Date night . . . Sunday fun day . . . Couple’s retreat.
Whatever you want to call it, the desired result is the same. The big question is . . . How do you spend time together now that the kids are gone?
It sometimes seems like a strange goal. I can remember years of wishing that I had some alone time. Take the bathroom—a room usually occupied by one person—but not when you’re a mom! I think the kids had some kind of bathroom radar detector system. No sooner did the door click shut than one of them came rushing in. Now that the kids are gone, my husband has taken over the job. He can be dead asleep, or across the house . . . and somehow . . . he can still hear the click of the bathroom door. And there he is, ready to have a conversation! Often, he hasn’t talked to me all day. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to break him of the habit. But always trying to look on the bright side, I tell myself that at least he’s talking to me.
Not wanting our only couple’s time to be in the bathroom, I decided to take action. So I got us matching beach cruisers. Nothing frilly or fancy. The bikes are a two-tone shade of beige.
My husband hates them.
After hours, and sometimes even days of trying to win him over with my most convincing arguments, we finally go for a ride . . . and he announces to any passersby that I’ve forced him into riding this ridiculous bike. Once, we ran into a couple of friends when we were out for a ride. He couldn’t get out of there fast enough and talked about how embarrassing it was all the way home. It makes no sense to me. We were riding beach cruisers . . . on the beach! My friend called me the next day to say she wished that her husband would ride bikes with her. Score one for my side.
When the kids were home, we never had to think about how to spend time together; it just happened. We all were at the soccer field, the softball field, the lake, or the stables. Several nights a week, and most weekends, were filled with practices, games, or competitions to watch. At the time, it seemed hectic. I can remember thinking it would be nice when we didn’t have so many commitments.
Nowadays, we are more likely to be on opposite sides of the house than together. He’s inside when I’m outside. I’m in when he’s out. We each have our own room to watch TV . . . except for when we’re eating dinner . . . then we watch TV in the same room. Another thing that was lost when the kids moved out was eating dinner together at the table. I tried to keep up this tradition for a while, but now it’s one of those “pick your battles” situations—so dinner doesn’t count.
I’m not giving up yet.
The beach bikes may not have turned out to be the great success I hoped they’d be, but I’ll keep searching for a way to have more together time.
We too gave up on eating at the table. Mornings its at our desk in the same room and diinner speeding through the recorded news. I have a years worth of This is Us to watch because he will not watch it..... And that is why we create art! Loved your blog and can totally relate to it.