Today and tomorrow, Steve and I were supposed to be at a marriage retreat up in Corova, NC, the four wheel drive area of the beach. However, he has been sick since Monday, Sarah got sick Wednesday, and I seem to be coming down with the same thing today. So we’re staying home instead!
Here is a favorite post from the archives, written in 2007.
The other night, Sarah was off at a birthday party so Steve and I, left to our own cunning devices, planned an exciting evening for ourselves. We had leftover chicken casserole for dinner, went to Cold Stone Creamery for the kid size cup of ice cream (only $1.79!) and then came home to watch an old video I had bought at Goodwill for a dollar. (We are very easily entertained.)
I was feeling pretty wild and radical because at 9 pm, we were only halfway through the movie which meant that I was actually going to be staying up past my usual bedtime!
Woo-hoo! Wild and crazy! Party Woman!
A few minutes after nine, Sarah came happily bursting through the door and when she ascertained that we were watching a video and not something on TV, she politely asked if we could pause it for a moment. She had tons of stuff to tell us about her day and she rattled on cheerily for quite a while. I watched her animated face and her shining eyes and I thought how blissful it was to have a 12-year old daughter who still wants her parents to pause a movie so she can tell us about her day. I was trying not to look too far forward into the future when she’s fifteen and might not be quite as eager to talk with ye olde Mom and Dad.
After she had finished her recital she remembered her manners of reciprocity and said, “So what did you guys do all night?”
Well, Steve recounted our big adventures to her, starting with the Exciting Casserole! and moving on to the Momentous Cups of Ice Cream! and the Bargain Video!
And then he added, “After your mom and I got our ice cream, we ate it outside on the bench sitting perpendicular to the sunset.” (In other words, we were facing the front end of our lovely, bug-spattered car and the sunset was off to our right.)
I immediately noticed the interested smile that spread across Sarah’s face when she heard those words and I knew her little word lover’s heart was intrigued. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear her inquire eagerly, “Dad, what does it mean to sit perpendicular to the sunset?
Of course, “Dad” was only too eager to explain and he took off on a knowledgeable lecture about all the quirks and qualities of perpendicular-ness.
Over the years, I’ve always told Nathan and Sarah that they have been patient with Steve and me because they can never ask a simple question and get a simple answer. Steve and I are such teachers at heart that any question unlocks vast happiness in our hearts as we scramble through the reaches of our brains and our (limited) knowledge to try to impart the wisdom we love to the children we adore.
I once heard a quote from some famous person that said, “Ask me the time and I’ll give you the history of the watch.” That is just how Steve and I tend to be and, by and large, our children have proven to be a very receptive and eager audience.
So anyway, after we had straightened out the wonders of perpendicularities and finished exchanging our adventurous stories of the day, Sarah ran upstairs with Snowy close at her heels. Steve and I returned to our movie and the peacefulness of the evening, happy in the knowledge that our son (even though he was far away from us) was in good hands and that our sweet daughter was home safe for the evening.
I don’t think an evening consisting of a hundred-dollar dinner, an exotic dessert and a first run movie could have brought us any more happiness. We got to spend time with each other, we got to spend time with Princess Groovy Chick and we got to indulge in a short teaching on what it means to sit perpendicular to the sunset.
It was a good night.
Note: Although this post is six years old, the pictures are a little more recent. (Because you can’t have a post about sunset without pictures of a sunset!)