My Date

No, this isn’t about my first date with a young boy when I was a teenager.  This is about the first date my husband and I had yesterday in months and months.  Frankly, I don’t remember when we last took off in the middle of the week to spend time with each other.  We celebrated our 20th anniversary last October and we rarely spend time alone together since we have two kids.

Well, that doesn’t really explain the entire story.  Our son is a senior in high school and is 17 and our daughter is in 8th grade and is 13-years old.  They don’t exactly like each other that much, at times I suspect they hate each other’s guts.  I haven’t felt comfortable leaving my son home alone taking care of her when we are too far away to jump in the car and head home to run interference, if you know what I mean.

It’s not like I would think he’d hurt her.  He’d just tease her and make fun of her in his usual relentless fashion, thus forcing her to cry and slam her bedroom door and stay there for six hours until we got back.  So, we decided to go an hour and a half away from home, mid-week, when they were both in school, and we’d be back before they even walked in the door at 4 p.m. later that afternoon.

So at 9:30 a.m. we got in the truck and headed for Capitola, a small city of around 55,000 people just north of Santa Cruz.  The weather was a nice 55 degrees and if you were in a sheltered area it got to be about 65 in the afternoon.  We took our bikes and rode about two miles down to the harbor and then back up the hilly area to our car that we parked by the beach.  The ocean was almost perfectly flat and there were very few tourists there at this time of year.  Then we had lunch at Margaritaville out on the deck overlooking the beach.

And, believe it or not, we actually put our arms around each other’s waists and walked down the street like we used to when we were young and in love!  It was an enjoyable day spent without kids listening to our every word and the silence at times was lovely as well.

I don’t know if our experience is typical of couples with or without kids, no matter the age, but we surely don’t take enough time to just enjoy being by ourselves any longer.  And this was kind of a spontaneous gesture on my husband’s part that turned out to be an enjoyable experience.

What about any of you out there with a husband and no kids or a husband and kids?  Do you date?

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Posted on February 24, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. We went on a “date” a few weeks ago. I was so excited to be alone with my husband, that he told me I was acting like a teenager!

    • Well, at least I don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. I spoke with our next-door neighbor last night who is much younger than I and she told me they rarely go out together anymore since they have a 6-year-old. They can’t always find a babysitter and she and her husband’s schedules clash. Makes me wonder about our society and where we are placing our priorities.

  2. Patti, good for you and your husband! Getting away on your own while the kids are in school is a great plan. I remember those days when we were afraid to leave our boys home alone, especially after the time we came home to a full-body-imprint in the gyproc of one wall. We laugh about it now, but at the time, it wasn’t so funny, especially b/c we were in the middle of building one house while we were selling our current residence. Okay, I’ll save the rest of this story for my next blog, LOL! 🙂

    In answer to your question, we have not been on a date in years. Our boys are grown up now (and like each other again, so there’s hope for your children), so we do get away from home without them.

    Enjoy your dates!

    • Yes, Sheila, I’m assuming the two of them will end up liking each other down the road. I cannot relate because I had two older sisters and three younger ones and we all got along – at least while we were growing up. We weren’t “allowed” to fight because my parents were pretty strict. When we grew up there was a split in the family but we older three are close and the younger three – who knows?
      I don’t want the same thing to happen to my two kids as they age.

  3. It’s so hard to “date” when you have kids. I find that when we do get away, we spend most of the time talking about the kids! My secret fear is we have nothing in common aside from our children anymore which makes these “dates” so important. Good for you, Patti, and I’m glad you had a good time. 🙂

    • Tracy, that is exactly true – we end up talking about the kids. And yes, I wonder if that’s all we have in common sometimes. He does his thing and I do mine and the twain often doesn’t meet. But I think if we did the “dating” thing more often it would be less awkward, or if we went out with another couple. But we don’t really have friends like that any longer…..

  4. These days my “dates” are more of the adult type. Reasonable people, divorced, widowed, sans kids, carrying around the pics of grandkids, talking about their next trip, or meeting at the pool. Sounds boring to you guys? Yeah, wait until the day comes when you are actually alone and can fashion dates with your husband, sig.other or the kids. You can have dates with the grandkids. And when the fun is over … guess what? They go home and you and the hubby can curl up and watch the Tonight show 🙂

    • Florence, you have painted a cool picture of my future, eh? It doesn’t sound so lonely when you describe it as you have. Right now, in the middle of my kids’ teen years, imagining them NOT here freaks me out totally! It will be so quiet that I’m just not sure – maybe I’ll have to get more animal friends.

  5. How cool! Your “date” sounds very romantic and fun. And, even though I do not have kids, I totally get where you’re coming from not wanting to leave yours alone–even though they are technically old enough. I have a set of cousins–brother and sister–who beat the snot out of each other well into their 20s.

