Monday, July 12, 2010

A Lot Like a "Stay-cation"


As I looked ahead in my crystal ball, I could see that Bubba's got a lot of travel coming up this summer. Right-quick I secured a babysitter for Sunday night, figuring we could have a summertime date while the weather was warm. The problem was, now that the weather is gorgeous, the flowers are all blooming, the raspberries are nearly ripe and the grass hasn't yet turned brown from lack of water, by Saturday afternoon, neither of us could think of anywhere to go.

"I was actually thinking that it would be great to just lounge around on the deck and make ourselves a really nice dinner," Bubba said sheepishly, knowing I'm loathe to give up any opportunity for a date.

Hmmm, that gave me an idea. "How about we send the kids on a date with the babysitter?"

I purchased tickets to "Despicable Me - 3D" online for the three of them, gave the babysitter cash for treats and sent them off at 4:30 on a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. Bubba was busy in the kitchen forming lamb and mint meatballs, mixing up yogurt sauce, caramelizing onions and I started a pot of rice and whipped up some mojitos using the mint from the herb garden. While the meatballs sat to meld flavors, we parked ourselves in the sunshine on the deck and chatted. The dog settled down in between our chairs, the cat perched close by in the sunshine and all was peaceful.

Feeling a little tipsy (I was a little generous with the rum in the mojitos, it seems), we finally wandered in to the kitchen to do one of the things we did BK (Before Kids) - cook together. We have an easy relationship in the kitchen. I admire Bubba's penchant for inventing things on the fly and I love to watch him as I flit around behind the scenes doing the support work. Normally I'm cooking solo, so when we get the chance to collaborate on a meal we both know the kids wouldn't enjoy nearly enough for the amount of work that went into it, it is a genuine pleasure. Plates laden with rice, slightly crispy, fragrant meatballs, caramelized onions and roasted peppers in pomegranate molasses, and yogurt sauce, we headed back out to the deck to enjoy our creation and the evening breeze.

Looking out at the fruits of our labor in the yard, tasting the fruits of our labor in the kitchen, and relaxing in a place we feel most together was the perfect Sunday afternoon date. Bubba's off to Detroit on Monday, but this quiet respite from parenting re-connected us and grounded us and, I must say, having a date free from interruptions of wait staff or children was incredibly enjoyable. The kids came home thrilled to have been trusted with "going out" without a family member, Bubba and I were thrilled to have missed at least one of the 'summer blockbusters,' and the night was much more inexpensive than it would have been if we had gone out.

I've gotta do this more often!

2 comments:

Carrie Link said...

Brilliant idea sending the kids on a date. Double brilliant getting a sitter that can drive!

Deb Shucka said...

Sounds like the most perfect date ever. So happy for all of you, and hoping you get more of these summer evenings.

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