Friday night, the highlight of the week for my brother and I. We would rake through our memories of the past seven days, had we had anything, I was sure I hadn’t, and he of course said he didn’t, but then he would say that anyway.
From the time we got home from school, we kept a close eye on Mum’s comings and goings, was she getting dinner ready, or clearing the table in readiness. It didn’t matter how often we asked what was for dinner, she always just said, well you know the rules, did you stick to them? You’ll just have to wait and see what happens when Daddy comes home.
Watching from the kitchen window, as he turned in the drive way and got out of the car was always a breath-holding moment that seemed to take forever.
It wasn’t until we saw the bottles of lemonade and the food parcel, we knew then for sure we had not broken the rule of no lollies or soft drinks all week, that the excitement broke through and we would go running in to tell Mum, only to find her already spreading the blanket on the floor in the lounge room.
You two keep this up and you’ll break the bank, junk food Friday is on again, go wash your hands dinner is served, and whoever’s turn it is, you may switch on the TV.
Our reward was a picnic on the lounge room floor in front of the TV, eating fish and chips out of the paper, with lemonade to drink and a special bag of mixed lollies for each of us, even Mum and Dad.
I can’t remember how many years this ritual continued, but when the two of us get together now, many years later, it’s surprising how often we reminisce of those wonderful Friday nights.