Recently there's been a little bit of tension in our household between my wife and I.
Nothing drastic or revolutionary, and if it weren't primarily my own fault (by previous admission) I certainly wouldn't bring it up to the world. So don't worry.
The tension arose last week or so when the question of dinner came up in our house. (as it seems to do on a daily basis - no surprises here)
I, being somewhat a gluttonous youth at my very center, immediately knee-jerked a response of, "let's go out to eat!"
What I've failed to adequately track, was the previous frequency of said knee-jerk (at this point the emphasis beginning to fall on 'jerk') - I guess I make that suggestion a lot.
After helping to peacefully decide a home-cooked alternative, I set about the next few days at trying to decipher the cause and history behind my suggestion.
I believe that I have a confirmed case of "rosy-colored hindsight" when it comes to taking our family of four to eating establishments.
(other names for this condition include: "over-eager optimism", "full stomach/empty memory", or "post-traumatic dinner amnesia")
For some reason I always imagine and recall the most placid moments of a meal out with our one year old and four year old as I drive past the shining billboards or see the happy restaurant commercials. I see the moments after we've begun to eat (and they are but mere moments) and everyone is happily enjoying a meal prepared by someone else that either I or a blessing of a gift card was able to supply my famished brood. We aren't cutting food into tiny bites, we aren't chasing crayons across the floor or requesting our own truck-full of napkins to keep the spills at bay. Instead, our cherubs eat and converse and thank us for the privilege of enjoying such a relaxing evening as a family unit.
And so tonight, as I sat with one hand restraining a toddler from walking away on the bench and the other alternating between defending sleeves from ranch dressing and making feeble attempts to consume a modicum of food myself, I looked across the table and inquired of my bride, "And why do I suggest we go out to eat so often?"
Her reply was an imperceptible shrug, as she picked up her food and peacefully enjoyed at least that one bite.