This year, we've instituted a weekly "Girls Night". Just about every Friday evening, my two local daughters have come over to the home to play cards, or we've gone out to restaurants (rarely, because they know that's not my usual style), or we've gone to plays or such on campus.
The boys at first pretended to be jealous of this, so I offered them a "Boys Night" every Tuesday with me (the night their dad works late at his office 81 miles away), and that satisfied them -- although in practice, they've usually totally ignored me so they could go play with their own friends or their own cell-phone games. (Alone time for me!! YeSS!!!) But I kept Tuesday nights listed as "Boys Night" in my calendar, and so one week in February when J-son actually suggested an activity we ought to do together, I had the time already set aside and ready to share.
He said, "We ought to make Jolly Rancher Cookies!". I think he totally expected me to say "no", because, well, c'mon: Sugar. Commercially bought candy. And it's candy wrapped in Trash, at that. Definitely not a standard Miser Mom activity.
But people are more important than things, and since this was the first real date night that either of the boys had asked for, I floored J-son by saying "yes".
Hence, we did cooking that began with pulling trash off of commercially-bought sugar candy, followed by exuberant use of a mallet. Shouldn't all cooking begin with whacking the heck out of something?
And when it was all done, they said, "We should do this again!".
But I guess it's enough to know they can have me if they want me; that's all that really mattered. Since then, video games and friends seem to have a stronger pull once again. So I get my Alone Time back, mixed together with some really sweet memories.