Thursday night is our date night.  It is the night all of the kids are with their “other” parents for a little while, so it’s a great time for Hub and I to have some “couple” time.  This week Hub suggested we stay in on Thursday “since we have been going to dinner a lot and should probably cut down on that.”  I was fine with staying home and just cuddling in front of the t.v. or fixing a meal together and eating it on the patio.  I even suggested to Hub that we take a walk along one of the local trails.  He seemed to like that idea.

Then I got a phone call on my lunch break from Hub.  “What are you doing tonight?”

“Um, spending it with you.”

“You don’t have anything planned?”

“Nope.  Just our date night.”

“Okay.  I have a surprise for you.  We’re going to go somewhere.  Be ready by 6:45.”

Cool.  My husband had a surprise for me.  With the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend, I figured he’d come up with something that he or the kids could give me for Mother’s Day and he wanted to make sure I liked it before he bought it.  At home later in the day I asked Hub if I was supposed to dress up for wherever we were going.  He stopped what he was doing and got a thoughtful look on his face.  “I suppose we could dress up.  But, no not this time.  We’ll keep it casual.”

“Okay.  Can I eat now or do I have to wait?  I’m starving.”

“No, you can go ahead and eat here.”

Hmmmm, I could eat at home, which meant we weren’t going to dinner anywhere.  Maybe I was right about it being a preview of a Mother’s Day gift.

At 6:45 on the dot we said good-bye to my kids who were still waiting for their dad to pick them up and we drove away.  As we drove Hub asked me if I had any ideas on where we might be going.  Looking around I asked, “Is it to Engh Gardens?  They were having a flower show a couple of weekends back that I wanted to go to.”

Hub grinned and said,”Yup, that’s where we’re going.”

But, at the intersection, instead of continuing north towards Engh Gardens, Hub turned west.  Hub was smiling from ear to ear.  I found myself thinking, West?  What’s down this street?  The theaters are down this street.  Ah ha!  “We’re going to Star Trek!”  I blurted out. 

Hub laughed out loud and I knew I was right. 

I am married to the biggest sci-fi nerd on the planet.  I have endured many sci-fi movies being married to this man.  He even made me go with him to see  The Clone Wars (that animated Star Wars turkey of a film), in the theater, instead of waiting until we could just rent it.  When we sat down in our seats to watch The Clone Wars I said, “You owe me a chick flick for this.”  Hub readily accepted the debt.

Halfway through that movie Hub leaned over and whispered, “I owe you two chick flicks for this.”  Three quarters of the way through the movie he leaned over and I heard, “Okay, three chick flicks.”  And, believe me, I made him pay up!

Thursday was opening night in select theaters for the new Star Trek movie.  Hub just couldn’t resist seeing it on opening night.  The man was downright giddy.  Sometimes Hub will use Netflix to watch the old Star Trek t.v. series.  Whenever he does that, the rest of the family slowly sneaks out of the room until he is all alone watching his show.  Sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start, I couldn’t help but laugh about the sneaky way Hub had gotten me to the show.  I reached over and grabbed his hand.  The important thing is that we were on a date together.

And now I’ll just say that I was pleasantly surprised about the movie.  I was entertained throughout.  I was a little lost when all of the Trekkies in the theater would laugh at certain things that were said, obviously things that were a part of the original series, but not knowing the history didn’t keep me from enjoying the movie.  I won’t hesitate to recommend the movie to others.  It was pretty darn good!

As we left the theater we saw some people dressed up like Spock.  Hub said, “Now can you see what I meant when I said we could dress up, but wouldn’t this time?”  I just shook my head and laughed.  I’m glad he didn’t make me “dress up.”

Date night.  It was his activity of choice.  We held hands.  We were entertained.  It was perfect.

And so, as the world’s favorite Vulcan would say, “Live long and prosper!”

When my daughter, Huh, was in the 7th grade I remember her occasionally coming home from school and talking about a David that she’d met.  It was exciting for her to be meeting kids who didn’t go to the same elementary school that she had.  She, of course, met lots of  kids and settled into Jr. High life quite comfortably.

I kept hearing about the David who could sing.  Whenever there was a school talent show David was the favorite act.  Huh would come home from school and tell me what a great singer she thought he was and how the whole school cheered whenever he walked onto the stage.  I tried to keep all of her friends straight in my mind, but it was difficult because, at that time, she wasn’t the type to bring her friends home with her.  I just had to hear about them when I asked about her day after she got home from school.  

