For those of you with kids I can imagine that you’ve all made the effort to go out on a “date” with your child from time to time. Although the younger they are the less enjoyable it can tend to be since it usually turns out like most outings where you spend the entire time parenting rather than just being together but as I discovered last night, as my children grow the experience of “dating” them can be an amazing bonding experience never mind preparing them for relationships in their future and, more importantly, cementing the bond between parent and child for years to come.
Last night Sam and I agreed to go out to look for a Halloween costume for him and then continue on with a date night. I was a little tired but really wanting to accomplish this time together since it’s only a few more weeks before baby arrives. I suggested to Sam we head to Winner’s (since that’s where my mom got Lanae’s adorable ladybug outfit) and then we go to a place where James and I, and many of my girlfriends and I, spend very productive evenings, AFTERTHOUGHTS!!! He proceeded to inform me that he just wanted ice cream with smarties in it, ie, McDonald’s McFlurry. I was not about to spend the evening “dating” in McDonald’s so I tried to entice him with tales of huge pieces of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, hot chocolate with whipcream, etc. He didn’t really seem that excited but I think he sensed my lack of enthusiasm for McDonald’s (could be my outright refusal to take him there but I’m not sure…). Anyway, we got to Winner’s didn’t find what we wanted and headed to Afterthoughts. He kept asking how long until we get there, is that the place mom, etc. All the questions that kids normally ask but today I was determined not to lose my patience and just enjoy the fact that he wanted to be there with me and even held my hand as we went from place to place. When we got there we decided on sharing a HUGE piece of Cookies ‘n’ cream cake and each had a hot chocolate. We found a table and dug in. For those of you who know Afterthoughts you know how big the pieces are so we obviously didn’t finish it (much to James’ enjoyment, since he got the leftovers) but we had fun talking and being silly. There were moments of course that I had to be “mom”. When he tried to eat the cake without his fork I very firmly informed him you can’t do that on a date! I realized it wasn’t so horrible what he was trying to eat with his face in the cake but it was desperately embarrassing for me! In the big scheme of things is it really that big a deal and then I understood that part of this “dating” thing is teaching my sons how to act on a date and what ladies enjoy when they are out. Really what I’m accomplishing here is a service to my future daughter-in-law as I help my sons understand the need for chivalry, class, kindness, and all those things that a woman needs so desperately to feel special and unique to her spouse.
Of course the evening wouldn’t have been complete without a few moments of reminiscing on my part about how my son has grown from a tiny infant to a seven year old boy. He no longer has the tiny fingers and toes and little button nose, now he has long spindly arms and dimples on his face that appear whenever he smiles. I can’t say I miss him being a baby but I do realize that he’s growing up so fast and I really need to take every opportunity to enjoy who he is at each stage.
The evening ended pleasantly, with a stop at Walmart and the purchase of a Darth Vadar cloak, mask and light saber, and then off to bed where he fell asleep quite willingly with a smile on his face. All I can say is thank you Lord for blessing me with this child who so often has me pulling my hair out but every once in awhile there are beautiful moments which I will forever cherish and look back on with the knowledge that my son is “mine” only for a short time so I am going to choose to give him as much of myself now as I possibly can!