Last night, Josh and I were fortunate to steal away a couple hours to ourselves. After our girls went to bed and the babysitter arrived, we slipped out the door, eager to get some quiet time for just the two of us. It wasn't going to be anything super special. In fact, we had finalized our plans for the night only a few hours prior. We decided to go to an old date spot of ours, The Olde Ship, a cozy little English pub that is just blocks away. Nothing extravagant...just a calm (on a Tuesday night, anyway) little dive with great fish and chips.
As we sat across from each other, we took a moment of exhaustion as we gazed into each others' eyes. That is, sometimes on date night it takes a second to just SIT and BE with each other before you can get into a groove of actually being decent company. It brings back memories of before I lived in California. Back when I was living in Nashville and only texting and emailing and (dare I say it) "myspacing" this cute boy in California. Then, when we finally got to see each other in person, it took some strange "warming up time" to match up my brain with my speech with my actions and feel comfortable. To remember "Ah yes, I know you! You ARE that same clever person with the cute emoticons and snappy comebacks. Plus, you are so cute! Score!"
So, this is what was running through my head as I stared aimlessly at my husband and order a pint of Smithwicks. It was refreshing to take a deep breath with him. It was cleansing to my soul to intentionally not be talking about our children. And it hit me like a ton of bricks that for the first time in a long while, I had absolutely no agenda to task him with.
Agenda? You might be wondering.
You know. Agenda. That long list of things that pile up in our heads throughout the day that we've been meaning to talk to another adult about? That stack of to-dos that cloud up our brains until we finally get him alone and all to ourselves and he is sitting there hoping to kiss you and all you can think about is whether to ask him if he could watch the girls for your chiropractor appointment next Thursday and did he get a chance to call the Discount Tire Center and has he heard from his friends who had their baby last week and would he rather have steak or pork chops for dinner a week from tomorrow?????? Oh, right. Agenda.
And here I sat...agenda-less! I finally spoke this to him, out loud.
I have nothing to say! And it's wonderful!
So, I listened! I totally forgot about my two sleeping daughters at home, I thoroughly enjoyed (and I mean - ate every single bite) of my drenched-in-malt-vinegar fish and chips, and sipped my Smithwicks as my husband and I engaged in real honest-to-goodness conversation. Sports, tv, work, ideas, dreams, silly Hollywood gossip, this podcast he's listening to, that thing I saw on the Today show last week...whatever. The point is - HE was interesting, I was interesting - we SHARED interests and just had a great time.
It isn't just important to get out of the house and look into each others eyes and talk about common interests...it's necessary. And I don't think I've ever really felt that until last night. I mean, sure, I've talked about date night in the past. We know it is important to keep the marriage first. But, amidst the daily life...in between baby feedings and laundry and asking him to take out the trash and getting off the phone with your mother and planning another meal and did he pick up the dry cleaning....well, we're all just too often exhausted to put much effort beyond curling our eye lashes and ordering an appetizer to engage in actual conversation with our spouse that is strictly entertaining!
Frankly, it's not an intentional kind of avoidance either! Usually I will spend half my day thinking "I wish Josh was here to see this" or "Oh, I gotta remember to tell Josh that" and then he gets home and I "task" away on him and by the time the girls are in bed I just want to shut up and eat cookie dough and watch How I Met Your Mother. It's not personal, it's just the business of parenthood.
And, so, who are we really becoming?
A couple of parents...or a couple that parents.
I hope it's the latter. I'm so thankful to have a husband I find interesting. I'm so thankful to have a fun and friendly fellow by my side. I'm so thankful I'm married to a guy that gets excited with me when we realize we accidentally just walked out the door wearing matching yellow shoes (true story, see pic). I'm thankful to even know a guy willing to wear yellow shoes! HA! I'm thankful to not only be completely in love with a guy I find irresistibly charming, but get the privilege of attacking the giant challenge that is parenthood alongside him.
And, that's more than just a couple of reasons I need to remember to sometimes just put away the tasks for a night, listen and stare at my husband, and take a refreshingly deep sigh in the awkward silence of our togetherness. This couple is for keeps.