There were a few Davids and I kept getting them mixed up.  She would have to correct me, “No, Mom, David Z. is the one who we played basketball with after school, David M. is the one who always asks me to do the “Running Man” and David Archuleta is the one who can sing.”


Silly me for never being able to keep them all straight.  When American Idol became a big hit Huh and a few other girls told David Archuleta that he should go on the show.  He always said no.  He was so shy.  At 9th grade graduation Huh pointed out her friends to me so that I could finally put a face to the names.  “That’s Austin.  That’s Whitney.  That’s David–the David who can sing.”

Huh didn’t realize at 9th grade graduation that that would be the last time she would be with her group of friends in a school setting.  I had remarried during the summer break before Huh’s 9th grade year and we had moved.  Both Huh and Mack had chosen to stay with their old school, but after one year of a twenty-five minute commute they both decided at the last minute to switch to the schools closer to us.  

Huh kept in touch with most of her friends from her former school, though that contact became less and less as she got involved at her new school and made new friends.  One day she came to me and said, “Mom, remember David Archuleta?  The David who can sing?  He’s on American Idol!”  We had watched the show a few times, but it wasn’t something we tried to watch regularly–until David Archuleta was on it.  Suddenly it became our new interest.  It makes it more interesting when you know one of the contestants.

Huh watched it in the beginning with us.  She even sent David a text that said, “I thought you said you would never go on that show.”

The answer back:  “Well…ya know…”

As time went on Huh became more and more disturbed by all of the attention David was receiving.  She even stopped watching the show with the rest of us, but would still ask us the results after each evening.  She kept worrying that David would change, that all of the attention would go to his head.  She remembered the shy kid who was nice.  She didn’t want him to become some stuck-up teen star. 

 We followed the show to the end and got caught up in the voting frenzy.  Everyone in our family called in votes.  I even phoned in one vote just so I could say that I had voted.  Then it was over.  David took second.  Our lives got back to normal, but David’s life was forever changed.  He was a star now with a huge contract and a very busy life.  He no longer attended the high school.  There was no more contact with David.

Fast forward to last Saturday night.  Huh was asked to her former High School’s Senior Ball by one of the kids she knew there.  Dances here are big deals.  The kids do a “day” activity as part of their date before getting ready for dinner and the dance in the evening.   The “day” activity for Huh’s group consisted of meeting at a church (to use the gym inside) for various games.  It turns out that David Archuleta was in town and had asked a date to Senior Ball and was a part of the group.

David arrived a little later than everyone else and was greeting those in the group that he knew.  Huh stood quietly waiting for him to notice her so that she could greet him too.  She wasn’t sure he would recognize her because she has changed her hair style since switching schools.  He glanced at her and then continued greeting others without saying anything to her.  She waited until he was finished then punched him in the arm and said, “Fine, don’t talk to me, jerk!”

David looked at her, then his eyes got big and he said, “Oh. My. Gosh.  Huh!  C’mere!”  And he pulled her into a big hug.

After the hug Huh decided to be accusatory, “Thanks for disappearing on me!”

“Me disappearing?  You’re the one who disappeared!  All of a sudden you moved and everybody was sad.”

The group had a good time playing the games together–basketball, dodge ball, Apples to Apples, and musical chairs.  David was, of course, in charge of the music for musical chairs.  And when they played dodge ball, if David got someone out he would sing, “I got you out,” instead of just saying it.  David was unable to attend the dinner with the group but he joined them again at the dance.  Because of his contract he couldn’t be in the group picture with them.  Huh is unsure if he was even able to have a picture taken with his date.

When Huh was recounting her date to me later I asked her if David had changed.

“Well, he’s trendier now.  He dresses trendier.”

“But, I mean, how is his personality?  Has he changed in that area?”

“No.  He’s still nice.”  She reported that he is still pretty shy too.  When the DJ at the dance played his song “Crush” everyone turned to look at David but couldn’t find him because he’d disappeared.  He was uncomfortable having people stare at him.

Huh is pretty certain there will continue to be no contact from David, he is living his dream right now.  But she is content that, at least for now, he hasn’t changed.  He hasn’t let all of the attention go to his head.  He is still just David.

So much for well-made plans.  I had thought that I would be able to get the carpets scrubbed in at least two of the kids’ bedrooms on Saturday since it was our “alone” weekend and all of the kids would be with their other parents.  No such luck.  It turns out that our house is the house of choice for some of our kids.  They show up here a lot, even on the “alone” weekends.  Here is what I was able to accomplish instead of scrubbing carpets:

Accomplishment #1 – I got to interact with Huh and some of her friends on Saturday morning when they showed up at our house looking for “something to do.”  That night was the Cosmos dance at their school (a girl’s choice dance) and so  for their “day” activity they had gone to one of the girls’ houses to tie-dye their shirts for the dance.  The type of tie-dying they chose to do only took twenty minutes, so they came to our house to see if we had any ideas on what they could do for the rest of the morning.  One of the girls was dateless and I asked where her date was.

