Chad and I ran away. For two whole nights we slept in a hotel and we went out and explored the city and looked at whatever we felt like seeing, without worrying about kids’ nap times or wants or needs. We saw a movie. We ate a nice dinner. We laughed and talked about whatever came to mind and dug through racks at the Salvation Army for two hours because we think it’s fun.
We remembered simpler times. We really talked and really listened and didn’t feel rushed or stressed or anxious about anything.
For just a day or two the real world faded away.
When we drove back into town, he went straight to work. I went back to the varied duties of being a mama, and when baby number three woke up with fever at midnight and then stayed awake for most of the night, we sighed together in a rumpled bed that held a fever-crazed toddler. We got up bleary-eyed and mostly silent this morning. Exhausted. Knowing that the “real world” had kicked us squarely in the gut before we even had a chance to reflect on what a wonderful break we had just experienced.
Definitions of romance change as you grow older.
When we were younger, Chad was all poetry and crafts and love letters. And he still is at times. But, now he is more. He is all math homework at the kitchen table. Basketball coach. He is all in the delivery room, even when he’s really hungry for breakfast. He is all rocking babies and cleaning the garage and putting up Christmas lights.
Sometimes when the real world has kicked you in the gut, true romance is looking up and realizing that the great love of your life is right beside you, taking a beating right along with you.
And cracking jokes while it happens.
I’m glad we got to run away. And, I’m glad we got to come home to babies who need us. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather do the better and the worse of life with.
Tonight maybe we’ll get a little more sleep. But, if we find ourselves sitting up with the two year old once again, I plan to stop to appreciate the romance in middle of the night parenting. Because nothing is more romantic than just getting through things together and still being in love on the other side of it all.