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The number of times Madison has spent the night away from us the last two years could be counted using two hands as it isn’t very often that all three of us aren’t together once the sun comes to rest over the horizon.  Rarely do Allison and I share a meal at a restaurant without requesting a booster seat and a children’s menu.  We spend the first few minutes digging for crayons and making sure Madison is situated.  A routine that has evolved from the beginning stages of carriers and high chair configurations, a routine that has become second nature.  Normal.  Something we will find ourselves missing several years from now, I’m sure.

Sometimes though, it’s nice to have a conversation with your wife uninterrupted with pleas for help finding a rogue corn kernel that plummeted from a toddler fork during a shaky journey from plate to mouth… also known as an all hands on deck recovery mission through a bib or lap that ends buried in a napkin.  Sometimes it’s nice to have a conversation with your wife in complete sentences instead of fragments with inserted phrases of don’t put that in your hair or don’t play with your food or small bites, chew with your mouth closed.  Sometimes it’s nice to look across a candlelit table and see the woman you love as your wife instead of the mother of your child.  Thoughts I often feel guilty for thinking, but find myself coming back to.  While we love Madison with every part of our existence, it’s okay to have a meal without her once in a great while.  It’s okay to spend time as husband and wife versus always being the parents.  It’s okay to feel this way and to acknowledge it.  It’s okay.

Epiphanies I struggled coming to terms with until now.

The other night we had reservations for two at eight o’clock to celebrate our anniversary, the last five years we spent adding to our collection of little moments that make up our lives together.  It was nice to hold hands, to have an adult conversation between just the two of us, to share our dreams and goals both old and new, to show our hearts to one another in a setting other than nightly pillow talk before we give in to the exhaustion from a week of day-to-day life.
It was nice.
Allison and I always agree to implement some sort of date night into our routine at least once a month in effort to recreate this moment.   The kind of moment where we check in with each other sans child and refocus ready to take on the world together.  Yet somehow we always find our house unsettlingly quiet when Madison stays a night away from us and once she returns home again we seem to forget that little agreement until our next anniversary rolls around… 365 days later.  That's okay, too.
Until then, it’s a table for three because I know a day is coming when Madison will not want to spend as much time with us as she does currently.  I know there will come a day, probably sooner than I realize, where Madison will have a date night of her own leaving her mother and I to share a meal without her whether we want to or not.
 Of course, dating won’t be allowed until she’s 25 so we have a little time to work with.

3 comments

  1. We also tried to institute date night once a month. Fell by the wayside. And then you know, like you said, "365 days later" happens. You're so right that pretty soon, they won't want to go out to dinner with us.

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    1. Sometimes it can be really difficult to maintain that balance. How sad will that day be when we discuss dinner options and she informs us she already has plans... I can't even think about it.

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  2. When we lived in Greenville, we had date night almost every weekend. The grandparents all loved having the kids for a night, and we loved the chance to catch our breath, or a meal, or a movie, or a local band.

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