Oh the silence. It really is a wonderful, boring, lonely, still wonderful thing.
I am always glad to let the kids toddle off for the month to be with my parents where they have the chance to see people from both sides of my family since most of them are in Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. Mr. T wasn't too keen on the idea the first time we did it. Son was 2 at the time so I could understand not wanting to let go, but since I had done the same thing growing up I could see the value of it so I told him he had no choice in the matter. (Yeah yeah. Communication, compromise, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes a spouse has to just shut up and deal with it.) I knew he grew up surrounded by extended family and had no idea what it was like for those of us who didn't, but he'd come to appreciate the "vacation" in time. And he has.
The challenge of course is to always remember that when you have kids and they take most of your time over the years, you run the risk of finding yourself married to a stranger one day down the road when the kids are gone for good. That is unless you take deliberate steps to stay connected despite the kids' schedules and needs. I think it's a necessity - for the sake of your marriage as well as your kids' future relationships, they need to see you two still dig each other. And that means time alone sometime. I think Mr. T and I having had seven years together before marriage and kids came into play helps us out a lot now when we find ourselves alone again.
We went out to dinner this weekend and I told him, "We have to be careful that we don't talk about the kids TOO much." Then we proceeded to talk about the kids - cleaning out their messy closets while they are away; the kind of people they may be one day; why every year at this time of year, many people ask us if there will be a baby #3. I think maybe we're both superstitious about this last one thing and don't want to say anything one way or the other so we just keep going forward and enjoying our time alone. It's pretty easy for us to go back into dating mode but I know it's not easy for everyone since some people never have alone time with their spouses and others get the time but then twiddle their thumbs wondering what to do with it.
Come on, ya'll. It's not that hard. Be creative! Or just allow yourselves to simply remember what it was like to date - except without all the game playing, uncertainty and insecurity. Here's a short list and anyone can feel free to add to it - but be, hmmm, decent, ok? My mother reads this!
- do I need to spell out the really obvious top of the list? Just be sure you're ok with the possible consequences of pretending to be rabbits, ok? ;-)
- go to the movies, a play, etc.
- go to dinner
- go to the zoo, park or some other outside place
- go to a museum
- go on a dinner cruise (mystery, jazz, etc.)
- go for a drive to some part of the state you never/rarely see
- plan a real away vacation at the same time as the kids' vacation (mine are still wishing they were with us for that one)
- do all the typical chores but do them together
- visit/hang out with friends (I confess. My friends know I tend to disappear about now.)
- rent every movie you can't watch with your kids
- a lot of daytime stuff is even better at night, so stay up late then go out and do stuff!
- Go play a game like bowling or pool
- Send each other text messages all day if you have to be apart (what you say is none of my business but when it comes to flirting, this counts and you may find yourself right back at #1)
So, I came out of my hole to do a quick post, lest I neglect my little blog, and if you'll excuse me, I have to go back into hiding with my husband now. I miss him.