shampoo for the both of us.
Hey, wait a minute...