Friday, January 27, 2012

Happiness Can Be a Trip to the Home Improvement Store

Last night was a great night.  There wasn't anything special about it, but for some reason it was special to me.  Hubby was home all day because he had a doctor appointment, so I hung out with him during the first part of the day.  The kiddos don't have school today, so it felt like a Friday yesterday, which always nice.  So last night we took them out to grab a bite to eat and then to Menard's to get a bunch of stuff for the new basement room (I'm so excited!  Eeeeek!)  The kids aren't a huge fan of Menard's (giant home improvement store, in case anyone doesn't know that), and we spend a lot of time there, since Hubby is Mr. Fixit.  So this night seems like one of about 10,000 nights that we spend as a family.  Nothing special.

But last night was.  And yet nothing major happened.  We took the kids to a place called Wild Bill's for dinner first.  We were all starving, and for some reason food just tastes so great when you're that hungry.  They have peanuts in the shell that you can munch on while you wait for your food, and you can just throw the peanut shells on the floor.  The kids enjoyed that, even though their goofy mom insisted on grabbing an extra galvanized pail (I love those) to collect the shells.  Something about throwing them on the floor didn't set well with me.  But we sat there, chatting and shelling away, and it was just nice.  The kids are getting so funny and entertaining, and I found myself smiling and laughing so much that my cheeks hurt.  And that is a great feeling.  The food was good, both kids loved what they ordered, and we left full and happy.

Some of the goofy things are sticking with me from dinner.  The topics of conversation jumped around, but for some reason I found myself telling A that he may be tough, but he'll never be tougher than his dad.  We were kidding around, of course.  Then A said, "oh yeah?  What about when he's like 100 and he's wobbling around saying, 'I just love playing Bingo', and I'm a champion wrestler?"  Seriously.  And he's up from his chair now, hobbling around in his best "old man" impersonation, and using his goofy crotchety old man voice for the Bingo comment.  Where do kids get this stuff?  But I was laughing like crazy.

Anyway, then we go over to Menard's.  The kids wanted to stay in the truck and dork around with my iPad while we were inside.  I told them we were going to be in there awhile, but the hubby and I looked at each other and shrugged.  It really wasn't a big deal.  We told them if they needed anything they'd have to come in to find us, and they'd have to stick together, and remember to lock the truck and not run in the parking lot.  I felt a bit nervous about it, but hello--they're 9 and 10.  I remember being in fourth grade pretty well, and I was sure they could handle these simple instructions.  I used to walk or ride my bike 10 blocks to the Mini Mart to spend all my money on candy, by myself, at that age.  I'm sure they're ready for these small chunks of independence.  So in we went.

We took our time at the store.  It was lovely.  Got everything we needed, which was quite a bit, and just shopped around.  Sure enough, the kiddos came in and found us, they had to go to the bathroom.  They went to the bathroom, walked around with us for a while, and wanted to go back out to the truck.  They were in and out three times all together, enjoying their independence, and in the end, showing me that they really are ready for this stuff.  It was very cool, and I felt proud, relieved, and a bit sad at the same time.  This may sound like such a non-event, but it was significant to me.

When we were finally done shopping, we came home, and I went to bed first.  I didn't even feel the need to make sure all the men were taken care of first, since it wasn't a school night.  I knew they'd go to bed on their own.  They know where their rooms are.  They know how to brush their teeth.  And they know when they're tired.  They even know how to take Freddy out by themselves.

People, I don't know how it's happening, but these two boys are growing up.  Hubby and I must be doing something right, too, because they're turning into pretty cool little men.

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