I love Friday Nights

Charles is playing his TV loudly downstairs, and I can hear almost every word up here. Douglas is on the bed next to me, reading out loud as he plows through yet another Waldo book, his current favorite. (His teacher this morning commented on what a tremendous reader he was, no matter what she put in front of him. I replied that I could no longer spell things out to hide conversations from him.) Michael just finished pounding on the piano, and Fynn is wandering around with yet another implement in his hand, this time a fistful of chopsticks from the jar behind the table. His favorite things are all like that, pens, markers, pencils, straws, spoons, chopsticks, toothbrushes, and forks. Consistent kid.

I always feel more relaxed on Friday, partly because we sometimes have Saturdays together to look fowards to, there's no school to scramble for the next morning, and I don't push myself as hard on the weekends to accomplish things. It's been a pretty full week ...
hallowe'en with its costumes to make,
parties to attend,
parades and breakfasts at school,
the second week of my new job as a radio co-host on blogtalkradio for new moms :),
more pushing to get the sanemoms site together, and race off the ground ... STILL waiting for word, promised for today but not received yet :( ...
a homeopath visit for Fynn's chest issues,
a cough myself,
an art gallery party with boys in tow,
moving furniture for the tenant below with Michael,
my newsletter written and published ... close to the first of the month for once!
I could go on.

A good week. I like variety, and there's been plenty this week. I like accomplishing too. That's probably why I made that list just now, reminding myself what's been checked off the list. The more things I check off, the more I feel like I deserve to rest and relax. I feel the need, usually, to earn that rest by doing things. While that gets lots of things done, it doesn't always work out well, and often leaves me exhausted.

I still love Friday Nights. When I was a kid, they were game nights at home. We'd make a fire in the basement fireplace once the fall hit, mom would make pizza, and we'd eat by the fire and play board games. It made the cold tiled room down there cozy, and smelling of pizza and burning logs, rather than the usual slight mustiness from the seeping damp. We played caroms, monopoly, risk, scrabble, sorry, pit, rook, and other things I can't remember.

It was always family night on Fridays, even though it wasn't always game night. As we got older, we started a once-a-month or so dinner out where we'd find the most authentic ethnic restaurant we could find in the city (Chicago) and go out for an unusual dinner. I have very strong memories of Mama Desta's Red Sea restaurant ... Ethiopian food eaten on little sour pancakes. I think this was the place where the menu had many entries that included Row Meat, which we finally deciphered to be raw meat. My grandmother was along, and happened to order the only fully-cooked dish of the lot of us. We all pilfered from her plate, ate some of our own, and chalked it up to experience. (If it wasn't Mama Desta's, it was a Korean place whose name escapes me.) The trips were one of the few times we were all doing something together just for fun. Most of our time together was work or meeting related, or travel to see people we already knew. The novelty of ethnic-dinners-out was that it was new to all of us, and no one was expecting us. I love that feeling.