Dear Date Night,
For us, you are almost as rare as a blue moon--you happen as often as actually receiving a non-telemarketing call, or as effortlessly as finding a picture of oneself one actually likes. In a word, you are our definition of "scarcity."
It has never been in our tradition to hire a babysitter, and we don't have family close-by. I have trust issues and just never bothered to fight my kiddos' separation anxiety for anything but school. If we wanted to try a new restaurant, we went as a family. Come vacation time, it was always the four of us. My one-and-most-trusted caretaker was my SIL, who selflessly helped me with caring for Dear Daughter during the first few years after she was born. Alas, my SIL married and had her own children. She and my MIL live about an hour away, so on very special occasions, we have asked them to come babysit for a night out (a count representable by the fingers on one hand since the birth of Dear Son). And we're okay with that. I've never felt like I needed more one-on-one time with Dear Husband, although when we do have that chance, it is very special.
Last Friday, the kiddos' school had its annual Student Lock In (no, not "lock down"), where teachers volunteer their time to
And I shouted to DH, "DATE NIGHT!"
At first I thought we would have a relaxing, nice dinner (with mandatory alcoholic beverages) and call it a night. But then DH texted me the option of some movie and dinner since we had the time for both. I opted out of the movie until I realized that it was the new Ryan Gosling movie--with the added bonus of Bradley Cooper. Well, that's a no-brainer. DH's man crush serves us both well. For the record, I enjoyed the movie; it gave me a lot to think about. To quote DH telling me what the movie is about, "It's about fathers and sons." Eye candy and role-defining motion picture, check and check.
We had dinner in a busy restaurant next to the theater, where I had my obligatory margarita. Salt-rimmed and lime-wedged. There were no kids' menus, small boxes of crayons, or sheets of coloring placemats. I ate my dinner while it was fresh and warm, we had uninterrupted conversations, and I went to the restroom flying solo. The two empty chairs at our table spoke volumes: even though it was quite a refreshing experience to dine just the two of us, I missed my two crazy kiddos. And that'd be why I checked my phone every ten minutes to see if either one wanted to come home early.
Not surprisingly, the kiddos had a grand time. They're already talking about next year's Lock In. Unbeknownst to them, we also talked about our future getaways when the kiddos are older. The possibilities are enticing, although reality is another contender to face.
And don't be fooled by this post's photo, where a gal has a little fun romanticizing about Date Night. There were no flirty, open-toed heels on my ill-prepared, winterized feet or designer clutch for my bucket-load of essentials. I wore my unsexy round-toed Keens with socks and grabbed my all purpose shoulder-strap tote filled with diaper-bag-worthy contents for an unfashionable date. I dropped off DS at school and raced off to meet DH for the early movie, who made more of an effort than I did: he was date-ready with his spring linen blazer. I'll have to do better next time.
As we wrapped up a great night of fun for everyone, DH declared what he got out of that night to me. Not a plan for the next date night, or how amazing DS was for not missing us. But one I couldn't help but smile back at him sweetly yet roll my eyes inside my head:
DH: You know what they should make?
Me: Who? What?
DH: They should make an Ocean's 14 and add Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Leonardo DiCaprio to the cast.
Me (*straight-faced*): Mmmm-hmmm.
I'm very proud of DH's security with his masculinity.
So, Dear Date Night, I think it'd be nice if you were to visit more often, especially as the kiddos get older. But for now, each and every occasion to be just-the-two-of-us is so very special. And this time, we have the school teachers and staff to thank. It really was a rare and fabulous night--thank you!