Last week we also had a few errands to run in town (which you know, I totally could have done before picking them up if I had remembered about them ahead of time and/or not been sleeping), and Kristina being the thoughtful child who often thinks with her stomach inquired whether we could go out to dinner during the middle of our hustle and bustle.
As I couldn't remember the last time any of us stepped foot into a place which served food that wasn't McDonald's, it seemed almost sorta tempting to me too (and that was even before Adrianna added her voice to the 'pleeeeeaaaase' pleading coming from the backseat), so out to dinner we went.
The Rocky Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery is by far my favorite restaurant in Nederland, and for having 'brewery' in their name a remarkably family friendly to go in my opinion (do see the kiddy menus, crayons, and kiddy cups for their kid sized
And the girls behaved beautifully (score 5000 parenting gold stars for me!), with the only hiccup at all being when Adrianna went to take a drink of my water and dropped the glass, and it even spilled onto the floor at that (vs. onto me or my food, as Murphy often likes to make happen).
But you know what was even more amazing from our dinner?
I enjoyed it. Genuine, unadulterated enjoyment.
It wasn't the opportunity to get out the house, or to eat the food that wasn't prepared by me and/or consisting of previously frozen chicken nuggets. And it certainly wasn't the influence of other people, as it was just the three of us at our little table.
It was my children. I enjoyed spending the time hanging out with my children. We had conversation that was fun and interesting. We laughed over simple antics. We enjoyed and ate our food. We each had our very own world's smallest dessert brownie and scoop of ice cream at the end, and left without anyone in tears or screaming or unhappy (which is huge in of itself on the parenting scale).
(Ok, there was a brief second of almost unhappiness when I had requested to box both of their leftovers in separate boxes so they could each have theirs to carry and then they put both of them in one bag and Adrianna tried to walk off with it, but both girls stopped and listened to me and were able to use their words without having a complete meltdown over it *cough Kristina does that sometimes cough*, and we were able to quickly make things right again in the world by pulling Kristina's box-of-half-a-cheese-quesadilla-which-is-like-a-hundred-times-better-than-the-ones-mommy-makes-at-home-according-to-her-even-though-it's-just-a-freakin-cheese-qusadilla out of the bag so she could carry it herself.)
I think there are two huge challenges people in general face with the world: being able to enjoy the company of one's self and being able to enjoy the company of one's children.
And this dinner fills me with hope and optimism about life with them going forwards.
They are getting older. They are turning into real people, who sometimes manage to even be real people who aren't whiny or demanding or bratty. Things like air travel really might transition from an exhausting feet of motherhood to something kinda sorta not so bad. I might actually want to take them on a vacation someday just to spend time with them, and all of us might even enjoy it.
Crazy! Just crazy!
And yet, so unbelievably awesome.