Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Although it isn't on the level of the Jews and the Palestinians, there was a truce brokered today.

And Jimmy Carter had nothing to do with it.

Today is The Champ's 7th birthday. I had the kids last night and before we started reading bedtime stories (Berenstain Bears AGAIN!) I asked him where he would like to go for his birthday dinner.

"The 99", he replied.

Good, some place with beer.

Earlier today while at work a thought came over me. Why don't I ask Mrs. Joe to come with us to dinner. I figured he would like both of us to be there and I know I could handle it so I figured why not.

Mrs. Joe picked them up after school today so I drove over there after I got out of work. As they were getting their shoes on I asked her if she would like to join us for The Champ's birthday dinner. It would be the first time we did anything as a family since she moved out in March.

At first she declined.

"It's not about you and I, it's about our son and you know he wants all of us there", I quietly snapped at her.

I mean seriously, the way I look at it, we are still his parents no matter what happens and both his parents should be there. We both should be able to put our differences aside for an hour or two and enjoy our son's 7th birthday, right?

She must have understood and decided to join us. As we entered the parking lot of the 99, The Champ let us in on a mistake he made.

"This isn't the restaurant I wanted to eat at. It must have been Applebee's".

So back across town we drove to Applebee's.

Good thing gas is under $3.75 a gallon here.

The four of us had a good dinner. The kids enjoyed hot dogs with ice cream sundaes for dessert. The crew came out and sang Happy Birthday. I enjoyed my first Sam Adams Octoberfest of the season.

Mrs. Joe & I got along well. We talked about The Champ's birthday party that we will be having this weekend as well as his progress in school. We left, I dropped her off at her apartment, came home and got the kids ready for bed. As I write this, she sent an e-mail thanking me for asking her to join us for dinner.

The evening was definitely a step in the right direction.

Only if I knew what direction that was.

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Blogger womaninawindow said...

Your honesty...there's such a vulnerability there. How great for your kids though, that they have such a smart and generous dad. HOpe the party goes well.

Tue Sep 16, 09:49:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Darren said...

Well done by both of you. And happy birthday to The Champ!

Tue Sep 16, 11:06:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Mom 2 Divas said...

Happy Birthday to the champ indeed.

Tue Sep 16, 11:09:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Dad Stuff said...

Happy Birthday, Champ. Good call on the restaurant. Applebee's is our mandatory birthday stop because of the singing staff. Our kids don't let us leave without a song.

Tue Sep 16, 11:20:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Dan said...

Yes, well done to both of you.

Wed Sep 17, 01:52:00 AM 2008  
Anonymous TwoBusy said...

A step towards civility -- and a big one, at that. I'm really glad to hear that she decided to act like an adult, and hope this is an indication of less stupidity (on her part) to come.

Happy birthday, Champ! No better way to start year 7 than with hot dogs and ice cream sundaes...

Wed Sep 17, 09:12:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Ben and Bennie said...

Good move, Joe. It is in the right direction.

Wed Sep 17, 02:08:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Charlotta-love said...

I think the 'right direction' can be a moment instead of a movement. You enjoyed dinner. That was a nice moment. :o)

Happy Birthday Champ!

Wed Sep 17, 03:48:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Mike said...

I am envious of you and your situation. When I first got divorced my ex and I could not be in the same room for several months. Putting the kids first was not easy. I glad that you and the Mrs. found a way to do it.

Happy birthday to The Champ...

Wed Sep 17, 04:27:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous uumomma said...

very well done indeed!

Wed Sep 17, 08:29:00 PM 2008  
Blogger HW said...

It's so good to see a parent doing it right. That dinner will indeed be a good memory for the champ.

Bravo on the Berenstain Bears too. I've recently gotten rid of several children's books but have kept those lined up on the shelves.
We loved The Spooky Old Tree.

Happy Birthday to the Champ.

Thu Sep 18, 09:37:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Childsplayx2 said...

Very impressive. The real winner is your kids.

Happy belated birthday to the Champ!

Sat Sep 20, 01:28:00 AM 2008  
Anonymous stepping over the junk said...

consider yourself lucky. 4 years later, my girls' dad and I have yet to sit down to a meal together. We just do parent's night at school. That's it. (and it's tomorrow). well done.

Tue Sep 23, 10:32:00 PM 2008  

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