Marc worked late tonight and so I took the kids out for dinner. Dining out is one of my most favorite things to do, and it's not just about avoiding the dishes. I love that we get a chance to linger together at one table as we're waiting for our food. That never happens at home.
At home, while Marc is usually cooking dinner, Hannah and Max are off doing their own thing, and so am I. Sometimes I hang out in the kitchen with Marc, but other days I'm cramming in a bit of work, folding a load of laundry, supervising a bike ride outside or (gasp!) just sitting on the couch watching TV. We sit as a family and talk over dinner, but at a restaurant, we get another 20-30 minutes of catching up on life together.
It's not perfect. Tonight, Max spilled his water all over the table, and both kids needed to rearrange their seats as the setting sun came streaming through the windows. And Marc wasn't there. But I got to watch Max try a mustard I thought would be too spicy for him, and see his reaction when he actually liked it. I saw him color only the portions of the picture that would logically match the crayon color choices he had, and leave the rest uncolored. I heard about the latest fourth grade drama from Hannah, and we talked about the MCAS test she has tomorrow morning, and made a note to stop to buy gum for it.
We talked more than we would have at home. And I still didn't have to do the dishes.