Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Date Night

My in-laws live a mere 8 miles from us, so they frequently take the kids when we need a break. However, they live in the valley, which means we have to drive 6 miles on the 405 freeway to get to their house. The 405 freeway must be the most congested freeway in the country. During rush hour, it can take 2 hours to drive those 6 miles.

As a result, we have to plan our babysitting adventures in advance. If Lance and I want to go out to dinner, I need to get the kids over to my in-laws' house before 2pm (in time for their naps and before rush hour starts). We generally let them spend the night, and then I pick them up around 9:30 or 10am, after the morning rush has passed. The kids are with their grandparents for almost 24 hours, which is great for me, though it does also mean that we don't ask for this service too often. It probably happens about once every two months, sometimes during the week, sometimes on the weekend. (We do have a babysitter to call in the event that the in-laws can't do it.)

Last night was one of those nights. A friend had emailed me a flyer about a benefit for a pre-schooler who had recently been diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer. A restaurant offered to donate all its profits Tuesday night to the the family. Rare night out for Lance and I plus a good cause--it seemed like a win-win to me, especially when my in-laws agreed to take the kids.

Lance and I so rarely spend quality time together without the kids these days, you'd think that any date night would be fabulous. Somehow, it doesn't always work out that way. We argue, or have trouble connecting. We drink too much or bring up the wrong topics. Somebody orders the wrong entree, the wine is too expensive, I forget my wallet. Or I don't know, the sky is blue and somehow it ruins the evening. I'm not saying that happens every date night, but it does happen, and more frequently than it seems like it should.

Yesterday after I dropped off the kids, I came home to a beautifully clean house thanks to Lucrecia, our life-saving house-keeper. I had the entire afternoon free, and I spent it reading blogs, finishing a novel (good!), laying in the yard, and fixing some chicken salad with the leftovers from the night before. So peaceful and easy, so pleasant. Around 4:30 I took a relaxing shower, then blew my hair dry and put on an outfit I haven't worn in a year or so. On a whim, I put on a pair of heels I haven't worn since the wedding I bought them for 3 years ago. (I have a bad back, and only wear heels at special occasions, maybe once or twice a year).

Lance came home shortly thereafter, and his face lit up when he saw me.

"Why are you so smiley?" I asked him.

"It's not often I come home to a quiet house, my wife all dressed up and looking relaxed and refreshed, with no kids running around."

That's how the whole evening went. We were thrilled to be with each other. We laughed and talked easily, we didn't think about the kids at all. The food was fine--not fantastic, but it didn't even matter. There was a kind of electricity between us that hasn't been there in ages. We were eager to get home for "other activities", but we also wanted to keep talking forever. It felt like an actual date, the kind you have before you get married. It felt incredibly nice.

I wish all our date nights turned out as well. Having the afternoon to myself really helped. Being able to get myself ready without refereeing the kids' arguments, fixing their dinner, & being sure the babysitter had everything she needed helped too. Often by the time we get in the car, I'm already resenting Lance for not helping me in the exact way that I want him to, so it was nice to feel nothing but anticipation for a change. Also, the combination of heels plus the color I got at the beach this weekend made me feel surprisingly sexy and confident. To top it off, it's summer, and summer always makes me happy.

What a perfect evening! Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

isimsiz kahraman said...
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