September 15, 2015

Date Night

Street lights glowing overhead, we stood at the crosswalk watching the cars pass. I grabbed his hand and we looked into each other's eyes. "That was one of the best dates I've ever had," I told him. He smiled, gripping my hand, and we proceeded to cross the street.

Exactly 90 minutes earlier, we had managed to escape the family and spend some one-on-one time at a local Mexican restaurant. It was early on a Tuesday, not too busy. We chatted enthusiastically while sipping drinks and crunching tortilla chips. Tacos and shrimp arrived quickly, and, as expected, were eaten at a snails pace... "Take a bite," I reminded him several times in the pauses of this long-awaited conversation.

We try to have a date night (or day) once a month. Scheduling can be tricky, but I make sure it happens. We deserve it. HE deserves it. He deserves my undivided attention, at least once in a while.

With three kids, I'm always struggling with this concept; of how exactly I can give myself to everyone at all times. To pay attention, really pay ATTENTION. To press the pause button on the chaos, and momentarily zoom in to one child's world: to hear them, respond to them, give to them—and only them. Some days I am shocked by my inability to find even one minute to do this, which can result in an overwhelming sense of guilt. But I'm only one person, and this mothering/working thing is pretty darn crazy. So, that's why I go on dates with my sons.

With a date night on the calendar, we all feel a sense of relief. The kids know they will have their time. And I look forward to these dates like nothing else.

Last Wednesday morning (after our date), I looked at Wesley and thought: Wow, this kid is the real deal: kind, sweet, goofy, smart, and incredibly attentive—honest to goodness, an amazing date. Plus, he thinks Shirley Temples are the best drink ever. Doesn't get any cuter. ;-)

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