Life with four kiddos is crazy busy and sometimes I feel like I get swallowed up in motherhood. Between school, sports, family get togethers, birthday parties, the therapy sessions for our youngest boy Jack, etc.
I feel like we are constantly jumping from one commitment to another – constantly rushing around everywhere. I feel like I can’t focus on each and every one of the kids like I want to. We are all together A LOT, however, we never really get much quality time together. The majority of conversations are constantly interrupted and it’s hard to stay focused on one child at a time.
My husband and I have talked about wanting to make more of an effort in spending one-on-one time with each kiddo more often. So after a week where it felt like I had little control and was very overwhelmed with everything, and for the fact that the other two older kiddos had plans for the night, I decided that a date night out with my sweet seven year old was just the answer.
I told Olivia that she could choose whatever restaurant she would like. I knew her choice would be her absolute favorite, The Old Mill, right down the street. This restaurant dates back to the 1700’s. They have a serene little pond filled with hungry ducks and geese, a quaint atmosphere, delicious food and a unique little gift shop that wraps around the nooks and crannies of their ancient basement.
She then excitedly asked if she could pick out our outfits and accessories for the night. Although my attire is one of two things these days – active wear or jeans and a T-shirt – Her wide eyes and huge smile gave me no option but to agree. I told her to pick out whatever she wanted for me to wear from my closet.
When I saw the pretty dress my aunt had given me that I planned on saving for a wedding or other fancy outing, I realized we were going to be slightly overdressed for the casual restaurant we were heading to. However, her excitement made it all worth it. So on the dress went, which just so happened to match the one she picked out for herself perfectly.
At dinner, our conversation flowed freely; covering many topics, like school, her friends, gymnastics, her siblings, her upcoming field trip, etc. As she excitedly told me about many different things, I stared at her beautiful face. So intent. So happy. So genuine. So mature. My baby girl was growing up right before my eyes.
I realized I couldn’t remember the last time we had an uninterrupted conversation like this. I was so elated to be spending this time with my beautiful girl that it almost brought a tear to my eye.
Trying to switch the subject and not let her see a tear drop, I asked:
“Lali, what is your favorite memory? Like when did you have the most fun?”
Without hesitating, Olivia said “Right now. This is my favorite of all time. Isn’t it yours?”
It hit me where it matters. Sometimes I lose focus… sometimes things feel totally overwhelming. She reminded me that I need to focus on what’s right in front of me. The here. The now.
Our little date night out was just what I needed. Something that reminded me of what’s important.
I’m looking forward to more one-on-one time with each of the other kiddos too. Something about being able to focus and have conversation with just one child at a time is so very special.
And, just beware, if you see me out on these date nights with my littles, my attire out may seem over dressed or a little over the top, but they have all decided they want to pick out my date night outfits every time, and I’m ok with that.