Dinner for Two

My wife and I love our kids dearly but the thought of a couple of hours without them makes us want to do cartwheels. Unfortunately, we have no luck when it comes to a night out without the kids. For example, last year we planned a nice, intimate dinner for our 9th anniversary in October. However, the kids got sick and our nice, romantic dinner turned into an early afternoon snack—in March. So when my parents offered to watch the kids recently—and our schedules and the moons aligned correctly—we jumped at the opportunity.

This was exciting. We’d actually get the chance to have some adult conversation and rekindle our relationship. Unfortunately, after raising kids for the last eight years neither of us knows how to carry on an adult conversation. Therefore, instead of spending the night with two screaming, crying kids, we’d spend the night discussing the one topic we can talk about—screaming, crying kids.

Still, there’d be no noses to wipe or frantic runs to the bathroom to avoid accidents (hopefully). And neither of us would have to cut up someone’s meat or share our meal. The plusses outweighed the minuses.

We dropped the kids off and headed to a restaurant by my parents’ house that had indoor and outdoor seating. We chose a cozy outdoor table. The waiter offered us wine but we declined knowing Diane would be drunk or asleep after one glass, if not a couple of sips. Why spoil a couple of hours of freedom?

After sitting outside for a few minutes, we both started getting cold and feeling older by the second. This is something I would have mocked my parents for just a few years ago. Then, right on cue, my cold beer arrived.

”Are you cold, hon? I’m cold?” I said after a few sips.

“Yeah, I’m freezing.”

“Good beer,” I added, my teeth chattering.

I eyed her sweater jealously.

However, a few minutes later the bread and hors d’œuvres arrived and our conversation turned to warmer thoughts.

“I wonder how the kids are doing.”

“Maybe I should call them,” my wife suggested.

“No, they’ll be fine.”

But I wasn’t so sure about us. There was no fighting during dinner but we clearly missed the kids. I considered starting a fight—maybe pulling Diane’s hair—to remind us of the kids. I even considered having her cut my meat so the kids would be with her in spirit. But each time I decided against it.

And where were the crayons? What kind of restaurant doesn’t put out crayons and paper (with beer)?

However, a funny thing happened. We forgot about the kids and enjoyed ourselves. In fact, things went so well we extended the night by going to the mall.

Unfortunately, before we knew it was time to pick up the kids. However, we had so much fun we planned on doing it again soon. Knowing our luck, that’ll be next March.

Copyright © 2010, Brad Manzo

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