Last Thursday Christopher and I dropped the kids at school and then we drove to Watertown, New York for a little cross border shopping. It is approximately a two and a half hour drive from our house to Watertown. Normally we take the kids and the two and a half hours feels like two and a half years. This time we found ourselves at the border in what felt like minutes. We had spent the drive carrying on complete conversations. No one interrupted us, no on asked questions, there was not a single "Are we there yet?"
We did a little shopping. It is amazing how quickly you can whip through a store with two adults. At no point in the day did I raise my voice. At no point did I threaten anyone. We spent the day just enjoying each other's company. We don't do that enough. We are so committed to our children that we forget to invest in our marriage. I think it happens to the best of us. We get caught up in being parents and forget that our relationship came first.
We enjoyed a late lunch at Panera Bread. Be both ordered the same thing. We sat in silence. It was not an awkward silence as though there were no words. It was the silence that 19 years of marriage brings. There was no need to speak, we spoke without using words. We simply enjoyed our meal in peace. There was a mother and her son a few seats behind us. The little guy was acting up. I sat in silent enjoyment, knowing that was not me. I was enjoying a warm meal, and at no point did my panini get stone cold while I dealt with children. At no point did I have to gulp down my mouthful of food unchewed so that I could answer questions. We ate in blissful silence. We left the restaurant holding hands, practically skipping.
I needed to pick up an outfit for Riley. On Saturday she had the zone public speaking competition at the Tweed Legion. I wanted her to look her best. So far I had not seen any outfits that had fit the bill. (She came in third for our area by the way. I'm very proud of her). We decided to venture to the Salmon Run Mall. We wandered around the mall, holding hands and ducking into stores. As we were searching the mall we came across The Easter Bunny. We both looked at each other, childishness reflected in the other's eyes. I guess that you can take us away from the kids, but you can't take the kid's out of us. We silently nodded, and got in line.
I expected the poor woman who was working at the pictures with the Easter Bunny to roll her eyes at the two middle aged idiots who were getting their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny. To my surprise she gave us a big smile. "I love people like you!" she said with a big genuine smile. We sat for our picture. While we waited for the picture to print out we told the Easter Bunny and his helper that we were escaping from our 4 children for the day. As we were leaving the Easter Bunny came up and patted me on the back. "I am 49 years old" he told us "and a first time Daddy. I never knew that you could love another human being as much as I love that baby girl." He then gave me a big fuzzy hug and quietly said "Bless you".
Being a Mother is the greatest blessing that I have ever had bestowed upon me. I consider it a calling. I adore my children and want only the best for them. They come before everything else in my life. They did not ask to be born, I chose to have them. Having said all of that, one of the greatest gifts that I can give my children is to show them what a happy marriage looks like. It's important for them to see that their parents love each other. To do that we have to invest in our marriage. If you don't keep investing in that marriage, it's going to die. Thursday was a reminder that we need to do that more often.