I never really thought of “dating the boys” but lately I have been thinking more about it.

With all four boys and all their crazy schedules, not to mention my crazy schedules, it’s hard to find time to spend one on one with them.  This really struck me when we were in Iowa for Odyssey of the Mind and S3 hung out with Jake and I for the week while S4 competed.  It was a very special time with S3 and I have been on the look out for ways to spend time with my boys since.

Take today for instance.

I had NO IDEA what to make for dinner.  None.  I am sure this happens to no one else.  In fact, I called Jake and said, “Just tell me what sounds good for dinner so I have an idea what to make.”

I was really hoping he would say “Cereal sounds GREAT.”

But he said spaghetti and I needed sauce then so I headed to the store and only S2 wanted to tag along.

On the way there, he mentioned in passing that coffee sounded good.

The whole day had been rain and storms and darkness.  I had spent the entire morning scrubbing the tub and bathrooms.  What I had really wanted to do was pick blueberries with the boys.  And as soon as he said “coffee” I thought, “That does sound good.”

But then, doesn’t coffee always sound good to me?

“What kind of coffee do you like?” I asked him.

“I’m not sure what kind of coffee I like,” he shrugged.

And so that became our mission.


We drove to a little bakery near(ish) the grocery store.  Stickmann Bakery is out of the way and totally worth it.

I watched my son that is now way taller than me hop a bit from foot to foot in a little nervous dance as the great barista and I explained coffee and figured out what he may like.  I told him he could pick any baked good item as a snack and with all the options before him he chose a plain chocolate donut.

One new choice to try was apparently enough for him that day.

I chose an iced cinnamon chai with a shot of espresso and let him try it.  “It’s pretty good,” he shrugged.

Teens shrug a lot.

But when he took a sip of his mocha coffee, his eyes lit up and a grin spread across his tired face.  “This is really really good.”

And we were able to share that coffee finding moment together.

I’d love to say we had an deep conversation on the way home of all the secret things of his heart as we drove home.  Nope.  We cranked the radio on favorite songs we scanned to find and he told me a little about the football scrimmage he had had last night (and scored a touchdown).

When we arrived home, coffee gulped down as we pulled in the driveway, he hugged me in a side ways hug. “Thanks, Mama.”

Dating the boys.  This has to become a more purposeful action on my part.

What do you do to spend special one on one time with your kids?

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One Response to Dating the Boys

  1. Ann Marie says:

    Ii used to do that with my kids…it was hard when there were four of them and one of me! Even a dinner date once in awhile was nice.

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