I remember when I was at BYU, seeing little families having lunch or dinner together on campus. I assumed that usually it was mom and kiddos coming to see daddy mid-day. It was sweet.
Now I realize that it was probably the only chance to see daddy for families of grad students and young professors.
We did our first on-campus daddy visit last night. It is vastly more complicated when mommy also works on campus, of course. But worth it, I think.
I picked up the kids at 5 (Z) and 5:15 (S and A) and motored home to make some dinner. About 6:15, G called to see if we wanted to come up to campus and eat with him. Fortunately I was making a very lovely salad that turned out to pack well. So I put it all together, cut up some watermelon, packed crackers for the boys and formula for Z, and off we went. (Well, after I gave $6 to a guy who knocked on my door looking for money so he and his little daughter could stay in a motel. That was very weird and something that would never normally happen in my neighborhood. I really think the guy was honest, though. So sad.)
I felt a little trudgey as we drove onto campus -- after all, it is just going back to work for me. But the kids were excited, of course. And when we got out of the car the breeze was so lovely and the light so gorgeous, it seemed like a different place.
We sat on the very lush grass of the quad and ate. The boys rode a skateboard and ran an obstacle course around all the baby Chinese pistache trees and their supporting stakes. Z discovered she does not at all enjoy the feeling of grass between her toes. Ah, well, she'll learn.
We told the boys about when we were newlyweds at BYU and all the cheap and free things we used to do on or near campus -- International Cinema, riding our bikes around at night very fast and dangerously, Rock Canyon hikes, weekly (!) temple dates. I am amazed that we went every week. How lucky we were.
We talked about S's baptism coming up in August. We called Grandma and Grandpa in Utah and invited them. I think they might come -- how cool! We decided on brownies and lemon bars for refreshments. S is hoping he can be baptized in the river up at Briceburg. I hope it will be okayed, and I hope the river has enough water for it in this very dry year. I think it would rock!
It ended up being a pretty cool family-not-at-home-evening.
Here's the salad recipe.
Lemon-Basil Couscous Salad
2 c cooked whole wheat couscous
1 head cauliflower, cut up and steamed until tender (I used the pretty green kind)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 c cooked garbanzo beans (just open a can!)
1/4 c pine nuts
1/3 c good olive oil (seems like a lot but it makes a lot of servings so it's not so bad)
juice and zest from 1 large lemon
1 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
Just mix it all together. Easy cheesy, pretty, colorful, and makes a great picnic! I'm guessing this could serve 6 for a main course with some fruit on the side.