It was five-ish and the sun was drowning. I looked at my evening options and wondered if I could make last minute plans.
"Mom?" I called. "Can you do dinner?"
"What are you making?" She asked.
"No. Nothing. I mean, meet up for dinner?"
"I'll call Dad."
Shortly I was bundling up The Chief in layers of cotton. My dad arrived like an efficient taxi. He took the loaded car seat from me and I moved with it into the back of the car.
On the way to the restaurant we talked about the Utah legislative session. He had an interesting lunch about health care. Well-researched and informative.
The Chief's eyes darted out the window.
We arrived down town just before it was busy. It was a like a rainy night without rain.
In the restaurant the host greeted my father.
"Ahh, the Clarks!"
We were led to a table which seated my mother and Lucy.
Lucy was rubbing her belly.
The Chief dozed as we ordered limonadas and salads.
Our conversation floated from state politics to city issues. I don't know if I am a product of my parent's political ambitions, but I find it all energizing. Sorta like good-and-proper gossip.
Somewhere around the last bites of our main course The Chief yelped. Just in time for desert.
Lucy and mom left in haste for Nosferatu. Dad and I alone ordered extra pieces of chocolate cake (to go) for late night fantasies. He made sure I got four pieces, so we'd all be rewarded.
When he dropped me back home Dad carried in the car seat--heavy with baby--offered me a wide open hug and called me a sweetheart.
You know, I don't consider myself a sweetheart at all. But when he says it, I believe it. It is nice while it lasts.
Later after the children returned from a nightly rendezvous with their real parents, I put them to bed with back rubs. The Chief hesitantly succumbed to the call of his crib and active humidifier.
I ate my chocolate cake alone. Thought it could've used a little more sodium. Next time I will try the Nutella tarts.
I listen to a missed phone call message from Chup.
"It is late here." He says in his business travel tired voice. " I've got to go to bed now. I miss you. Call me if you want."
I think about calling him. I think it is kind of romantic not to call. Just to send telepathic messages. Because that is how good we are.
Or, romantic to call. Because I can. I can wake him up and he'll always be glad I did.
I decide to wait for tomorrow.
I fall asleep watching the news.