In Praise of Family Night

In our home, we try to have at least one night each week which we dedicate to a family night.  Depending on my hot date schedules (ahem….with my husband), family nights generally occur on Friday or Saturday night. This usually consists of some kind of fun meal (either out at a restaurant, or cooked together as a family), and a planned activity that all three of us will do actually at the same time. 

I know that’s an odd way to say it, but let me clarify. 

My husband and I have a pretty good system worked out for most evenings – so that we alternate who is the “on” parent.  This means that while we are all usually together at home most evenings, both of us have time to do a thing or two without the kidlet (hence, I’m blogging at the moment, and kidlet’s bath is being facilitated by the husband unit.)

So, on family night, we purpose to put our “other things” aside to all focus on SOMETHING together. 

Our family night exploits have included such simple thrills as homemade pizza and a game of LIFE (the board game) – which is amusing to play with a precocious five year old.  Last time we played two things happened; 1.) He cried when he didn’t land on the square which forces the player to pay $40,000 for an SUV.   When we asked why, he explained, “I have three kids now, and I need a van…this car is too small, and the kids keep falling out of my car.”  2.) He danced around the living room in glee when his “college tuition loan notes” were paid off, chanting in a sing-songy voice, “I’m debt free, I’m debt free!”  Stifling our giggles, husband and I exchanged knowing glances, and I silently prayed that only ONE of these would happen again in his lifetime. 

Rarely, we choose outrageous evenings, such as a 9pm trip to a fancy restaurant for appetizers and ice cream sundaes or the classic pajama run to McDonald’s for French fries and milkshakes (don’t judge).

Tonight, we did something so quintessentially American that I nearly broke out in a rousing chorus of “Yankee Doodle Dandee” on the way home.  I know, I’m dramatic.

We began the evening at a place called, “Jimmy’s Diner.”  Yeah  – it’s really called that.   At said diner, we ordered a tuna melt, a patty melt, and a shrimp louie – seriously, how cute are we? And then, the pièce de résistance……we went to the drive-in!  Yes, the movie kind!!  Now, let me just be clear – the drive-in theatre in our town doubles as a flea market on Saturday and Sunday, so there’s a little strategic driving maneuvering necessary if you want to avoid taking home a stall with you.  But, it’s a drive-in, nonetheless.  We all sat in the front seat of the truck, and shared blankets, popcorn and a kit-kat, while we watched Tangled, which was surprisingly entertaining. 

Yes, I’ll be hanging the star-spangled bunting on the eaves in the morning. 

Seriously, kidlet couldn’t have been happier, and I was reminded again that it’s the simple things done TOGETHER that make life special. 

Maybe we’ll have TWO family nights this week.  

As for you, you still have time to make a special family moment – the weekend is just beginning. 

Go out and play!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol Nauman
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 23:33:33

    I loved going to the drive-in as a kid. One of the
    very few things we did as a family. We live
    right down the street from the drive-in
    you went to. This is one of the few things,
    when our daughter was a kid, that we didn’t



  2. Tiffany
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 20:45:28

    i remember going to the drive in when i was younger. i been meaning to go back because my husband has NEVER been! i think my daughter would get a kick out of it too. 🙂 great family is the best!



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