“Hunting,” was her reply.  “He’s pheasant hunting.”

“Oh.  Well why don’t you all go see if you can find him?”

After they all laughed and made comments about how funny it would be to go hunt Mason while he was out hunting, they shot my idea down and asked for another idea.  So much for getting rid of them (wink, wink).  Hub asked if they were hungry, and of course all of the teen boys raised their hands and chorused, “Yes!  Food!”  Hub began making German pancakes and I suggested that while the pancakes were baking they all go shopping for the banana split stuff they would need when they came to our house for the after-dance activity.  I handed Huh my credit card and seven teenagers rushed out the door.

When they finally returned 45 minutes later, they were loaded down with grocery bags.  They got a kick out of me examining the store receipt and pointing out in mock consternation that there were twenty one items on the receipt.  “How can you possibly need twenty one items for banana splits?”

They spent double the amount I had intended to spend on the banana splits, and Huh told me she would do extra chores around the house to make up the difference.  The teens enjoyed the German pancakes and we got to laugh and joke around with them until noon, when it was time for the girls to take the boys home to relax until they picked them up for dinner and the dance later that night.

I actually accomplished two things with that activity.  Not only did I get to interact with Huh and some of her friends (which is always a good thing for a parent to do) I also learned a valuable lesson.  Never send a bunch of hungry teenagers to the grocery store with your American Express card!

Accomplishment #2– Mack ended up sleeping at our house on Friday night (looong story as to why).  On Saturday she finished drawing her entry and writing the essay for a dress design contest she wanted to enter.  It was too late to mail the entry and so she needed to hand deliver it to one of the locations here in the valley.  She tried several times to reach her father on the phone to see if he could take her to deliver the entry.  It is his weekend to have her and I always insist the kids try him first on his weekends.  She was never able to get a hold of him, so after Huh and her friends had left, I told Mack to get in the car and we would deliver her entry and then she could go with me to run some errands.

The carpets still waited.  But, I got to spend time with my daughter, chatting in the car as we ran our errands.  And, I got to overhear two employees at the store where we delivered Mack’s contest entry whisper to each other about how much they liked her entry.  One of them then said loudly across the store so that Mack, who was examining some dresses on a rack, could hear, “Hey, I like your dress design.”

Mack got a big grin on her face and said, “Thanks!”  I nodded and smiled at her and was happy I was able to help her deliver her entry.

Accomplishment # 3– This accomplishment actually started about a week and a half before.  Huh and her friends were planning their activities for the dance and had decided to have Hub make some of his fabulous Japanese food, which would be cheaper for them than taking their dates to a restaurant.  I was talking to Huh about her plans and mentioned that all of the activities revolved around our house.  I said that maybe her dad would like to be a part of some of it too, especially since the dance fell on his weekend to have the kids.  Huh nodded and said, “I have actually been thinking about that.  I wonder if Dad would make some of his homemade Italian food?”

“Why don’t you call him and ask him?”

“Yeah, I think I will.”

My ex was more than happy to do it.  So why is this such a big accomplishment on my part?  There was a time when I was so angry about the divorce that I would have never wanted Huh and her friends to share these happy dating times with him.  I would have stated that he didn’t deserve to experience this part of his daughter’s life.  I’ve made a conscious effort to let go of the anger and move on.  I guess enough healing has occurred.  I pat myself on the back for suggesting to my daughter that she share part of the evening with her father.

Hub’s accomplishment– Hub and I have paid for a booth at an upcoming boutique at Wheeler Farm on November 22 to show products from his new business and to show the new weight loss product that I sell.  We planned on using part of Saturday to get things ready for the boutique.  Instead, Squid and Shroom called Hub and asked him if he wanted to go biking with them.  They had picked a trail near where Hub grew up and wanted him to show them around.  How could Hub say no to that?  He went.

Hub came home later that night with a torn sweatshirt and a bruised hand from a fall that happened when he took a turn too fast.  He got to listen to my lecture about wearing a bike helmet and being more careful.  But, he also had tales of watching his boys take jumps and showing them around the area he knew as a kid.

Carpets scrubbed this weekend = 0; Tasks completed for the boutique = 0; Time spent with kids = PRICELESS!