Last night Joel and I went on a date. A bona fide, legitimate, actual date. We hired a babysitter, hugged and kissed each child goodbye, and then headed out the door without looking back.
With no specific plans in mind, we ended up walking through the aisles of a furniture store that was advertising a large sale. (We're contemplating new couches since ours, which have been used not only as seats but also as trampolines, are sagging and creaky.) Without kids, we never had to utter don't touch. We never had to chase anyone who darted away from our watchful eyes toward the most fragile and overpriced centerpiece on display.
We could meander. It took me a while to acclimate to that pace.
After leaving the furniture store, we found a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant that we had never visited and enjoyed a leisurely meal without any interruptions, except for the waitress refilling our glasses and bringing the tiramisu that we shared.
He opened the car door for me. We didn't carry a diaper bag or need to fasten car seat buckles. We engaged in sustained, uninterrupted conversation. As an added bonus, only one out of three children was still awake when we arrived back home.
Happy sigh. It was a good night.