Long before social distancing was vital and life saving, there were families that were familiar with this practice.
“Having children is like living in a frat house- nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” -Ray Romano
As parents of 3 young children, Scott and I spent most weekends at home. Finding a sitter for one child; relatively easy but 3 kids? I could have brokered world peace with the amount of negotiations I had to do for a rare night out. “I know 3 is a lot but they are really well behaved. Most of them are toilet trained. Honestly, I will have them in bed with a month’s worth of snacks. I bet you won’t even see them. I’ll pay you $15.00 an hour”. Once my weeping stopped and I got off my knees, a deal was usually made.
So nights away were not common. We relied on each other for our entertainment and our social interactions.
Friday nights became family nights. We would watch movies or play games but whatever we decided; it was always pizza night.
It was really important that our kids were polite and displayed proper manners. From an early age, please and thank you’s were our stock and trade. Showing respect to others, a requirement that was instilled and enforced. I took such pride when strangers would congratulate the children for their manners.
I expected such behaviour when they were away from us but knew that home was safe place. A chance to let loose and navigate as they grew into themselves. Within reason.
Friday nights became a particular favourite of theirs. Along with take out pizza, they could also have pop. And a burping contest.
Table manners have long been a struggle for parents everywhere. We were no different. Scott and I offered Ryan $1000.00 if he could go through one meal with rice and not have it all over the table, the floor, or himself. It is still sitting in the bank. We told Jordyn that she really shouldn’t order spaghetti in any dating situation . Max either must be food blind or that boy really loves her. As for Julianna, motion pictures could use her sounds during dining to help in film productions.
And yet we persevered. Honestly we had no choice. But in this story, let’s pretend otherwise. The Friday night burping ritual was born. Since I rarely partook, I was the judge. I would compare it to nails on a chalkboard but the rest of the family enjoyed it. Scott almost always won.
Of course, as with most things, Friday nights became more scarce as sports entered our lives, play dates and sleepovers were weekend highlights and date nights were resurrected.
I didn’t really think much of the passage of time. How much I missed our time together, filled with love and laughter.
As much as I hate the circumstances we find ourselves in, for all those that are suffering, all those that are working so hard behind the scenes caring for us and providing for us… I find myself grateful.
Grateful that we have the opportunity to reconnect; to recapture what we have lost.
I know that, if given the chance, Ryan would emerge as the new Friday night winner.
Take care everyone.