When I was young, I liked few things better than going out on a Saturday night with my husband. It didn’t matter if it was a quiet dinner for just the two of us or we were joining our friends at a party. As long as I was out and about on a Saturday night, I was a happy camper. The only exceptions were if we invited friends or family over to our house, or if something we couldn’t control (like the flu or icy roads) prevented us from leaving home. As far as I was concerned, Saturday nights were for celebrating and being with the people I loved best.
Then we had a couple of children and learned that the joys of going out on a Saturday night weren’t always worth the hassle. We didn’t have much family nearby and reliable babysitters were both expensive and hard to find. Going out on Saturday night became a rare treat, usually enjoyed only once a month or so. Not that we minded…we found other ways to enjoy Saturday nights that included the children. But I’d be lying if I said we didn’t look forward to the nights we managed to slip away for a quiet dinner at a nice restaurant or to catch a good movie.
All too soon, our children grew up and we were once again able to “go out” on a Saturday night without any advance planning involved. And we did, probably more often that our budget actually allowed. I guess all those years of having to plan a night out made us feel that we were doing something special when we headed out on a Saturday night, even if we had reached the age when our “big night out” almost always ended before ten.
These days, however, we have a whole new idea of a fun way to spend Saturday night. These days our ideal Saturday night would be spent in the company of a very little person who just happens to be our grandson. When we tell our daughter and son-in-law that we would be happy to babysit so they can enjoy a date night, we are only telling a partial truth. We are happy to babysit for the little guy, period. That fact that his parents are getting in some couple time is just icing on the cake.
Last Saturday night, we put on our jeans and sweatshirts and headed over to our daughter’s house. While she and her husband attended a fund-raising event with his family, we took turns changing diapers, feeding bottles, and walking the floor with a baby snuggled on our shoulders. Whoever didn’t have the baby took their turn petting the family dog, who seems unfazed by the tiny addition to her family.
I suppose my idea of the ideal Saturday night out hasn’t really changed all that much. Our evening may not have been romantic or particularly exciting, but that didn’t matter at all. I still spent Saturday night with the people I love the most, and that is celebration enough for me.