Monday, September 8, 2008

A Moment of Bonding...

My husband Mike has been home from work (due to illnesses) since June, 2005, and was finally officially retired in January, 2008.
As he has gotten his health under better control and is feeling better these days, we have gotten into the daily habit of eating out ~ usually breakfast, sometimes lunch and occasionally, dinner.
The kiddos are all old enough now to butter their own bread, so to speak, so we don't always feel that we have to stay home and cook ~ and these daily outings have become a real occasion of bonding between us.
We used to do this quite often when we were first married and yours truly was a non-cook, but as time went on and I had baby after baby, we had less resources for such self-spoiling activity. And I, of course, went on to become a gourmet, least good enough to tell baking soda from baking powder...long story, don't ask...
Anyway, we finally have arrived at the point in our lives when, with three of our brood out of the house, and the other five sometimes cooking for themselves at all times of the day, with their various differing schedules, we can do what we like. We do eat dinner at home with the family most evenings, but to be able to go anywhere we like for our morning meals ~ and occasionally, evening ~ is something that we would be hard-pressed to give up.
There really is something so relaxing about being retired; he tells me all the time that I am retired too ~ and I like the feeling. 
I must say, however, that as my regular readers know, I dearly miss the days when my children were under my feet all day (and half the night, lol) but that's just not how life works forever...we cannot hold onto the past at every moment of our lives. So, there comes that time when we face the fact that we, too, are older and ready for the next phase...namely, retirement. 
And eating out whenever we feel like it.
I have to add that every day now, since we started this whole thing, I look forward to the time of day when we pick out the restaurant of the day (place du jour, anyone?) and get in the car and GO!
It may seem like a small thing to some people ~ I'm sure there are many out there who have been doing this for years ~ but I am not one of them, ok? 
And to sit and look at my beloved over coffee every morning is a real treat to a wife whose husband has been leaving the house every morning @ 3 for nearly all of the 35 years he worked. I grew used to getting up in the morning alone, quietly making the coffee for myself, getting the kiddos out the door to school, starting my daily chores...and then looking forward to his arrival at the end of his day.
But not, as it turned out (like any other Mom) not the end of mine...and then as he had to rise at the crack of dawn, back to bed so early, while I was doing the Mom-thing until well past dark.
So now, as I look at the days and nights of my present life, I think we have arrived at a place where we fully deserve to be. We deserve to spend hours each week, just sipping our coffee and sitting face-to-face in cozy booths in our favorite restaurants, mulling our decisions over how to have our eggs prepared, and talking in low tones about the life we have had ~ and continue to have ~ with one another.
Who knew, eh? ...back then, 31 years ago, saying our vows before God and company, what the future held for us? What were we giving up and what were we gaining? 
I'll tell you one thing: I have gained everything I ever set out to gain, for myself and for the people I love the most in this world.
Eating out, as simple as that is, is a big deal to me, to us. It has come to symbolize the life we share, the moments we talk and laugh together, sharing our stories and our thoughts with each other, praying that, God willing, it can continue for many more years.
You just never know, I realize that ~ but to have it now is a real treat. 
And this is a very sweet, sweet dessert, indeed.

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