As you may be aware, North Carolina has experienced some unseasonably warm weather this year. The record draught aside, it has provided a few days of "Spring" temperatures in a usually steamy breath, red-nosed winter and I have rather enjoyed it.
Last night, Leslie and I decided that we needed some groceries, so why not visit Trader Joe's on a Friday night. Apparently our respective social calendars ain't what they used to be. As one might imagine, my two girls weren't exactly thrilled with the idea. After all, a very special episode of Hannah Montana would be airing with a possible visit from the Jonus Brothers. (Note: If you have no idea who these people are, I would be willing to bet that you also have no idea what a Webkinz is. It's OK, I was once like you)
To skip to the chase, the girls behaved splendidly in the grocery store, enjoying free samples of cheese and deserts. The fare was not quite as lavish as a BJ's or Sam's, but you know the drill: Lady in paper hat and plastic gloves fills small cups with goodies and then gets bent out of shape that children would want to eat the stuff. Anyway, all of this only whet our appetite for some real dessert and Goodberry's, across the street, was calling. We promptly obeyed the call, sending our record of sticking to South beach for 2 whole weeks to a bitter end. Man cannot live by broccoli alone, I say.
The funny thing is, this seemingly boring Friday evening at the grocery store and then for ice-cream was more enjoyable to me than the countless times in my life when a Friday night was filled with the energy and expectation of my youth. (OK, I'm almost forty and not that old) The only difference on this Friday night, was that I was witnessing energy and expectation in my 9 and 10 year old daughters... and I enjoyed it beyond belief. In taking a few moments, last night to give the girls and my wife my full attention and engagement even in the midst of a seemingly dull night, I participated in an exercise that renewed my spirit and brought me great joy. And perhaps that is my lesson for the day. That is, a little grocery grazing and winter ice-cream with the family can, if you let it, be whole bunch of fun. And my Hot Fudge Sunday on a semi-warm January night was pretty darn good, too.