Cora and I have had a standing Wednesday night date for nearly six years now. We aren't able to see each other every week -- the Legislature used to get in the way pretty regularly, and recently it was more likely to be her crazy 16-year-old life and schedule -- but more often than not, Wednesdays are our night.
These days, we have company on our date nights. When Baby Belinda joined the family in January, Cora's carefree schedule and life clamped down pretty considerably. She's home a lot more now, for obvious reasons, and less inclined for us to go off adventuring or to eat dinner in a restaurant somewhere on our Wednesdays. So the new routine is that I swing by her apartment, she leaves the baby with her mom, and we two drive somewhere, pick up dinner for all of us, and then return home to eat and visit and cuddle the baby and watch her nearly-two-year-old brother, Jerry's, antics.
All the way to get food and back in the car, Cora is just a chatterbox of stories and anecdotes and cute retellings of what the baby did since I saw her last. Downloading. Last night was no different -- I got a blow-by-blow recount of the weekend spent breaking the baby of her binkie addiction. It's always wonderful. By the time we get back, we've had a little time to ourselves, a glimpse of how it used to be for so many years. Just the two of us.
But when we walk in, juggling dinner, the apartment is positively awhirl with the new normal. Jerry the toddler is giddy at the prospect of food from the outside world -- and flirty for attention from the nice lady who brings it. Cora's mom is ready for adult conversation. And without fail, nearly the minute I cross the threshold, Baby Belinda is placed in my arms -- where she stays while the rest of the evening unwinds in a rush around us.