I remember preparing for dates when I was a single woman. Candles lit, romantic music on, hours to exfoliate, shave, moisturize, paint toenails, try on different outfits. I remember having pretty bras and lots of choices of what to wear. I remember the leisurely glass of wine and the anticipation of romance.
Dates as a married couple are a little bit different.
On Friday night, in the last moments of Margot's nap, I suggested to the kids that we get gussied up before Daddy's arrival home. Jude put on his shirt and tie, and combed his hair over with water. Violet found her "spawkwy dwess". I hopped into a tub full of four inches of water. Margot woke up and started banging on the bathroom door. The handle of my razor broke so I carefully pinched the blade-head to shave my legs. I threw on the same top I wear for every "special" occasion.When I came downstairs, these two had swept the kitchen floor and cleared the craft detritus off the kitchen table, and put a tablecloth on it. They were so proud of themselves! They giggled as they anticipated shouting "SURPRISE!" when daddy came through the door. They set the table, and broke two wineglasses while they waited for him to come home.
I found the Billie Holiday CD we listened to on the night we met and put on my red lipstick. When my husband got home, we had a slow dance while Jude watched. Then Jude helped daddy light the candles. We each had a dance with our children giggling in our arms.
The kids ate their pizza while we sat with them and told them the story of how we met, and it occurred to me that everything our children will know of love and romance they will learn from us. A pretty tablecloth, candles, special glasses, a slow dance, holding hands and looking into each other's eyes go along way to keeping those embers glowing. These little ones took it all in, especially when we extended the story to include each of their births. The story of how we met is the story of the beginning of our family, and of the generations that will follow.
Once the kids had eaten, we put a movie on for them, and enjoyed our own pizza and some wine, and told stories we hadn't told before. It turns out, after ten years, we have lots more to talk about.