What Date Night Looks Like in Our 30′s

We drop the boys off at Nina’s house for a cousin’s sleepover. With a day of freedom, we find ourselves doing normal things like running, cleaning, napping. While we could get away with eating dinner later than usual as little tummies wouldn’t be growling for food at 4:30 in the afternoon, we eat at “Old People Early,” finding ourselves back home before 7:00 in the evening.

We change our clothes, harness the dog and head out the country road.

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The dog walks along the road so well now, heeling when we tell her and walking ahead without pulling us down the road when we let her have some leash. It is actually enjoyable to take the dog on a walk now instead of a lesson in patience. We comment on the ways she has changed since she came home with us almost one year ago. She’s grown, that’s for sure.

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I think back over the past year; I smile. We have grown and changed and laughed and cried and all of the things over the past year. More than just adding a dog to our little family. More than just aging another year. Maybe part of the way I feel falls back onto how my husband has supported me through some hard things, through my half marathon training, through everything. Maybe I don’t need a reason to be so in love with my family, with my partner, with this life.

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We walk together, our voices quiet as we listen to the symphony of late summer bugs and leftover evening birds. A squirrel skitters across the road; the dog sniffs. A cat runs back toward a house; the dog pulls a bit at the leash. We laugh, and I catch his eye. We breathe the relaxed breath of two lovers on an evening walk with their dog, knowing their children are well cared for by a grandmother.

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Once upon a time, I believed Date Night meant going out and doing all of the things and spending all of the money and staying out until all of the hours. We go out, but we only do some of the things. We spend some of the money, but we get home early; we’re usually home before the time that I would start getting ready to go out back in my college days. Nature hikes were acceptable for dates back in the day, of course, but only in a larger context. Walking the dog for a mile or two before heading back to sit on the deck to sip a beer and talk about our lives surely wouldn’t have constituted as a date.

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Nowadays, date night is any time that we have together doing something we want to do without the presence of small children. Sometimes date nights are so few and far between or plans change at the last minute and we suck it up and have a date in the presence of these children we have made and are charged with caring for over the next couple of decades. Sometimes date nights mean planning. Sometimes date nights follow the unplanning path. Sometimes date nights are just about breathing.

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But date night is always about being together.

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I like date nights in our 30′s better than any date nights ever before; I can only imagine that they’ll continue to get better as we grow older… together.

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9 Comments

  1. We are so desperate for a date. We went on one in July that cost all the money. I hate that. We need more of this.

    Reply
    • Yeah. We’re on The Budget of Doom this month and into September, so we had to get creative. I don’t know what we’ll do next month. Hopefully something as peaceful and awesome as this month!

      Reply
      • LOL at the budget of doom!

        Reply
  2. I love this. I love how our expectations change, and that while we lower them in some ways, the result ends up being far greater than what we had before. We were joking the other night that our date nights consist of us sitting, browsing the netflix queue, talking, and never picking a show or a movie because we never do. But it’s our time together.

    Also, Callie!? ZOMG BIG.

    Reply
    • We still have some good OUT dates, but I think learning to appreciate the general togetherness of date night is just THE BEST. High fives.

      Reply
  3. That is pretty much how our date nights go these days too! In fact, our date night the other night was just sitting on the couch having some cocktails together after the kids were in bed. It was fun. We have so little time to just hang out together any more!
    You live in a beautiful area! I would love seeing those sites on walks!

    Reply
  4. Our last date was in December – for lunch – while visiting Grandma. It’s hard to get out because we don’t know many people well enough to have them babysit, plus we keep moving, plus allergies, plus hubby’s schedule. However, we work around it. We put the kids to bed early, watch some favorite shows, have a glass of wine, and talk for hours. While I miss the dressing up and the going out, this is pretty good for the season we are in. I love your date night too.

    Reply
  5. That sounds like an awesome date night!! I hope you had a fabulous time.

    Reply
  6. It does get better…we’re in our mid 40′s now and absolutely appreciate the times we get to be just the two of us. It’s also easier to get some time as the children get older. Glad you have found ways to make the most of your time together.

    Reply

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