There was an expectant look in Dad’s eye as he looked at Wally from across the table. Wally felt as though he might begin sweating.
It was always the same game here at Casa de Queso. Mom and Dad would order the bottomless bowls of tortilla soup and Wally would look over the kid’s menu, underlining each option before settling on the alphabet-shaped chicken nuggets with tater tots and ketchup which, by a Mexican restaurant’s standards, were pretty good.
But now he’d been handed a new menu to choose from. One without pictures and saturated with words he didn’t understand. At only seven years old, Spanish words like “chimichanga” and “frijoles” were far out of his league.
“He can order for himself now, I think,” Dad had said.
The waitress came around to Wally and asked in a sweet voice what he wanted. Wally stared up at her very nearly in terror. She was high school-aged, and he could tell she was really pretty even though he wasn’t sure if he was supposed to like girls yet. He looked back at the menu and took a sip of his Sprite for courage.
Quesadilla he saw. But did he like quesadillas? Yes, he remembered. But not with that green stuff. Green equals gross. And on the adult menu, it would certainly have the green stuff.
Dad went to pipe in, but Wally’s head shot up and cut him off.
“Alpha-nuggets, please,” he almost shouted. “With ketchup.”
And the day was his.