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Saturday nights, then and now

Nick and I had a babysitter lined up for Saturday night. We were going to have a nice dinner out and then maybe meet up with some friends. We were in need of a date night—we’ve both been working a ton and haven’t had much QT lately—and I was looking forward to taking a break from all the cooking (I’m doing a lot of food testing/writing right now). But at around 3 p.m., in the midst of a great, summer day with the kids (including sharks vs. mermaids in my aunt’s pool), we both started doing the “Do you really want to go out?” dance. We often do this dance because we’re both kind of homebodies and as much as we do like to go out to eat and socialize, we also really like being home. And we love to cook and eat our own food, which, not to toot my own horn, is often as good or better than the stuff we get in restaurants. And, yes, we discussed the fact that it would have cost nearly $200 to go out (dinner + wine + after-dinner drinks + babysitter) so there was that, too.


Summer is (un)officially here!


We cancelled on our babysitter, who was thrilled to not have to work (I made sure she wasn’t going to feel slighted). We planted flowers and tossed baseballs to Alex and watched him run through the sprinklers nonstop—and then “accidentally” shoot Nick with the hose about 10 times while watering my plants (after which he’d say, “But dad, I did it on purpose!”—he’s a little confused). For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have an agenda, I wasn’t multitasking, I was just there, enjoying my kids. We were in the backyard until dusk and then gave the kids a bath (their first one together, a success!) and put them to bed. It was 9:30 by the time we started eating our own dinner but we didn’t care. We sat outside on our patio with little candles on the table—next to both kids’ monitors—and ate delicious marinated skirt steak with polenta/goat cheese/tomato stacks and drank red wine.

We stayed out there chatting until midnight. That is SUPER late for us. We mostly talked about our relationship and why, despite our issues, we always manage to work things out (we need to do this from time to time, a pat on the back, a reminder of why we owe it to each other to be good partners). We talked about who we were when we first started dating versus who we are now and remembered what drew us to each other back in college--we met senior year--when we seemed so different. The consensus: We wanted the same things in life. We wanted this. To want nothing more than to stay home with each other, with our family, on a Saturday night. The truth is, it’s not a great stretch from Saturday nights 10 years ago. We liked to go out and party, don’t get me wrong, but we were both more than happy to head home—or to stay home to begin with.

It’s strange to have those moments when you realize you’re actually living the life you wanted. Especially when for so long, all we could talk about is what we would do when our real life started (there was something about living in NYC for us that felt so transient, so unreal, like we weren’t really living yet). And especially right now when we have young kids and life is moving at a million miles an hour and often days go by without us having a real conversation. I try to remind myself this as often as possible—that I am lucky, that I am blessed, that I should stop and smell the roses—but Saturday night I didn’t need to. It just happened and I reveled in it. We both did. It was the kind of day/night that we all really needed. The best part: Both kids slept till 7:30 and we didn’t have to get up once to put Nora’s pacifier back in her mouth. Sunday was more of the same. Needless to say, Monday hit us hard.

What was your Saturday night like? How different was it from Saturday nights when you first met your man? Do you have moments when it all clicks and you think, Damn, life is good? Of course I also have plenty of moments when I think, holy %@#*! what the $!&@! did I sign myself up for?! But that’s a different post for a different day….

Oh, and just so you don’t think I’m a stay-at-home every weekend, anti-social weirdo, Nick and I are going to a friend’s wedding on Saturday—sans kids—and I Can’t. Freaking. Wait.