The best part of having such a large age difference between the kids is they can now babysit each other, making getting out of the house for date night so much easier. I hadn’t really planned anything, we don’t have a set night for ‘date night’, it’s more just when she gives me ‘that’ look, I know I’ve done something and need to go to damage control. That usually means French food and flowers ‘just because. This time though I just really needed to leave the house and have some time with my lovely wife. Yes, she reads this blog. It was Sunday evening and we had been running ragged all weekend with the kids, from soccer to birthday parties to first dates. Adorable? Yes. Tiring? Absolutely.
Eldest took the reins, dinner was in the oven and wife was shuffled hurriedly into the car, amid shouts of ‘BED BY EIGHT!’. We were already on the Sunshine Motorway and nearly at Mooloolaba before the inquisition started. ‘What’s the plan Romeo?’ ‘Wait … what did you do?!’ Can’t a guy just take his ‘honey-bunny’ out? Apparently not, but she’ll find out about my boo-boo later, for now I was in the good books. I had no plan at all so I headed for somewhere we hadn’t been for a while, I knew it would be reasonably quiet, a Sunday night, off season so not as many tourists and holiday makers. We arrived and found a park facing the surf as the sun was setting. I’m just that good. We sat in the car listening to our favourite music and talking about absolute silliness for what felt like only minutes, but turned out to be a lot longer. We’d simply watched the sunset holding hands for two hours. To have two uninterrupted hours together like this is rare for us, as you’ll know if you’re a parent.
We hopped out of the car and crossed over to the series of coffee shops, restaurants and beachfront stores that line the esplanade and wandered along until something took our fancy. We didn’t really feel hungry; we just kept walking, hand in hand as a lovely ocean breeze swirled around us gently. That has to be my favourite part of living on the coast, the ocean breezes, keeping the heat at bay. It was actually quite cool that evening, and my wife hadn’t thought to bring more than a light wrap. As we sat sipping take away coffee on a bench overlooking the beach, I watched as her long dark hair flowed effortlessly in the breeze. She shivered slightly, and like a nervous schoolboy I saw my opportunity. I made a let loose and ridiculously exaggerated yawn, stretching my arms high above our heads. She watched with a quirked eyebrow as I slowly and very smoothly laid my arm around her, pulled in her close and made my patented ‘smoochy face’. She immediately burst out laughing at me. I got my kiss, amid her laughter so obviously what they say about making girls laugh is true.
This was all we needed, time alone – together. It’s invaluable for us as parents to get away from the kids and reconnect. Doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and be filled with exuberant gestures of ‘undying love’, simply time together being ourselves. Obviously lovely scenery with good coffee helps. We sat there side by side until late into the night, just watching the dark water crashing over itself, and the bright sand between us and the water, lit up by the street lamps. The comically exaggerated shadows of tiny crabs skittering across the sands our only distraction from each other.