Last night my mom, dad, Audrey and I went out to dinner to celebrate Audrey’s 31st birthday. Yes, her birthday was a week earlier, on May 23, but it fell on Memorial Day weekend, and it was a pretty jam-packed weekend at that, so the birthday dinner was pushed to May 30.
It’s funny that Audrey wrote a post just the other day about the importance of sitting down to dinner as a family, and that it is a rare occurence for her nowadays (though something she is making into a ritual). Growing up, I don’t remember ever not sitting down for family dinners every night, even if it wasn’t around our dining room table at home. Audrey and I swam competitively, so sometimes we would all go out to dinner at a restaurant after practice… but it was always as a family, sitting down together, enjoying each others’ company and talking about our day.
So last night was like those days revisited. Those days before adulthood, before marriage, before kids. What did we talk about then? What was important in life at that time? School, friends, swimming… and, I’m sure, things that seemed so important at the time, but are all but distant memories now. What was discussed is much less important, of course, than the fact that we were together.
Now, as adults ourselves, Audrey and I certainly have much more “real life” stuff on our plates than we did back then. So it was so nice to be able to sit down with mom and dad for a quiet, relaxing adult dinner.
Usually when we’re together Audrey has at least one of her four little guys with her, so much of our time is spent fawning over, taking care of or keeping an eye out for them. What would a night without the little ones entail? What subjects would dominate the conversation?
Not surprisingly, I suppose, we kept coming back to four particular subjects – Audrey’s four little guys. The funny things William and Alexander say, the new words Benjamin is learning, little Henry’s attempts at walking.
Sure, we talked about other things, too, but the discussion would inevitably return to one of the infinite amount of things we love about those little men.
Last night’s dinner was so similar to all those family dinners during our youth in that we laughed, enjoyed each others’ company and talked about our lives… and yet so different in terms of what is important now in our lives versus what was important then.
I’ll take the now any day.