Mr. Blandings and I don't get out much, and it's killing me.
You got hung up on that first part, didn't you? It was "Mr. Blandings and I don't get out much," that you heard, right? Well, go ahead and scrape your jaw off the floor: I tell you, it's true! Sadly, an outing alone is something of an anomaly in the matrix at this point. There was a time when the thought of going out for dinner and a movie alone, without my precious little ones, was completely unappetizing to me. I didn't want to miss a moment. Couldn't surrender an ounce of control. It must have been new mommy haze because I'll be honest--at this point, I am totally, completely, 150% o.k. with someone else plunking my little angels into their beds and flipping off the lights.
I can miss a reading of "Goodnight Moon" and be o.k. Someone else really can help find the mouse.
My older kids can get to bed an hour and a half late and be o.k. Consistency isn't that important to me.
I'm over the "What? Me? Leave my angels in the hands of another? Surely you jest!"
Now I'm stuck, utterly, in a new reality. The "...it's killing me" reality. We could also call this We Aren't Rich Enough To Go Out Because Paying a Babysitter To Watch Five Kids is More Expensive Than Dining at a Four-Star Eatery.
Pity us. We are a flirty young couple stuck living the lives of old married folks!
Our nearest family is far enough away that the plane ticket for a night out is well ... prohibitive. :-) Yes, Benny lives a mile away but frankly, combining our two broods for one evening is anything but relaxing for the husband called upon to give horseback rides, kick soccer balls, and endure WeeSing tunes belted out at full volume over a hastily thrown-together meal at a table overrun with wiggly bodies and gleeful clapping.
And heaven forbid said man actually had to work that day.
So, Mr. Blandings and I don't get out much. Instead, we set up date nights here at the house. I feed the kids early, we send them off to bed slightly before bedtime, and together, Mr. Blandings and I whip up our favorite Thai dishes. Then we settle in to play a game, watch a movie, or read.
It's sweet stuff. Romantic. But still, kind of routine.
I find that at this point in our marriage, I am hungering for more togetherness. If I could turn back time, I can't tell you how many extra in-law sponsored date nights I'd indulge in. If I had relatives near ... well, I might be taking advantage of them, that's all I'm saying. I'm not sure what this new stage in my heart is, but all of a sudden, my husband--who I've always cherished, loved, and considered my best friend--is suddenly always, ever on my mind.
We're been married 13 and a half years, and yet, seeing Mr. Blandings across a crowded soccer field still sends my heart tittering. Hearing his voice as he says his pet name for me is simply enough to make me feel like a giggling, frivolous schoolgirl.
I am, simply, in love.
Oh, yes, I adore my children. They are precious beyond precious, loved beyond loved.
But my husband? Now, there's the stuff that dreams are made of. :-)
So you know what? I really, really want to date my husband. I really, really want to look into his eyes across a table in a dimly-lit restaurant and talk about something other than diapers and school schedules. I want to hear his heart. I want to debate current events. I want to hear him tell me how much he loves me.
I want to be young and crazy and completely romantic.
Any ideas how to do that with five kids under the roof?