They say a child at two months can hold his head up for short periods of time (albeit a little wobbly) follow objects across its field of vision, smile back at you, and sometimes, if he is developing quickly enough, he can bear weight on his little legs.
In some ways, opening Ruxbin has been like raising a child. It might not be as severe a responsibility as actual parenting, but the similarities abound. Ruxbin has been that ever-demanding, attention-craving child that depends on you alone, the first-time parent who is kept up at night plagued by worry but also a hopeful anticipation of things to come.
If you do not muster up the energy to stay behind and start the arduous process of the 13 hour chicken stock boil after a late service that forces you on your feet for twelve straight hours, then we do not have mussels for the next night, and what do you tell the lovely elderly couple that stop in occasionally just for the mussels if there are none to offer?
If you do not will yourself to climb out of bed at 8am the following morning to receive the CSA boxes from the folks at Triple A Farms, then how will our neighbors receive their farm-fresh-vegetable rations for the week?
If you do not make time to observe your cooks, the dishwasher, and servers to see to it that they are happy and listen to their needs (i.e. running out to Stanley’s last minute if the lemons didn’t make the delivery, getting the kitchen tool that makes their prep a little bit easier, and making sure everyone gets fed family meal before service) then who will provide a good working environment in which we share every waking hour of the day together?
When it becomes abundantly clear that others depend on Ruxbin, you no longer have the option not to maintain the kitchen equipment (which concertedly takes turns breaking down), or keep on top of the taxes, the bills, and all the expenses that come to you in a messy, heaping pile of receipts every day. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do but someone’s gotta do it.
But the joy of seeing a cab pull up and drop off an array of people at our door who may have been looking forward to dinner just as much as we were anticipating them, or watching the anonymous faces light up after the very first bite, and hearing Andres our dishwasher sing while he works (a clear indication that it is a good night) makes this all worthwhile.
It’s Ruxbin smiling back at you and showing he can now bear weight on his little legs.