I took The Boy on a date today.
The Husband and I decided we wanted to interject more whimsy into our family routine. Our calendar has many blocked and iterative events dictated by outside organizations like school hours, assigned homework, sports practices, lessons, games and tournaments, music lessons and performances, as well as church and community events. Though we are in almost constant motion, we realized there’s sometimes more march than joy in our steps.
Our parental plan was a simple one. When they were least expectant, we would bombard them with the unexpected.
As such, this morning, I enjoyed an iBed breakfast while The Husband took a sleepy-eyed crew to Spudnuts. For the uninitiated, Spudnut donuts are made with potato flour. A moist, sweet delight, they blissfully surrender a happy, glazed melt down the eager throat of each blitzed-out consumer. Spudnut donuts are more than donuts, they are holy confections with a sense of history in our small town. The Husband took happy kids to school who were thrilled to further anticipate an early dismissal at noon.
Unbeknownst to The Boy, I had made arrangements for all the other children to be playdate engaged so that I could surprise him with a lunch invitation. To his credit, he was more than amiable, even before he learned Five Guys and a trip to Barnes & Noble were on the itinerary.
Lunch was pleasant. Nothing lubricates adolescent conversation like hot grease and ketchup. Conversation was easy and blessedly without an agenda. The Boy shocks me these days as he has so experienced such dramatic physical changes in the past couple of months. Even his face has taken on the angles of a man’s chisel, complete with <gasp> a discernable mustache. However, as he greedily slurped his root beer, I could almost see the little boy I remembered hiding just behind his red straw. It was fun.
Tight tummied, we made the short drive to Barnes & Noble. In a gesture I mistook for chivalry, The Boy preceded me to the door excitedly telling me, “Look!” as he opened the door for us. He opened the door and stepped in so quickly that the door literally closed in my face. What I mistook as excitement over a book display or café novely was actually his joy to find one of his best buds in the store. As it happened, his buddy was there alone waiting for his mother, and really appreciated the company.
Again, to The Boy’s credit, he apologized to me before he ditched me cold for his friend. He said, “I know we are on a date, and I didn’t think it would end this way, but, well, we can finish our date later and…. I gotta go!”
I assured The Boy that I understood and went to the café to sketch a couple of ideas I had from the night before. When it was time for me to go, The Boy’s friend was still solo, so I allowed my son to stay so that his friend would have a buddy. The Boy used his Barnes & Noble gift card to buy his friend a drink (that he had promised to treat me with) at the café. I don’t know he could have looked more pleased with himself if he had used a Visa to buy concert tickets.
When I returned for him, his friend’s mom was there to pick up her son.
A spontaneous overnight invitation was extended to The Boy, “We’d love to have him,” the mom agreed, grateful that her son had company while he waited for her return.
Once again, The Boy pulled me aside to apologize our date had been interrupted, but he really, really wanted to go.
Sometimes math is really simple. I had one really thrilled boy who was happy with the outcome of a date with his mamma. He enjoyed the food, the perks and an unexpected surprise ending. His joy was sincere and contagious and equaled a successful maternal mission.
I got stood up in the middle, but it was one of the best dates of my entire life.