Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Another Chance for a First Dance
Five years ago, Jason and I went on our very first "official" date. It wasn't anything huge, just a simple dinner followed by some time sitting on the roof of a parking structure of our college campus watching the sun go down. We were friends for a few weeks prior to our first date, but in all honesty, we both knew that it was likely to be more than a friendship from the beginning.
It wasn't long after that evening that I realized I had experienced my very last "first date."
Last weekend, we got another chance to have a very first date. Only this time, it was our first date was our first date out since Ethan was born. My parents have been itching to spend some special grandparent time with him (let me say, my parents are the world's greatest grandparents) and have been after us for some one on one time.
We decided to start slow, since it would be extremely difficult (especially for me) to leave Ethan for a few hours. Jason has become used to leaving Ethan for a few hours since he is back at work. I haven't returned to work (and hope that maybe something miraculous happens and I don't have to) and hadn't left Ethan for more than an hour (and that was leaving him with Jason while I attended a church baby shower for the daughter of the man who saved my life). Anyway, I was definitely reluctant to leave him.
Thankfully I know my parents will care for Ethan the way that I would, and would honor any and all wishes we had regarding his care. I never want to worry anyone watching Ethan that would refuse to care for him the way we want just because they don't understand or agree with some of our decisions. My parents are incredibly respectful that Ethan is our child, and do not question my requests regarding his care. They have spent 3 years taking wonderful care of Riley when my sister needs a sitter, so I had zero worries about his care. Still, I was hesitant.
We opted to head out to dinner, and decided to make a trip back up to our college campus and watch the sun go down from that same parking structure we had been to five years ago. We spent a wonderful couple of hours talking about Jason's new job, reflecting on how much our life has changed, and laughing about really stupid things. It was only a couple of hours, but I really missed my baby! We were both thrilled to be back home, and even more thrilled that Ethan was OUT asleep! My parents left, and we were unexpectedly given an evening that we didn't have to put Ethan down, and just go to sleep early.
I know that many people would say that we starting our "dates" way too soon, but Jason and I decided long before we ever talked seriously about children that we would make time for each other. We both feel that it is incredibly important for our marriage to take some time just for us. We both love our family time and love our time with Ethan, and rarely find difficulty finding a few moments after Ethan is asleep to talk or relax together. We also feel very strongly about showing Ethan an example of a good marriage as he grows up. We made the decision together that if we didn't start our dates early in Ethan's life, it would be more difficult for us to start them later. Jason and I are definitely creatures of habit, and the habit of not taking time for each other would be difficult for us to break. So Ethan was 2 days shy of 6 weeks old when we re-entered the "dating" world. We are hopeful that we will be able to slip away for a date once a month, and maybe even work up to a weekend trip once he's a little older.
Maybe. I'm not quite ready for that one just yet.