I realized way too late in the pregnancy that our lives would change forever with the birth of our little girl. Now before you start judging me in regards to my lack of foresight, let me just claim ignorance.
Before Ms. Iolani came along, Alex and I (for the sake of this little story, let’s call us ginalex) spent Friday nights at the movies, Saturdays we’d get out of the house for breakfast at about 2, Sunday – we’d go to church and then spend the rest of the day out and about. Weeknights were spent here, there, and everywhere. We were busy bees. Or so we thought.
Then, when the Brideaus came home from the hospital with a new roommate in tow, the wwwwwhhhhhhooooooollllllleeeeeee world started moooooooooooooving atttttttt a muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch slllllllllllllooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr pace. In some regards….
While we had someone watching Iolani full-time, the three of us did everything together. It wasn’t until our childcare situation changed did we realize that the Brideaus forgot all about “ginalex”. When Iolani transitioned from homecare to daycare, we had the opportunity to establish every other Friday night as “date night”
Date Night is sacred.
It is. The first date night, Rosa arrived and Iolani was delighted. The Ginalex team slipped out of the house for a couple of hours, ate dinner at our pre-Iolani pace, drank wine (gasp!!!), and realized that we still had 90 minutes of sitter time to blow. We sat up on the rooftop of the building talking about how cool Iolani is.
As our date nights continued, we have improved our ability to stretch out dinner, relax a little bit (as in stop looking at the watch to make sure we are not even one minute late), and enjoy each other’s company.
I mean, I do like Alex a lot. ;-) I liked him even before I knew he could change a really really poopy diaper in 90 seconds flat. The diaper-changing thing was a total bonus that I didn’t expect.
We’ve missed one date night. All three of us were sick, and I just didn’t want to go out that night. Sure enough, 20 minutes into what would have been date night I thought to myself – Alex and I could have used 3 hours to even just sit at IHOP and drink hot tea.
When I hear couples talk about not having been on a date in years, or even months I tell them about our date night. I read about it somewhere online about the importance of getting away from the little one(s) and just being the twosome even for an hour.
I tell friends that you’ve got to find a way to schedule date night. It is very important. You need your space, your partner needs space, and your kid needs space. I can only imagine that Iolani might feel suffocated at times because she’s got TWO people constantly asking her if she’s hungry, thirsty, diaper wet. And, she knows this is her house, and that Alex and I are merely her accessories.
Date night is important. While Alex and I spent from 2001 to 2008 going out to dinner, weekend trips to Vegas, random car rides to Oceanside when we meant to go to Pechanga (long story), it is the time since then that we’ve had to carve out our own time to be a couple again. And each date night, I get to fall more deeply in love than I did the week before. (cue the awwwwwws)
Oh crap, she’s pulling a Buzz Lightyear off the back of the couch. Gotta go.