A couple of years ago, on an otherwise unmemorable first (and last) date, a woman who had been on a long string of dates with divorced dads told me that if she ever wrote a memoir it would be called: "Every Other Weekend, Dinners on Wednesday."
I distinctly remember knowing exactly what she was referring to as it came out of her mouth. I grew up seeing my own father every other weekend and for dinners on Wednesday.
And while my schedule with my kids / their mother is a bit unconventional (in a good way), I still take my kids to dinner nearly every Wednesday.
When I take a step back it's remarkable how I've unintentionally modeled my Wednesdays after the way my dad did it with me. The routine. The types of restaurants. The conversation. The tone.
I think a lot about what my dad must have felt as the years marched on and I became more interested in playing Nintendo or sitting on the phone with a crush than having dinner alone with him. It's a hard thing, sensing your kids moving away from you. It's also the most thrilling thing, watching them establish their own existence.
On my Wednesdays I often look around the restaurant ... there's an unspoken language of eye-contact between the other dads (Trust me - it's real. Next time you're at a local place on a Wednesday you'll see it). Do they feel sad? Happy, like I do? Scared of Wednesdays becoming more of a struggle as their kids find independence?
I'm biased, of course. But I think there's something so vulnerable about these Wednesday rituals. Something beautiful, too. Something only us dads know. The story of the single, divorced dad is not often told. And perhaps that story is best understood through the rituals and emotions of Wednesday dinners.
And that's all I've got for now on this topic. But I think there's more to come.