Sunday, October 29, 2006

to every thing there is a season

It had been a chilly few days. The temperature had taken it's first dip toward cold permanence for the season but the landlady had not yet turned on the radiators. It's torture to be at someone's mercy for your heating and comfort needs! On the third day I was tired, bundled up in a blanket, and curled up on the couch after a completely unproductive day. Ben arrived home to find me in my comatose state. But not too comatose. I was awake and alive enough to suggest we go out to dinner. And not just for a Happy Meal. It must have been my tone of voice but he didn't even question. We rounded up the children and headed off to the Outback, where I could fill up on warm soup and steak, and thus make it through the cold spell.

As a general rule going to restaurants has not been really jolly experiences since we've had kids. They cry. They don't want to sit at the table, prefering to roam around yelling loudly as to enhance the other diners' eating pleasure. They don't eat the food, even though they are hungry. This, coupled with a desire to a) save money, and b) eat healthy, means we hardly ever go out to eat.

But this meal was different. The girls, pleased with their special placemats and crayons, were happy to color the evening away. They also ate their food. After a trip out to the car so I could feed the baby he promptly fell asleep for the remainder of the meal. We actually had a pleasant time. So pleasant that I didn't even regret it when the bill came, which I often do, mentally calculating the groceries I could/should have bought. The entire event was worth it.

I looked at the girls, calculated their ages, calculated the baby's age and said to Ben, "This was fun. We should do it again in another 2 1/2 years."


  1. So often things we anticipate as rare and charished occassions have their attendant disappointments and frustrations. Every once in a while however there seems to be the golden hour, the charmed moment, where things are as they should be in the idyllic world. Our undying desire for "And they lived happily ever after" becomes a shimmering reality for a few moments. These would include the family dinner where there is genteel discussion, the rare occasion where all the children are playing happily together and the house is actually clean and the late afternoon sunlight is filtering softly in the window as you make dinner, the family home evening where everyone behaves and the spirit can actually attend, the night out with your husband when the romantic feeling of the courting years actually does return. It sounds like the Outback was one of those beacons of hope that pull us onward and remind us we really are striving for something beyond this life that is perfect - the day when the rainbow stops moving and you do claim the pot of gold at the end.

  2. I do the EXACT same things whenever we go out--minus one child. Fred goes crazy and orders a soft drink or an appetizer and the whole time I'm thinking--2 gallons of milk, 1 dozen eggs, a loaf of bread....

  3. Inspiring story. Maybe we can go back to Outback again. Or anywhere again. Glad it worked out. Mark's usual line when the ask us if we want dessert, "No, we'll just take the check and evacuate."