Beautiful Night

“Let’s go out to dinner tonight,” my husband said suddenly.

I had pork chops defrosting in the sink.  “OK,” I said.

We decided on a small local Italian restaurant.  Miss P was beside herself.  She had been cooped up all day and couldn’t wait to go out.  When I pulled out her jeans, T-shirt, socks, shoes and pull-up she started chanting “Go go go!”

The restaurant was nicer than we expected for a strip shopping mall storefront.  It wasn’t kid-friendly unless you count having high chairs as kid friendly.  No kids menu, no smaller sized utensils.  I fed her food from my plate, she drank my tea, she said “All done, let’s go, bye bye” a lot.  And loudly.

“Use your indoor voice,” we said softly.

“OK,” she would whisper.  The next words would be a shout:

ALL DONE. THE END. GO NOW.

She wanted ice cream but they didn’t offer it as a dessert option. The waitress told us about an ice cream shop several doors down.  We walked down the sidewalk. Passed check cashing, a furniture rental store, a salon, a dollar store.

“Ice cream cone!”  Miss P shrieked, delighted, as we stepped into the brightly lit shoppe.

Age two has no sense of urgency about ice cream cones.  She isn’t being dripped on, daddy is.  She wipes her strawberry covered face on his white T-shirt.  It beings to rain softly.  I can barely get the wet wipes out of their small foil containers.

As we walk back to the car, I take her left hand, daddy takes her right.

“1-2-3-whee” we lift her off her feet, swinging her forward over a puddle.

“Again! Do it again!” she pleads.

We do it again.

And again.

And again.

Nights like this, I can’t believe we almost missed out on being parents.  Nights like this, I can’t imagine any more joy.

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