At your service
Mouse, with her budding independence, always begs for us to leave her home alone. When I was her age, I remember walking home after school and taking care of myself for the couple of hours until my parents got home. It was a milestone I looked forward to with great enthusiasm. But this little Mouse is my little Mouse. And we live an awful long way from anywhere we ever go.

Today, however, we had only a short errand to run and our neighbors were home working in the garden. So we consented. And this is what greeted us at the door when we returned:

She had hung a sign in the window, welcoming us to her restaurant. She seated us at our tables and gave us her handwritten menu. It was "just" leftovers which had been accumulating in the freezer, but I think it was about the best leftover night we have ever had.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me that one of the hardest parts of being a parent is just letting them grow up?