Mama Dates

With the beginning of another school year almost here it was my goal to spend some intentional time with each of my Things.  A way to see where they're at, hear their heart and have some fun.  They were each able to choose how we spent our time and it was so telling of who they are. 
The first date was with Thing 2.  An afternoon presented itself wide open for the both of us.  We went for our training run together, in the middle of the day.  It was exceptionally hot and sticky.  Not our best choice.  Lunch at Chipotle, Thing 2's favorite.  Some pool time together and then a cold treat at Caribou.  We rolled down the windows and blasted the country music and sang our precious hearts out!  Sweet ending to a sweet afternoon together.
Selfie in the car, making the "oh so happy" face!
Thing 3's date was next and no surprise she chose to visit the Yum bakery.  I had shared with her the delight that this place is when I met a friend for breakfast there.  She was instantly intrigued and wanted to see for herself, or maybe taste for herself.  And taste we did.  We chose not one, but two scrumptious treats.  The mini strawberry cheesecake and the Patti cake.  Which was right next to the "bakers man" cake.  There may or may not have been giggles at that one.  Clever display.  Our forks fought over the desserts and we laughed and talked and steadied our hearts.  And when we were finished we rolled ourselves back to the car and came home with very full bellies. 
Thing 3 told me to make the "duck face", I think, so I obliged,
boy did I feel silly! 

Patti cake and café au lait, Mama's treat

Strawberry cheesecake
Now onto Thing 4.  He had a tougher time deciding on his date location.  Maybe too many choices?  In the end we wound up at the arcade, with the promise of a milkshake to cap off our time together.  We loaded up our gaming card and found out that it was happy hour!  That meant half price games across the board.  Thing 4 couldn't have been happier.  He even shared some of that money so his Mama could reminisce and play Ms. Pacman, my all time favorite.  We challenged each other in ski ball and air hockey, he won both!  Thing 4 shot some hoops and ducked between the lasers.  He pounded the sharks on the head and tried to win as many tickets as possible.  Fun times!  Then we stood at the prize counter for about half an hour trying to decide on just what was worth spending his tickets on.  Only, they don't use paper tickets anymore.  It is all electronic.  No more games spitting out tickets as you stand there proud of your feat and no more tokens.  Oh no.  Tickets are added to your gaming card, the card which  you have to load with money before you play.  And the card which you have to pay for.  No more straightening out dollar bills to listen to the tokens fall.  Those days are gone!  My boy and I had so much fun, this date spoke to our competitive nature.  At the end of it all Thing 4 had his choice of dessert and a strawberry milkshake with French fries to dip was his request.  Not a problem.  As we sat in McDonald's we were able to talk, Thing 4 offered to share his milkshake, and I soaked up this eleven year old boy of mine. 
Mandatory Thing and Mama selfie for date day!
Shooting some hoops
Last, but certainly not least, Thing 1, the eldest.  I thought I knew what we were doing for sure on this date, some sort of shopping.  And we did, only not where I thought.  First it was downtown Excelsior, to take photos and stroll around looking at all the shops, then she changed her mind and we were off to Goodwill.  OK by me, either way.  I scored a scooter for Thing 4 and rode it around the store without getting caught. When we were standing in the check out line and Thing 1 gave the scooter a try she was scolded and asked not to ride it in the store.  Go figure.  That gave us a chuckle.  Thing 1 scored some coffee cups for an art project, we found a glass jar for Thing 3's shells, a snorkel and face mask for the kiddos and lots of other goodies.  No furniture which was what we were originally looking for.  Still fun to walk the aisles and find treasure.  We were in need of some coffee after that excursion and sat at Caribou once again talking and laughing and connecting.  This date was especially fun because Thing 1 drove me around.  Only after walking the aisles at Goodwill and then Target she was tuckered out and needed to be driven home by her Mama.  It was nice to be needed. 
We were unintentionally matching for our date,
 this is not the first time this has happened!

Goodwill treasure
These dates are always so much fun.  One on one time in a family of four Things is a rare gift so when the opportunities present themselves I try to run with them,  I'm so thankful for the time with each one of the Things where it's just me and them.  Where I catch glimpses of their hearts.  Hear what's running through their mind.  Be silly with them.  Allow them to choose and in doing so they reveal themselves to me.  It was truly a great way to bring our summer time fun to a close.  Or the beginning of a close.  We still have some fun left in us before school starts.  I hope...

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