Yesterday I spent several hours with an amazing young man. We ran a few errands, ate lunch together, explored our town, visited a museum and had a fantastic time. I am lucky enough to have a date with this person every other month. Occasionally we have a few extra dates sprinkled sporadically, but I know I can count on at least this one time every other month.
My date was with my oldest son, Eamon. We were a few days late this month as we usually try to go out on the 25th (his birth date). I talked to him about my frustration with my last few dates with him and his siblings. It seemed like they were just excuses to spend money and not really time with one another. I didn't want to see a movie or visit the local indoor playhouse. Both are not really conducive to interactive play with your mom! We brainstormed what we could do together. Finally, I just asked him what he wanted to do if money was not an issue and a cranky mom wasn't saying, "no!" He quickly replied that he wanted to go to the park. Seriously??!?! Well, that is easy!
We started our day with a few errands talking all the time. It was amazing to us both how quickly we accomplished the few things we had to do. Once the errands were out of the way, I took Eamon to the local sporting goods store. His soft football had been destroyed a few months ago, and if we were headed to the park together he needed a new one. With two new balls in hand, we ate a quick meal at Chipotle. Eamon selected the restaurant as his favorite. The meal meandered as we talked at length about all sorts of things. I think the favorite topic was Minecraft. With nowhere to be and no one else to worry about, we sat for a long time just chatting. (Admittedly I did knit a bit while we talked).
The yarn store was our next stop as it was on the way to the park. I wanted to find out what colors Eamon loves. I am making each of the kiddos a sweater for the holidays. He doesn't know about the sweater, so I couldn't be totally forthright with my plan. Since he is color-blind, I wasn't sure how accurate my interpretation of his color likes/dislikes would be. We walked around the store and he showed me his favorite red (it is a true red with a hint of orange - Cascade 220 Persimmon is his absolute favorite). He also pointed out his preferred black which outscores red by a smidge as favorite color. We left the yarn store and headed to the park.
Tempe Town Lake was out final destination. We parked near the art center and decided to check out the art museum inside and adjacent sculpture gallery. The current exhibit is entitled, Mixing it Up: Building an Identity. We both really enjoyed it and talked a lot about the different mediums as well as subject matter. Once outside again, the new pedestrian bridge called to us. The bridge was finished recently and Eamon was eager to be the first in his family to walk across it. As we walked we spotted birds, fish, airplanes, and clouds. We paused a few times, when we heard nearby fireworks, to cheer on ASU. When we arrived on the north side of the bridge, we looked for an area to throw the football. As we looked, Eamon found a colony of rabbits. I was very touched when his initial reaction was a desire to show his brother and sister. He just knew they would love them! I think he was right. There were at least 20 rabbits hanging out by the buses on the grass.
We decided to walk back to the museum side of the lake to play catch. We tossed the ball for quite a long time. Eamon kicked it to me and I had to play quarterback returning the ball for a score. We laughed and ran around until dusk. Finally Eamon decided he was done. He said he missed his brother and sister and wanted to share this evening with them. He was having so much fun. Per Eamon it was the best date day ever! I had to agree, we had such a wonderful day. I am so glad I have these times together to really enjoy the person each of my children is becoming.
(Sorry, no pictures of our day. I left the camera at home and just lived the moments.)