One of my favorite memories from last year was not watching my young daughters rip into their Christmas presents, or seeing them perform in school talent show. No, my happiest recollection was date my husband and I went out on one stormy Tuesday night in November.
A few days before, we’d had our fill of running girls to swimming lessons and fighting with them to do their homework. We could not endure sight of one more PTA notice requesting money for this fundraiser or attendance at that meeting. We broke. We called a sitter and reserved a table at most elegant restaurant in town.
And what a night it was. The sitter was late, of course, and wind was snapping off tree branches and hurling them at our car, but we made it. The food, wine, and service were fine. We put children firmly out of our minds. By time salad came, we were sufficiently unwound.
We started having fun. We were laughing. The subjects of weird charge on our cell phone bill or our dire need for a new refrigerator never entered discussion. We were transformed into couple we used to be before children, two cars, and a mortgage. We were footloose, fancy free, and out for a good time.
The happiness of that evening stayed with us for many days. We were attentive to one another. We remembered why we’d gotten married and were glad for it, proving my mother’s advice that happy couples continue to date each other forever.
“It’s important,” she’d say.
But, in early years of our marriage, I’d make excuses. Diaper and formula bills left little money for nights out on town. It was impossible to find a good babysitter. It was selfish of us to take time away from children.