Tonight was Moms' Night Out, the last one until next year. We won't be getting together again until January, since the last Monday in December falls during the Christmas season and we will all be too busy putting batteries into things and too exhausted from all the late nights staying up eating sugar cookies and Chex Party Mix to come out to dinner. And maybe too full.
We had a big group: Mary Jo, Katie, Michelle, Cynthia, Stephanie, Debbie, Julie, Dawn and Gloria. And me. We had the same waitress we had last month, the one who called us all amiga and beamed from ear to ear when we told her the food was so good, which it was. I got the beef and cheese nachos and guacamole, more than even I could ever hope to eat in one sitting, for $7.99. Delicious!
We talked a lot, naturally. About home schooling and husbands and history books and buying really nice but gently used board games on e-Bay for so much cheaper than you can get them brand new. We talked about the Colts and cliques and candy -- how some kids would rather work for mini-Snickers than for money.
Three and a half hours flew by before we even realized, and we hurriedly began digging through our pocketbooks for our wallets, counting out our tips, shrugging into coats and heading off to the restroom for one last stop before the drive home.
It was a bittersweet night because this was Debbie's last night. Her husband got a job after being out of steady work for way over a year. His job is an answer to prayer and they are so happy and grateful, but it is hard to lose Debbie to a city ninety minutes away because she's funny and salty and truly devout and one of the easiest people in the world to love.
We filed out of the restaurant's front door, buttoning and zipping our coats, our breath frosty on the cold night air. "Well, I guess we probably won't be seeing each other much because of the holidays," Michelle said.
"Yes, this is a busy time of year," said Katie. "So much going on even beyond the regular stuff."
We all hugged goodbye then, wishing each other Merry Christmas and calling to one another to drive home safely. It was a good time. We laughed a lot. We teared up over Debbie. We enjoyed being truly ourselves for a few hours. A good time was had by all.
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