Thursday, June 6, 2013

Family date...

I think I'm only like a week behind on our life now :) Last Thursday night we enjoyed a little "family date-night" out to my favorite restaurant here in Beaufort. It is not exactly what you would call a "kid friendly" place. More on that in a sec... But we just didn't worry about that. Scarlett is well behaved (unless she is lacking sleep or has been out of her routine) and we think she is darling so she had to be in on the fun. We did a little mini photo-shoot (thanks to the auto-timer on my camera) before we left.
I want to remember these days forever.

The outfit I am wearing is what Mitch and Scarlett gave me for Mother's Day. 
They picked it out all by themselves which I love! 

Yahoo for date night! Kitty cat and a little suitcase of toys came along. 

My girls. 

Scarlett, you will always be so special to mommy. 

We had a funny little start to our dining experience. We walked into the restaurant (we went a little early like 6:00) and the bar was filling up and the place was already hopping. I may have been super sensitive before even arriving, but when we walked in the hostess gave us a little bit of a look. She was busy and said she would be right with us. When she came back she just looked at me and said, "Can I help you?" For a split second I wanted to say something really sassy like, "Um, yes I am going into labor can you go boil some water?" (okay, that's not even witty... clearly I don't do off-the-cuff very well nor sarcasm!) I just said, "Yes, we would like to dine this evening" To which she said nothing and just looked down at her diagram of tables. Then she said she could only seat us at a table for two. It was in that moment that the article by Rachel Jankovic that I posted on Mother's Day came to mind. (I am in the middle of reading her fabulous book Loving the Little Years so I think it was just fresh in my mind).  It was as if to her Scarlett did not count in the seating arrangement. I thought it was quite heartless of her. But then again, that is the culture we live in now people! We said that would be fine and she showed us to a crammed table that was clearly not going to work. Of course, I need to add that none of this ruffled Mitch's feathers. He just kindly marched himself back to the hostess station and said that was not going to work for us. She then seated us at a corner table in the back by the kitchen. Perfect for us. This little situation made me realize how much I want Scarlett to know she matters to Mitch and I. Later on that night when I had time to fully think it through, this is kind of that I saw personified in a situation such as a hostess who does not even take a child into consideration.... In our culture as it is today, parents no longer tenderly instruct their children. I want to be certain that I do not sound as though I am speaking about this with arrogance. Like, my child is well behaved because I pour into her and there are just a bunch of lazy bum parents that don't do anything right. That is a slippery slope I do not wish to be on. I am talking about parents that view their children as simply an 18-year obligation. They "keep them alive", so to speak, give them a Walt-Disney childhood experience, feed them whatever they'll eat and hope they're in bed by 8:00 each night so they can catch their favorite sitcoms because they're so exhausted and they deserve a little "me time." So, on happenstance when children are taken out-to-eat they act simply in the way they have so passively been instructed. They are expected to sit still and be quiet and eat what's on the menu without ever having been talked to about etiquette while in public (let alone etiquette at the family dinner table because they eat fast food 5 out of 7 nights a week). You know what I'm talking about... the entire restaurant is just annoyed by the fact that children are even there. However, the blood is on the parents' hands for not instructing their children. Again, I don't write this to be critical. I simply want to be fully aware of the culture that Mitch and I walk beside Scarlett in. To anticipate situations that will arise. Maybe people de-value children because they themselves were never valued as a child. Maybe parents don't instruct their children because they themselves were never lovingly instructed. The scenarios go on and on. I don't have the social-psychology background to fully understand what we will see come to fruition in this coming generation. What I do know is that I want to sow generously into Scarlett with my time and attention in such a way that she can be placed in situations like eating at a restaurant and being expected to act appropriately. Or, sharing with a child that will not share with her. Or, understanding the "big picture" of situations that might make her feel uncomfortable. Whatever it may be. When we got back in the car to go home after dinner I just felt something welling up inside of me. I turned around and looked at Scarlett as she sat in her little car-seat and said, "You know what Scarlett Jean? We can take you anywhere. You are so special to us." She grinned.
 I don't find it a coincidence that my Bible reading was in 2 Corinthians 9 the morning following our little night out. Verse 6 though 11 really stuck out to me. Although this chapter is speaking of monetary generosity, I believe it can also be applied to giving generously of yourself to your children.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor their righteousness 
endures forever."
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 

2 Corinthians 9: 6-11

I found this so fitting to what was on my heart from dinner the night before. While the hours are long and hard as parents, I believe sowing into our children can reep a generous harvest for years  and years to come.
So, there is my cultural case-study taken from a few brief moments of interaction with a restaurant hostess. Take it or leave it :)

The beverage that will never get old -- sweet tea. One of my favorite things about this restaurant is their tea. It's like none I've ever had before (okay, maybe my mama's tea!). Scarlett loved eating the strawberries and oranges that were floating on top and thought it was hilarious that there was a big leaf in mommy's drink. 

The artists at work while we were awaiting dinner. 


Walking the charming streets of Beaufort. It really is such a cute, coastal town. 

Here is the view of the bay downtown. There are always little sail boats anchored in.

We topped the night off with swinging and a piece of chocolate cake to-go :) 


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