I enjoy reading Veronica Blaustein’s blog. When our children were little, I certainly remember the challenge of finding some time alone. When you are in that season of life, not having a toddler follow you into the bathroom is a gift.
But I have been surprised as our kids grew up, how often one or more of them would be in the bathroom with us as we are brushing our teeth getting ready for bed. The vast quantities of “alone time” that I thought we would have once the kids could dress and drive themselves have never really materialized. The types of demands that our children place on us have certainly changed but I don’t think they have lessened.
That all said, I think we have done a good job making ourselves accessible to our kids. But what we haven’t done as good a job at is making “alone time” for Steve and me. And with two out of the three kids soon to be out of the house, it’s time for Steve and me to pick up where we left off before we had kids 22 years ago and get to know each other as people and not just parents.
So last Tuesday, Steve took the lead and suggested we go out for a date – nothing fancy, just a glass of wine at nice local restaurant.
I’m about as spontaneous as a lunar eclipse. I like things on the calendar long before they happen. When he made the suggestion to go out, it was about 8:00 and I had just gotten back from a meeting. I had on my “I only wear these to go to the grocery store” jeans and any trace of makeup that I had put on that morning was long gone.
Plus, I had planned to come home and enter a pile of vendor invoices and I was really looking forward to getting depressed staring at the bank balances in QuickBooks. How dare he want me to come out of myself and put my worry aside for an hour or so?
But I couldn’t argue with him when he pointed out that bars are dark so what I looked like really didn’t matter. And perhaps my perspective on the world would be improved by half a glass of pinot noir.
So I reluctantly gave in and we went to Tres Hombres in Theater Square. Steve was right about the lighting; it was sufficiently and flatteringly dark so I didn’t need to be concerned about what I looked like. Although we have probably only been there a couple of times before, we were welcomed by everyone who worked there as if we were regulars.
We were old enough to be the parents and maybe even the grandparents of the young people sitting at the bar but it felt really good to be out among people who were enjoying the atmosphere and each other’s company. None of them had the beaten down, “Life is so hard,” quality that I tend to project.
However, the best part of going out was that Steve and I talked but we didn’t talk about the kids. We talked like a couple who was really interested in getting to know one another. I heard Steve’s perspective on his life in a way that I had never heard before…after 26 years of marriage
We finished our shared glass of wine and headed home. That’s the kind of alone time I want more of.