Monday, June 5, 2017

Date Day

Date night. Every married couple knows that should be a priority...but it's hard to make happen. (Work schedules, packed calendars, babysitter conflicts, etc. etc. etc.) And then even if you can get out for a bit, it's usually an hour or two in the evening, which may or may not be your best time to connect (soooooo tired). I'm always thankful for time alone with Dustin, but I don't necessarily love the options date night affords us. It feels like it always has to be squeezed into the two hours after the kids' bedtime (and before it gets crazy late for a sitter), or we go out earlier and I feel like we're over-burdening someone with the task of watching all three gila monsters during the witching hours. And never mind that the expense of a babysitter pretty much doubles the cost of whatever date activity we choose (which- tragically unoriginal alert- is usually just dinner). (OR we feel bad about taking advantage of free babysitting again from my family, even though they swear they don't mind).  Plus there's the guilt of missing time with the kiddos, when we're already away from them the bulk of most days. So yeah. Love a date night. Don't always manage to make it happen.

But we do try to squeeze in time here and there and take advantage of what we have, so during a (rare) impromptu lunch together the other day, we decided we should take a day off, randomly, just the two of us. We've got the time to spare at work, and with Piper back at daycare with the other kids for the Summer, we've got all-day care already lined up (and paid for!) So last Friday, we took advantage of the most expensive "free" babysitting we'll ever have, and had a Date Day. Just one day; just the two of us. No plans; no kids. (And no burden, no guilt.)

While a big-time date is pretty rare around here...documenting it is even more rare. I don't suspect many will care about the ins and outs of our simple day together...but I know I'll cherish being able to look back at the ordinary magic of our life in this season. So I'm making the time to date that man I love, and taking the time to record a little bit of why it's so special to me.


We wanted to make the most of our day together, so we got the kids up, fed, and off to daycare around our regular time in the morning. 8:30AM still seemed a little early to start a date, so I took advantage of some solo time while Dustin did drop off, and took a shower without anyone watching/tattletaling on someone/opening the shower door to have me "fix" Barbie's shoe. Similarly, Dustin enjoyed a quick trip to Home Depot, that was both actually quick and sans any sort of shrieking or injury. Date Day hadn't officially started, and it was already my favorite day.

Now on to the heart of the matter...

First up: Bikes!
Kidding. Never.
But a certain 3.95 year old I know is looking a little bit like a circus bear on her tricycle, so a new birthday bicycle gift was in order for Fin. We hit up Once Upon A Child (aka: my happy place) for a new-to-her gem. It has streamers, a carrier for a baby, and a bell. $25 well spent.
(and yes, I realize it's a little lame to spend date-day shopping for our kids, but we kept the trip short, and it was such a specialize mission it didn't feel like we were wasting our time together running routine errands).

So, the day was already a wild success, and it was only 10am. Yes!

The night before, I had done a last minute search for local Groupons, and found that the mini-golf place we planned to go to (because you know we were going to play some mini-golf) had a deal for buy-one-get-one free golf plus 10 rounds batting cage tokens. So though I haven't swung a bat in 10+ years (maybe 20+?) we gave it a shot. I stuck to softball and "slow baseball" (dang elementary school kids, hogging the "very slow" option), while Dustin handled "medium". We were in no danger of anyone scouting us, but it was fun change of pace to try something different together.

Next it was on to the main event...Mini-golf is hands down my favorite date activity, day or night. It's silly, competitive, and just super fun. The course was actually a little crowded (first day of Summer vacay for local kids) which worked out great...we got to enjoy some extra sunshine, and had time to talk (in between golf related trash-talk, of course). We chatted about all kinds of things, but ended up talking a lot about plans (and wild visions) we have for our family in the future. So thankful for a man I can play with a dream with, simultaneously.

Photographic evidence we were tied at the turn...I'm not sure who ended up winning. (except I'm totally sure, and I don't want to talk about it). 

It was barely lunch time (thanks for the early wakeup, kids!) but who's stopping us from finding a nearby spot for some pre-noon beers (and burgers)? No one, that's who. We hit up the new Northstar, and ate super slow, and didn't have to cut up, wipe up, or blow on anything. Glorious.
I'd be lying if I said we didn't talk about work...because actually I think we spent nearly the entire meal discussing that. But what a gift to have someone who understands the 9-5...This is the second time we've worked together, and I honestly cherish the shared perspective it gives us. (Plus there is no way he'd endure nearly as much of my complaining if he wasn't in similar trenches).

We headed home after that (mostly to change into looser pants...still not sorry about all the guac.) But on our way, I of course spotted a little curb-side gem we had to snag. Ain't no shame in my trash picking game (seriously...Dustin wishes there was any shame in it. But alas. There is none). Only issue? The shelf I spotted was far too big for our car (even if we didn't have a bike with us already...) So with no words, and a mercifully subtle eye-roll, Dustin hopped out, picked it up, and walked the two blocks home.

This guy is the muscle to my hustle all day every day. This is him requesting that I not document this shenanigans. But the world needs to know how much he loves me (and how much I love him for it).

And with our second second-hand score of the day in the bag, it was time for more golf...this time of the disc variety.

We made a quick stop at Play-It-Again Sports (it turns out the unofficial theme of the day is bargain fun!) for some cheap drivers and putters (chosen solely based on their ridiculous graphics), and then headed out for the course.

I pretty much haven't played since high school (I actually used to play pretty frequently back then...not because I was great at it, or tremendously passionate about the sport. But my friends were super into it, so I was happy enough to go along for the ride) and I think Dustin and I have only played once or twice together, if that.

We went to a course I've never tried before, and it was seriously magical. And not just in a sappy "I love my date" way...I mean the forest actually looked enchanted.

It was the most perfect weather ever, and we had a blast hiking around for an hour or so, trying our best to keep our new discs out of the water (and taking awkwardly balanced self-timer shots). At this point we honestly didn't really talk much...which is probably (ok, definitely) rare for me. But it's a special kind of comfortable to just enjoy each other...just being.
(side note: I feel a little hind-sight dorkiness about our semi-matching/semi-competing Ohio State and Eagles gear.)

He didn't let me win, but gave me credit where it was due, and I only ended up owing him two wager related backrubs for the day. Sooooo, could have been worse.

And since we were just a few minutes from my fave ice cream place, we had to make a stop at Sticky Fingers. (I didn't even have to ask for eyes. Love that).

By now it was late afternoon and we had our fill of sun and games. Typically I'd try to carve out time for a nap...either out of necessity, or just on principle, but maybe keeping up with three kids has upped my endurance, because at this point I still felt...pretty rested. (We did lounge for a few minutes and have the obligatory "what in the world did we do before we had kids?...But like, really?...Whatever we wanted?....Like, all day?..." conversation. It's only been a few years, but still, I can barely remember the rhythm of full days without children.) We had a little time before we needed to fetch the whippersnappers, so I set out to tackle an art project that had been looming/lagging in our garage for a few days (or weeks? hard to say...) Having some uninterrupted work time? Priceless.

And just like that...our Date Day drew to a close (and the typical manic merry-go-round of dinnertime/playtime/bathtime/bedtime resumed). One day wasn't enough (could never be enough) but it was still so much. It may need to become a regular occurrence. We may not be able to get a full day away very often, but early-out "Summer Fridays" could afford us a couple of hours alone each week...Don't mind if we do

Psssst....Want to get all the Bowdenisms news delivered right to your inbox? 
YES PLEASE! Subscribe via email and never miss an -ism.  xox.

No comments :

Post a Comment