Day 7: Crappy Dinner for Three, Please

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 knowI just know… someday I am really going to miss these crappy dinners.


Thirty-one stories for thirty-one days. The Slice of Life Story Challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers.





23 thoughts on “Day 7: Crappy Dinner for Three, Please

  1. I love how you describe each of your girls. Maddie is an old soul and Katie like fresh air. Very sweet! Those days are hectic, but I too try and remind myself that I’m going to miss them someday!

  2. I agree, there’s nothing crappy about these dinners. You captured the fatigue at the end of the week and the joy you find in just listening to your beautiful daughters. Love these descriptions: Maddie “infuses her seven-year-old stories with unexpected bits of wisdom and insight. And laughter. . . . Katie is sunshine and sweetness and sass, . . .” I can’t believe they are four and seven!

  3. But the important thing is that you are taking the time, even while exhausted, to appreciate your two lovely daughters. And perhaps, down the road, this wonderful ritual will be replaced by another, at a different stage in their/your lives. For me, now, with my 33-year old daughter, it’s an occasional Happy Hour!

  4. Keep cherishing the crappy dinner time. Friday night crappy dinner is so representative of your feelings on a Friday night…I surrender…I’m a working mom and I’m tired…I just want to enjoy my kids. I enjoyed your description of each child, as they are so different and each bring something to the family.

  5. I especially identified and like this line: the exhaustion of a long week is hanging over my french fries.

    I know exactly what you are talking about and describing it like that really made me connect with it.

  6. Miss the days of the crappy dinner. Both of the girls are in college. One of them, out of state. My baby, I haven’t seen her since just after Christmas. She was going to come home this weekend but we are supposed to get a lot of snow. What I wouldn’t give for a crappy dinner this weekend. 😦

  7. Sign me up for a crappy dinner! These are the moments that I try to remind myself I will miss. It’s so hard when you are feeling the exhaustion of the week but I love how you push through to the joy of the crappy dinner. How special those crappy dinners are to all three of you! Making memories!

  8. How wonderful that you have this tradition and that you already treasure it! I was right there with you in that crappy restaurant, listening to your girls bubble and enthuse and burst into giggles and laughter. Your final line was perfect.

  9. I’m in love with the title! Sisters are hilarious. I feel like every pair of sisters fills the roles your girls do. I think I’m the Maddie, between my sister and I. 🙂

  10. Oh, Dana. This made me smile. Isn’t it funny how kids can make a crappy restaurant and crappy food simply delightful? You shared so many little pieces of information that I felt like I was right there with you as you ate and chatted.

  11. I really loved this piece! I felt like I was right there eating the crappy dinner with you. You brought your daughters to life with your detailed and thoughtful descriptions of them.

  12. I just love crappy dinners like this … special memories, indeed. Thanks for bringing us along!

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