My husband and I started dating in high school. We used to go to dinner at Applebee’s every Thursday night. The first several months our parents had to drop us off and pick us up because we didn’t even have our licenses yet. After graduation, we went to different colleges and saw each other a couple of weekends a month and our routine date was to make ravioli and meatballs with cheese stuffed breadsticks in my dorm room. These were fun dates; good quality time spent together and many memories made, but nothing compared to our post-marriage (pre-children) “day dates”. Entire days with no work, no distractions, just good fun with one another. Visiting a local zoo then driving to two separate take-out places because he loves sushi and I don’t. Hiking and watching the sun start to set while eating ice cream sundaes made up of enough calories to sustain us for the day. Day dates were THE BEST.
Day dates have been swapped for quick dinners out and card games after bedtime for my husband and me during this season of having littles, but the feelings and memories they left me with are strong and precious. In the meantime, we have decided to make those same type of memories with our kids. We have three children, 4 years old and younger. The day to day grind around here is REAL and sometimes I miss my oldest so much even though we spend every day, all day together. I miss sitting on the floor with just him playing games. I miss him curled up in my lap without his sisters trying to climb up and join in. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a group hug, but sometimes I just yearn for that one on one time with each of them.
And I know they do too. We try to be proactive about scheduling dates with them, but life happens and the days sometimes get away from us. So when enough is enough, I declare that we each take one of the “big kids” on a day date! It is usually as simple as a one on one trip to the grocery store, or our middle, sweet girl’s favorite: a trip to Home Depot with daddy. My son and I will pack up UNO, grab a cupcake at Whole Foods, and just play and laugh for an hour. A bag full of books and a shared donut at Dunkin’ once left my 2-year-old and I with the biggest smiles on our faces for the rest of the day. And I would venture to guess that older children would delight in these simple things, as well, even if they might roll their eyes at it at first.
I know my husband and I will enjoy day dates with each other again, and I look forward to that day, but for now, I am extremely grateful to spend them with our little ones. Here’s to the day date!