I knew it wouldn't really be free. Of course we'd give a charitable donation plus a tip. I could whip out pancakes myself way cheaper...and probably tastier. How many times though, do you take a late night walk, on a whim, for a few pancakes? Who knows what adventure may await us?
The kids couldn't get ready any quicker. We threw on jackets and shoes and we were out the door. We walked. I figured, being so late by now, there certainly wouldn't be much of a crowd, right? I was wrong. There was waiting out the door.
But hey...it only comes once a year, though I was tempted to leave when I saw that crowd. We were seated right away--I declared we had favor as soon as I walked in and it was true. I felt like maybe the server took one look and regretted he was assigned to the mom and kids table. I am sure 'single moms' w/ a bunch of kids wouldn't be expected to be the best tippers right? He doesn't know my husband, who taught me to 'over tip'. Of course, we were there for the free pancakes. He didn't even ask us WHAT we wanted to order but said: stack of pancakes? Well, he was right about that.
No protein, not much in the way of nutritional value...but maybe there were smiles and memories...of that one time Mom decided out of the blue, on a Tuesday, to take us to IHOP for some free pancakes after dark.
Be spontaneous. Take walks. Enjoy your kids.