Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Croutons and V-8 Juice Make a Fine Dinner, Right?

Messy plate left at dinner table

After 29+ years of having dinner every night with my husband...and then children, too...here I am eating croutons out of the bag, downing a V-8 and calling it dinner.

It's not that I was ever Martha or Rachel or that Barefoot Contessa chick in the kitchen. But I could somehow scrounge around the fridge...or call for take-out...or run to the neighborhood market...and put DINNER on the table, and we'd sit, together, for a bit, and fill our tummies, and touch base with one another.

I'd make them "co-muuuuuu-ni-cate", as my son called it. Give me highs and lows of the day. Ask crazy questions. Be silly. Whatever. But we were all in one place. Daily...or close to it anyway.

We'd hold hands, say the prayer from kindergarten lunchtime, squeeze to say "I love you", and then dig in, quickly, until homework, swimming, the phone, or the computer called the young-ins upstairs, leaving my husband and me to pour another glass of wine and talk....and talk....and talk.

Someone asked my husband recently the secret to a long-term marriage. His answer was, "We talk a lot."

A young mom shared with me the trials of staying emotionally connnected to her spouse during the crazy chaos of parenting young children. My best advice was, "Talk to each other. A lot. Every single day."

So it is quite the new situation to have this empty nest...AND a husband traveling for work.

We still talk a lot...every day...maybe even more than before. It's a conscious effort. We "co-muuuuuu-ni-cate" still. A lot. And with our now-grown children, too, although never enough. Thank God for the Verizon Family Share Plan.

But what I'd give to do the "I love you" hand squeeze every night before my croutons and V-8.