Every Friday night, the girls and I go out for a crappy dinner.
I like to do the grocery shopping on Friday night. Well truthfully I hate it, but I hate it less on Friday night than I do on Saturday morning. Katie also has ballet class after school on Friday so it’s just easier to grab something quick on the way from ballet to the grocery store, nutritional content be damned. And this is why you can find the girls and I sitting in some crappy fast food restaurant along Route 30 every Friday night around 5:30 pm.
We sit in a crappy restaurant, me in my work clothes and Katie in her tutu, and we eat crappy food every Friday night. It’s Friday which means the exhaustion of a long week is hanging over my french fries and I am tired. The kids, though. They’re not. They have the energy of a couple of… well, kids.
Oh, how they make me laugh. I sip on my Diet Coke, and I mostly just listen. I might ask a question or let a giggle escape my mouth mid-chew, but mostly I listen. Maddie talks about seven year old stuff like school and her besties and her pretty teacher and books and Nick (insert heart emoji here). Maddie has always been sort of an old soul, and she infuses her seven-year-old stories with unexpected bits of wisdom and insight. And laughter. There is always laughter.
Katie talks about four year old stuff like Show and Tell and story time and her friend Hailey and monkeys and the color purple. Katie is sunshine and sweetness and sass, all mixed up and beautiful. I listen with my ears wide open because Katie has always reminded me of fresh air and her stories are as as invigorating as she is.
Every Friday night Maddie will tell us a story as only Maddie can, with dramatic arm movements and completely irrelevant details. One of those unexpected high-pitched giggles will erupt from Katie’s mouth, surprising everyone at the table including Katie herself.
…”And THEN” Maddie says as she arrives at the end of her story, “and THEN I said, well it could be a star person!”
Suddenly, Katie explodes with laughter and the crappy restaurant is filled with her fresh air.
And I know…I just know… someday I am really going to miss these crappy dinners.