    We sometimes go on a “date” to the museum. Thanks for the reminder that my husband and I haven’t had a “date” for a long while.

    • Well, if I can at least shake up a few people’s cages regarding spending time with your husband or significant other, then that’s a good thing. We’re always being told to “make time for each other” yet “time” zips by and suddenly it’s been years since we’ve gone out together to see a movie or to dinner. Wake up call, you know?

  6. My husband and I went on a date last weekend while the kids were on a church retreat. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had plenty to talk about, but ended up sharing an appetizer that made us both sick the next day!

    Needless to say, the restaurant is off limits from now on, but not the dating. Connecting with your spouse is the most important thing you can do for your kids although it seems like the hardest thing to accomplish.

    Your date sounds so fun, Patti! I’m glad for everyone’s sake you got away.

    • Christy, your date sounds fun but the “sick the next day” part must have been gruesome. At least you’re not letting that deter you from continuing to go out! When it seems “unusual” to spend time alone together, I know that it’s been too long!

  7. We try here and there. Our favorite thing is to go out for bbq crabs at our favorite place, and then sit back and people watch. 🙂 Our kids are 21 and 17 so they don’t want us around till they need something anyway. LOL

    • Yeah, Sharla, I’d say my 17-year-old son is already like that as far as when he needs something I’m always here for him, otherwise he’s too busy to give his “family” the time of day. Never HEARD of bbq crabs!
      Patti

  8. The kids here in France are very lucky. The French take parenting seriously and rarely go out without taking the kids. When we moved here, we were told to expect an invitation to our home would include children. Here’s how it works: when all French guests bring their kids the kids tend to wander off together and leave the grown-ups alone. French kids, having been exposed to grown-up behavior and never excluded, are also very well behaved. It works. At the end of the evening, the parents and their kids go around the room telling every adult what a nice party it was and thanking the hosts. You might try it.
    Anne Crowder
    livingfrenchiseasy.com

    • Anne, what I’m finding is that the “family” in the U.S. is sorely lacking in comparison to other countries. The way my son is re: family is exactly how all his friends are and everyone else he knows. I’ve been fighting an uphill battle with him for three years now and pretty soon he’ll be in college and even busier than ever. I wasn’t raised like that. Family meant something more than the occasional “hello” in the morning and “goodnight” in the evening.

  9. WELL, ITS ABOUT TIME! HOPE YOU TOOK PICTURES BECAUSE NO ONE WILL BELIEVE IT!
    YOU DESERVE IT. LOVE YOU GUYS. XOXOXOXOXXO

  10. Oh Patti! I just love the feelings you invoke through your blogs. I have to admit, I am so in love with my husband. We walk around our village ALL the time. He is an executive and does have many meetings and such but we still find time at night and on weekends to talk. Since he is my best friend as well, we talk about our work challenges and how we can be better at overcoming them and turning them to opportunities. Hubby certainly knows how I feel about you…and he’s very appreciative of all the support you give. So…our relationship is up close and personal and I remember joking on Valentines Day that it wasn’t less special or more special than every other day…it was business as usual. Love that you and hubby found time by yourselves. Our kids are grown so we don’t have the pressures in that direction anymore.

    Love ya!

    • Thank you, Karen, my virtual friend, for taking the time always to comment on my posts! I didn’t know your kids were grown already. You and your husband sound like you have a wonderfully close relationship. That is SO cool.
      Patti

  11. Your date sounds wonderful, Patti. Right now, it’s Saturday morning, my kids are grown, so what’s stopping me from asking my husband out? Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Well, Pat, I’m glad I inspired you! I know that I wouldn’t have thought of the idea of going to Capitola. But I’m glad my husband did because we need to take time for ourselves and not make our entire lives only about the kids or our work or let our laziness take over.

  12. My hubby and I, married almost 33 years now, (second time for both of us) treasure the moments we can “date.” We used to have them at least once a month, but this year circumstances have intervened and altered our pattern. Which means we just try harder to treasure the time when we carve it out. 🙂

  13. We definitely try, but it’s hard finding babysitters anymore. And those that do tend to be expensive. So if we’re going to spend the money, we’re likely to head out of town for a “hunny bunny” weekend!

    Now THAT does the trick. 🙂

    • I know what you mean about babysitters, Dianne. My daughter gets paid on the lower end of babysitting and that’s $8 an hour. Her friend makes more. That’s pretty expensive if you include what you’re spending for a night out, perhaps dinner and a movie or something!

  14. Yes, we definitely date! In fact, we get a little cranky after a while if hubby and I haven’t had some alone time. I do love those few times when we have taken off the whole day and spent hours together while our kids are at school. It’s great to reconnect that way and important to sustaining marriage, IMO. Thanks for sharing your story, Patti!

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