The spontaneous date

Like so many other parents, my husband and I just can't sneak out for a date nearly often enough.  We try, but it's just not always in the cards.  Our extended family are awesome, but shockingly they do have their own lives and are not always available to babysit.  The kids have their own social calendars that require the Mommy/Daddy driving service, so we're usually overdue for a date night.  As a backup plan we make a point of letting each other get out separately when possible for a sanity break to hold us over til our next date.

A couple weekends ago I had spent the day cooped up with the kids.  We cleaned, we prepared grab bags for the upcoming birthday party, we played.  It was a great day with the kids, and I enjoyed the time with them, as I never feel I have enough during the week when I work.  I had plans to go to the movies with my niece that night, and the thought of a few hours out of the house while they were in bed for adult time made the day with the kids even sweeter.  Then I got the text that she was feeling sick and needed to stay home.

Damn.

Suddenly, my pleasant day with the kids became monotony, and my home a prison.  I needed that break, I hadn't gotten out for fun in a while, and I was worn down.  I felt doomed.  With little hope of last minute success I texted some girlfriends as backup, but they rudely had lives.  I looked at my husband, disappointed (he'd gotten out the night before with his brother), and told him I was stuck in the house the rest of the day.  I shrugged my shoulders and went upstairs to clean bathrooms with my youngest in tow to "help" me.  No sense wallowing in it, I do love my family and I'd get out the next chance I got.  As I scrubbed the shower the phone rang and my husband yelled up asking me to get it.  I dropped my sponge, trotted to the phone, and the caller id showed my husband's cell phone. 

Huh?  Wasn't he just downstairs?

I answered, and there was my husband's voice on the other end.  I laughed and asked what was up, and he asked if I had plans for the night.  As a matter of fact, my calendar just got cleared, what did you have in mind?

We had no idea if we could actually get someone over to watch the kids.  It was just a spontaneous, fun thought that popped into his head to call me on the phone and ask me out on a date.  The smile on my face was stuck, and not coming off.  In that moment it didn't matter that we didn't actually know if we could pull it off.  It didn't matter that the night before we'd had a fight because we were both tired and stressed and stupid.  It didn't matter that I was scrubbing showers and toilets, with no makeup on, looking rough with a 3 year old demanding my attention as I talked.  In that moment, my husband of 10 years and 2 kids was playfully, goofily, asking me out on a date.

Just like that, my day was saved.

Kids tax a marriage.  I wish I could tell you that we ride this roller coaster with ease, but since the birth of our youngest non-sleeper we have had some really rough times in our marriage.  We get soooo tired and stressed out, and we take it out on each other.  I hate it.  He hates it.  We talk about it.  We can't seem to STOP it.  But we're trying.  But moments like this, when we're just US, just silly and playful, I know why we're still in it.  Why we haven't given up.  That one, simple, priceless gesture took me instantly from the ho-hum daily grind to wanted and playful.  Even if we couldn't get someone, the effect was lasting.  It made me feel so good. 

In the end, his brother came to our rescue.  He rushed through what he was doing and could come over for a few hours.  He had a late night soccer game in his rec league, so he could only stay for a few hours, but it was all we needed.  We were ready on a moment's notice, and out like a flash.  We went to a casual restaurant, then over to a bar we like close by for one more cocktail before going home.  We sat, laughed, and TALKED.  We flirted, and held hands.  We went home smiling, rejuvinated, knowing that we actually do LIKE each other after all.  We were ready to tackle life again in the morning with new energy and enthusiasm.

Just like that.

Those fun, silly, spontaneous dates are the most treasured of all.  They are magic, rare, and I'm so grateful for them.  Sometimes the most simple things truly are the most meaningful.

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