Monday, May 04, 2009

I'd Like Those Two Hours Bronzed, Please

Most of the time when you have little kids, you're just head down, trying to get by. Cleaning up messes, stretching finances, making schedules and cooking meals that leave more messes, and either crying or laughing out of sheer fatigue. Last night we took a couple hours to just enjoy our little family, and Epu and I were both pleasantly surprised and what enjoyable little ladies the girls have become.
I'd been gardening in the backyard, Epu had been working on building the mount for the front curtains he's making, and both of us were keeping an eye on the kids and trying to talk them out of wanting our help since our hands were full. Suddenly I decided that I was not going to cook and clean up after another meal tonight. We were going to walk down to Harrison Street, enjoy the warm evening and all the foliage and flowers that have popped out in the neighborhood, and part with some of our hard-earned cash for dinner.
Nutmeg wanted to ride her bike. She was wearing a red play silk around her neck like a cape and she raced ahead of us on every block, her cape streaming out behind, stopping three sidewalk squares before every curb, driveway and alley. Pebbles rode in the stroller for awhile and then toddled along, picking dandelions. Nutmeg showed Epu the door through which she will enter kindergarten at her new school next fall.*
We ate at a sidewalk table at an overpriced local place.** An aid from Nutmeg's preschool walked by with two big dogs just as we were settling down and the had a great time petting them. Then they each got their own little pizza and pretty much demolished them. After dinner I sent the kids running up and down the walkway of an apartment building next door, to keep them occupied while we waited for the check.
When we got home, Nutmeg helped me water my new potted herb garden, her own little heirloom tomato plant, and the few flowers we'd put in. Then she had to show me how the planets in the model solar system she'd been painting all weekend glow in the dark. Lights out was an hour late.
For once, I would not have traded that hour for an hour of quiet when I could get some work done. I liked it just the way it was.
Of course, now that we've come to a moment in our kids' growing up where it's possible to have a pleasant evening out together, all hell is about to break loose in the form of an infant boy. Well, let the games begin.
* After we visited her kindergarten last week, Nutmeg remarked to me, "I'm ready now, Mom. But" -- with resignation -- "I know it doesn't start until next fall."
** I call it overpriced because it reminds me a little of a Bay Area restaurant where the food is twice as good and the prices lower. Call us snobs, but we've learned that people out here in the Western suburbs are willing to pay a bit much for mediocre food, and too much for really great food, of which there is very little.


Bert said...

What a wonderful evening out with the family! You're making me so excited to have that, too! :)

Morrisquads said...

Sounds like a great night! Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever get to that point. I just found your blog and am enjoying your writing. Thank you!

Sara said...

we had a day like this on saturday, too. must be something in the air, but for a few hours this weekend, i didn't care that i wasn't getting work was nice to slow down and enjoy my family.

khrmail said...

I agree re: OP restaurants! Sounds like a nice night.

Kori said...

Sigh. So lovely. We went out to eat on Sunday evening, with the same sort of spirit, although it had more to do with me needing a genuine break from schoolwork and real time with my hubby and kiddo. Worth every penny.

Erika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erika said...

Funny to read about OP restaurants. We're moving to OP in fall (now in the city), heard great things about the restaurants, but so far haven't been too impressed. Makes me not feel so crazy. (I know this wasn't the point of your post, but it jumped out at me!)

Wendy said...

What a great night! I need one of those. Good luck with that boy. Whew. I have two! :)