Hookey Dates

Today begins the 2011-2012 Hookey Dates. Today it's just Matthew (10) and me. I began these with my children several years ago during a time when I was working a LOT (full time job as a therapist, weekly 8-10 hour commute, and starting a private practice and speaking business on the side) and my kids and I were missing each other.

What is a Hookey Date?
Well, hookey, of course, is the old term for ditching school. So Hookey Dates are where from 8 am to 3 pm I and one of my children completely blow off work and school. Each child gets to do this with dad one time each school year.

Benefits of Hookey Dates

  • They think it's a blast (its permission-based ditching!)
  • No one else they know does this with their dads so they feel special
  • "It's fun because you get to spend time with your dad," Matthew just said.
  • They look forward to it for weeks
  • We both get to spend a lot of completely uninterrupted one on one time with each other which we both love
  • They get to pick whatever they want to do with me during that time (within budgetary limits that is). They get to be completely in charge. It's their day.

It's more than the one day, though, experience-wise. We talk about it and plan for it weeks in advance and towards the day itself. Also, as each child plans their date the other kids are reminded of their own past or upcoming ones.

A typical Hookey Date:

  • Breakfast at One Man Band (50's retro diner where they get to pick songs from the jukebox, "Which is really cool because it's the only place I've seen with a jukebox!" Matthew just informed me.
  • Activity: Some have been either Nickelcade, bowling, shopping (clothes or toys with a limited amount of money $10-20), playing at "the big park", slick track racing, etc
  • Lunch wherever they want
  • Movie of their choosing.
  • And all throughout LOTS of laughing, talking, sharing and most important just being with each other.

I no longer work that crazy schedule and gratefully have much more time now with my family. But we have continued this treasured tradition.

Hookey Date Gallery