In the early 1980's, we were new homeowners, both employed at decent jobs, involved in our church, with no children yet. Somehow we got into the habit of going to Arby's on Sunday nights after church. Honestly, I don't remember much about those dinners, except for one odd thing. There were on each table the standard generic plastic bottles, you know the type where the red squirt bottle was for ketchup and the yellow one for mustard? Well, at that particular Arby's, the ketchup in those bottles was very sour, as if it had fermented. So each week we asked for packets of ketchup, to which we were always told that there was ketchup on the table. Week after we week we had to explain that the ketchup in those bottles was sour---still not sure why no one else apparently noticed that. Anyway, that's not my point here, just a random memory.
We didn't continue that Sunday night Arby's habit once we started our family. In the ensuing years, we raised two kids----how do you adequately summarize what that exactly means? Preschool, elementary, middle, high, college, etc., ball games, doctor's visits, and more. There were jobs and job changes, vacations, home improvements, home sale, home purchase, new nieces and nephews and in-laws, parents moving----in short, life. Lots and lots of great memories.
And the next thing you know, 30 years have gone by. We've seen one child get married, earn his master's degree, and become a father. The second child is about to earn his bachelor's and start grad school. We are so very proud of them---they have defined our lives, our success, although I'm sure society would say that we have that all wrong.
Anyway, now we are grandparents, which is just the icing on the cake. Better than anyone ever made us believe. It is the best. Now our Sunday nights are reserved for little Miss T, whose smile just lights up our world. Hard to wish away a weekend, but we sure look forward to Sunday nights, and hope we get to enjoy this opportunity for a very long time.
Back to Arby's. On our way home almost every week, we stop for dinner. It varies as to where, but more often than not it seems to end up being Arby's. And in some odd way, I find it to be a very reflective time. A chance to think once again on the young, naive, couple with no responsibilities we were in 1982, to the parents and grandparents we are today.
We are truly blessed.
(and as an added bonus, they have Heinz bottles of ketchup on the tables at this Arby's, and it tastes just fine!)
Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. (NIV)