(Grown-Up) Me and Mommy Dates

Back in the day, I took them on dates.  With four young kids in the house, time alone was rare but we made it happen every August as each child got a day-long date with Mom before school started.  We called the “End of Summer Outing” and had a blast go-karting, taking a Lake Michigan boat tour boat, rooting for the Cubs at Wrigley, riding the Metra anywhere.  The boys usually chose adventure, the girls opted for shopping.

The tradition continued through high school but slipped past as college, jobs and families of their own filled the late summer days.

 A few years ago I decided to ask for dates instead of gifts for Mother’s Day.  Our schedules can take time to synchronize and two dates landed on the calendar last week.

Date # 1 with Jesh started in downtown Chicago and spontaneously ended up in the Walnut Room, the magical destination each childhood Christmas. Memories of the elves and the fairy and the LONG lines filled our early conversation.

I don’t think I ever imagined coming back with him to this familiar place, sans tree, to talk of his kids, my writing and our common experience of growing older.  We lingered for a long time then jumped on the train to each head to our own homes.

With Jesh at the Walnut Room

The venue for date # 2 with Gabriel was a local place where he waited tables in college. The lovely re-designed restaurant goes by a new name but still seemed poignant to return to a familiar place in a very different time of life.

No longer a struggling college student, Gabe’s work now takes him all over the world.   His wedding is two weeks away so our dialogue flowed with details of that day as well as highlights of our lives since we last dined here about 8 years ago.

Funny how both dates brought the past to the present and not just the conversations. Like the “End of Summer Outing” reappeared with a whole new look and I wasn’t picking up the tab this time.

Part of me still wants to watch them play one more Little League game, but that season ended a long time ago so this new one could begin.


2 Responses to “(Grown-Up) Me and Mommy Dates”

  1. 1 Karla August 13, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Happy sigh! Wonderful! We used to make the pilgrimage to the Walnut Room for a few Christmases. The first time, Gabe was 4, and had been wearing the complete green tights, tunic, green felt hat w/ feather etc. of Peter Pan for about 6 months. When the College girl dressed as a fairy came and sprinkled “fairy dust,” on him, he sat up straight and remained perfectly still. He slowly leaned over to Eddie and whispered, “Daddy! Does dis mean we can–FWY?” It was heartbreaking for Eddie to say no. But through Parkour, Gabe has learned to fly anyway! He tells me he has plans to take me to Italy and Greece. Maybe he will be flying the plane! We plan on meeting for lunch on occasion while he’s at college. It will be worth the drive. I think my girls will prefer shopping for quite a while!

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