Let’s get something out of the way – being married is tough work. There are many joys to being married, but it is definitely hard work to make the most of the difficult times that we are all faced with in marriage and keep in the positive. Of the many marriage tips that are given to newly married couples, as well as to those that are going through trials, is to have a date night and plan some intentional time with your spouse. Date nights are a great way to reconnect and remember the little things about them that made you fall in love with them in the first place. It is a great blessing to be able to spend intentional time with the one person who knows you best and is your best friend – and if you have kids, you know that this time with an adult is even more precious.
This past week, my husband and I decided that we would make Monday night our date night. He had taken a vacation day from work to help with a few projects around the house (he is rather handy for those of you that don’t know him) and take care of the kids – who didn’t have school – while I took care of a personal matter. But, instead of just us going out, we thought that we would take our oldest, Carter (8), with us. With two younger siblings, we can tell that sometimes Carter feels a little left out because they both require so much of our attention. My husband and I have talked about how grown up he is getting (too fast) and how much he has matured in the past year and how proud we are of him and his growing, outwardly-expressed faith in God.
So, it was the three of us. On our date night, we saw Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and laughed almost the entire time at things that we could swear have happened, or will happen, to our family at some point. After the movie, full of popcorn and frozen Coke, we went to dinner and had a great time talking with him and seeing him smile and laugh (when he wasn’t watching any of the 15 tv’s tuned to ESPN and the highlights from yesterday’s NFL games or asking for his iPod – see my most recent post about technology taking over the house).
When we were done and were getting back in the car, he told both AJ and I “thank you for the special night.” It is in those moments when you realize that, like marriage, being a parent is one of the most rewarding relationships that you will ever be in – and you pray and hope that you are doing it right. Sometimes you feel like you are doing great, while other times, you wonder how God could have ever thought that you were equipped to be a parent at all. With his kind words, Carter should us that we weren’t complete failures as parents and gave us hope for the younger two kids :). We couldn’t be more proud of Carter and the young man/boy (he is still my little boy even if he is almost as tall as me) that he is developing into and look forward to more of those special date nights with him and our other children.
Do you do date nights with your kids? What is the most fun thing that you have done? Share your best ideas in the comments below.