For his fourth birthday, Toby got what he had always wanted: A sports jacket. When he opened the box, his eyes lit up. Gold buttons! Lapels! POCKETS! It made him look just like Daddy and will come in handy should he get married this year.

To celebrate, we planned a date. We have gone on a few mama/son dates lately—a tradition we had years ago that was put on hiatus after Anton was born. It’s so, so nice to have some time alone to chat and laugh and follow his lead and go exactly at his speed (for example, taking detours to climb every single step/rock/curb/ramp/incline on the way to the restaurant).

During dinner, as we wait patiently (it’s hard to wait!) for the food to arrive, Toby always asks for stories about before he was born. So last night, over burgers at Shake Shack, I told him how I met Alex and how we went to the movies and how we got married and how we had a sweet sweet baby. “And do you know what we named our baby?” I asked. “No,” he whispered, eyes wide as saucers. “Toby,” I told him. Mind. Blown.

Here is Toby telling me how he met Dun Dun, his beloved imaginary friend. (On a boat in Holland, it turns out.)

It was such a sweet evening and reminded me how nice it is to carve out one-on-one time for people you love. It’s such a different pleasure from being in a group! (Also, didn’t you love asking your parents about when they were younger? I remember that so distinctly.)

P.S. A three-year-old in conversation, and an awesome trick for grown-up dates.