Last night, the gorgeous Dean and I went on an actual date.
Like, a date to a restaurant that needed a booking, and everything *she says twirling her hair and looking awkwardly at the ground*.
I don’t know if it’s completely because of the working mother thing, or whether it would have shown up anyway. But for the longest time, I was not great at off loading my kids. Other than for the hours and hours that I work, that is.
With the intensity that comes with baby mothering, I just couldn’t seem to see the forest for the trees. I needed to make sure that our babies knew that we loved them, that we would be there for them. No matter what. But in the doing of that, I almost forgot that to look after the “we”.
After all, working with couples separating and divorcing day in and day out, you would have thought I would learn a thing or two. Well, I thought that I did. About them.
It took a “rough patch” to show me it wasn’t them. It was us.
It was all of us.
Our relationships in life don’t just happen. They all need nurturing. Some space, time and nourishment to cultivate the seeds of connection.
During the week, a friend had shot me a text saying that her son would love it if Coby could come for a sleepover after school on Friday. Awesome, and of course!
I also knew that my Dad was planning on taking Sabrina and Tyben for the weekend, which was amazing!
Until a couple of years ago, my Mum & Dad would often have the 2 older boys for a few days in the school holidays. Or sometimes we would go to their place for dinner, and the boys would ask if they could sleepover instead of coming home, and we’d say “yeah sure”. No PJs. No change of clothes. No toothbrush. No big deal. 🙂
During recent years things have just been too tough for Mum & Dad to be able to have the children, and so those sleepovers stopped.
I didn’t know if they would ever start again, and I had never mentioned a word of it to my Dad.
A few weeks ago now, Dad rang me and said that he’s ready now. So yesterday, Dad drove up to our place, collected Sabrina and Tyben, and he’ll bring them back Sunday.
Which just left Dean, Bayley and I at home last night. And at 14, Bayley doesn’t need us around every minute of every day.
Date night? Could we?
I had been given a voucher to go to the beautiful BoatShed restaurant at Cotton Tree a while ago now. If you’ve never been, please click through to check them out. Beautiful food in a gorgeous location, right over the water at Cotton Tree. Just lovely.
Yesterday I pulled out the voucher, ready to ring and make our booking for dinner, and my heart sank. It was issued in August 2012.
Yes, I had been sitting on the gift of a beautiful night out for over a year. Busy with the life stuff for so long that I assumed the voucher would have expired.
I decided to summon my courage anyway, and to give them a call. And to my surprise, instead of them confirming my expectation that the voucher had expired, I heard “No, we deliberately don’t put expiry dates on our vouchers. You’re welcome to use it anytime”.
Seriously? How amazing is that!!
And so, with that, Date Night was ON! With a voucher for more than I think we have ever spent in one sitting. For just us.
We arrived, and I kept thinking how easy it was to just walk along. No one to say “don’t touch that” “stay on the path” “can you please be quiet”.
Just us. Holding hands! Chatting quietly, like the civilised people we once were. Not the manic often mildly deranged juggling self-employed parents that we usually are.
And so we walked in, completely faking that we were relaxed and usually eat dinner in a restaurant on a Friday night.
Of course, within minutes, I saw that at a nearby table was the absolutely cutest little baby girl and I had to point her out to Dean. He smiled that knowing smile about me and babies, and I was instantly grateful that he didn’t roll his eyes at me.
Anyway, we sat a little awkwardly for just a while, until we found the groove that didn’t need to be interrupted by anything other than “is everything OK with your meals” or “would you like to see the drinks list again?”
And apparently the answer to both of those question is “
Hell Yeah” “Yes thank you”.
Even though we got straight into the business of eating our starter and our mains, we simply couldn’t pass our desserts by without a photo.
Seriously. So. Much. Yum.
The double chocolate tart even defeated Dean, who can be the king of chocolateering, when required :-). And yes, that is a word, because this is my space on the internetz and I say so!
But so much more important than the food, of course, was the chatting.
About big things, small things, family things, life things. Just, you know, the stuff of being in a life that we choose to make together.
It was, quite simply, a great night out.
And now, inspired by the multiple year 6 leadership speeches I watched yesterday, I choose to finish with the immortal “thank you for listening”.
Thank you for sharing in the storytelling from my little old life.
It is a blessing and a pleasure to be able to complement my working life, where I spend a lot of my time telling the stories of other people’s lives, with the exquisiteness of sharing my own.
Don’t you just LOVE a good story? I know I do. Do you have one from your week?