Single is My Jam - It's the Simple Life Voice from the Middle

Friday night dinners

DinnerMy daughter and I loved to watch the TV show, “Gilmore Girls.” If you’re not familiar it, single mom and daughter Lorelai and Rory had to go to their stodgy grandparents/parents weekly Friday night dinners in exchange for their payment of Rory’s school tuition.  Those visits were epic-ly tense, combative, and dreaded.

But it gave my daughter the idea to have Friday night dinners (FND) for our tribe. Of course it has to be at my place and she fully admits she likes it because it is one night a week where she doesn’t have to cook or decide on what to cook. I love my kids so I agreed.

The first FND was nearly two years ago and I can count the number of times we’ve cancelled on my fingers.

I’ve had times that I’ve complained about doing it because I’m not retired and Friday nights I can be quite worn out from my job. The kids show up at my place before I even get home from work, so there is no transition from a stressful week of work to full blown chaos. Yelling and running kids, interpersonal squabbles, and a great deal of mess.

It’s also a lot of work. My entire week revolves around planning what to have, getting the groceries, prepping the food on Thursday night (no matter how I feel), and cleaning up Saturday morning — every Saturday morning. It’s the work of a holiday meal — food for 10 to 12 — every week. And, there is a financial cost.

But with all the work involved, after the years of committing to this, I’ve grown to love the idea. It gives me something to look forward to every week. The grandkids have a drawer in the frigerator where they find their own drinks and can help themselves to whenever they want. (Love) My little two year old grandson knows where to get blankets, extra clothes, spoons, and toys since he was itty bitty. (Love)

We have deep conversations.


We play board games, hide and seek, find the magic egg, and do a little Kung Fu fighting.


It’s a little frightening. [hee hee]

Cuddling is encouraged;


but more often than not, given the number of boys we have, sword action.


Sometimes this happens:


But more often, this:


Of course we all eat great food. I love the way everyone comes as is, maybe dirty from their construction job, or proud of an achievement.


We grow habits together like waving to my daughter as she drives off to her night shift nursing.


What is better than that?

— Namaste


By Debra Happe

Debra Happe is a writer and marketing professional based in Des Moines, Iowa. Debra does business, magazine, and freelance copywriting work. Specialties include science-based, environmental, and technological. Connect on LinkedIn for professional inquiries.

4 replies on “Friday night dinners”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s