I didn't take a single picture before, during, or after it; but David and I had a fantastic mother-son date yesterday evening. :) Because David was one of the winners of a drawing our local library held at the end of the summer, he received a free pass to Massanutten WaterPark (I still remember how excited we were when he got the phone call that he was a winner!) and...well...he couldn't exactly go alone, now could he? So Jeff kindly let me be the one to go with him, and IT WAS A BLAST.
David is a great person to have fun with anyway, but add in an exciting place like the waterpark, and it was extraordinarily fun. It was not very crowded, and there were no long lines for anything, so we got to do everything we wanted to do there, and do it lots of times, too. We sort of alternated between less-energy activities like lazy river and higher-energy things like the big tube slides. David wasn't the one who was running out of energy, I can tell you that! ;-) But after numerous trips up the 79 steps to get to the top of the slides, I was ready for a slower pace! :) When we shared a two-person tube, we started out by carrying them up the stairs together; but after a few trips like that, David asked sweetly, "Would you like me to carry it by myself?" Since he didn't mind, I didn't mind. ;-) We would set off up the steps, I would do OK for the first 40 then slow considerably for the second half; meanwhile, David would race up the stairs, holding the tube above his head, then be standing at the top, a huge grin on his face, waiting for me. I couldn't keep up! :) His enthusiasm added to the joy. :)
Even better though, it was a treasure to have that one-on-one time with him--to be able to laugh together, try to get each other as wet as we could on the lazy river, stand under the big bucket and get water POURED on us together, tell each other all the random little thoughts that popped into our heads without other voices interrupting to clamor for attention. On the way to the waterpark, we went through Chick-fil-A's drive-through and got chicken sandwiches, using a gift card; and on the way home, we went through McDonald's drive-through and got cheeseburgers, using a gift card. :) Overall, the date didn't cost much; but it was truly a priceless time of making memories together.
My appreciation of our date was heightened because just two days prior, Jeff's niece Hannah, who had been suffering for quite some time from the lingering effects of a TBI (traumatic brain injury) tragically passed away, leaving her family in deep grief and shock. As Jeff's oldest brother Mike dealt with the pain of losing his second child, I was experiencing moments of special joy with my second child; and the loss reminded me to appreciate it even more than I normally would have.
In years gone by, I had done some of these mother-son dates with my boys, but it had been quite a while since that had happened. Jeff is so faithful about taking the kids out individually for their Wednesday breakfast dates, but I haven't been successful in finding a pattern for that kind of outing and sticking to it. My time with David last evening inspired me to make a greater effort to, at least once a year, go on some kind of special mommy/child date with each of my children.
Because there is no replacement for moments like David and I had together last night! :)