Ron and I really got ourselves into trouble last weekend with the boys, just because we decided to sneak out for a quick date.

It wasn’t the first time we have managed to make a trip to Baskin-Robbins without the boys tagging along, but it was the first time they have caught us at it.

When we got home, they were furious and didn’t hesitate to tell us why. "We didn’t know where you were," Tommy said. "And you didn’t even take your cell phones with you!"

"Yeah, we were worried about you," Jimmy said.

Ron and I managed to keep ourselves from smiling at the thought of our sons fretting over the whereabouts of their parents on a Saturday night.

It was such an obvious role-reversal, especially as our oldest son is on the brink of getting his driver’s license.

Like most escapades, the whole thing started out innocently enough.

The weather outside was definitely frightful, with frigid temperatures that allowed December’s snow to hang around the yard in dirty piles.

When I came home from an all-day class, I wanted to hibernate until Sunday morning but realized it was too early to put on my P.J.s.

So after dinner, Ron and I did what we often do on Saturday nights; he settled in to watch TV downstairs, and I went upstairs with a book. The boys had a friend over and were playing video games in the basement.

Glory was curled up on the couch, and Caramel the snake lounged around in the new cage she had gotten for Christmas. Tommy’s new Sea Monkeys had yet to hatch. All in all, it was a fairly peaceful evening in Zichville.

Then Ron came up with the idea of just the two of us going to Baskin-Robbins. Going out for ice cream when it’s 20 degrees outside doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I was willing to brave the cold if he was.

We made it out the door just as the boys headed to the kitchen for a snack. I peeked in the window to make sure they weren’t onto us yet.

Ron was already backing out of the driveway when we both realized we had forgotten to bring our cell phones. We agreed the boys should be okay while we enjoyed a 10-minute trip to the ice cream parlor.

And they were okay when we returned, just very ticked off at us for not telling them about our plan.

What shocked me was they were more worried about us than mad over the fact that we didn’t invite them to go with us. I felt a little bit like a teenager who has missed curfew … and it was my own kids making me feel that way!

Looking back on it, I still feel bad that Ron and I sat there eating ice cream while the boys speculated about what we were up to.

On the other hand, it was so much fun to slip out the front door like a couple of teenagers on a Saturday night.

There is no doubt in my mind that the boys will remind us again and again about the time we abandoned them and "ran away to Baskin-Robbins."

The only thing I can’t predict is the exact number of scoops of ice cream Ron and I will end up buying them as a result of that one small indulgence.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 18 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at or visit her Web site at

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