The Greatest Gift

It’s been 6 years since I’ve managed this schedule that includes 3, now 4, kids; 2 mothers (1 of whom is difficult for the sake of being difficult); 2 sets of grandparents; sports and practices; homework; family events; birthday parties and other celebrations, etc, etc, etc…we’re still in January and although the holidays are over, it still lingers in terms of plastic bins of decorations taking up room in our garage and rolls of holiday wrapping paper stashed where they don’t belong. Joe and I finally had a weekend to ourselves – it’s been far too long since it’s been just he and I. And so we did what we wanted, ate what we wanted and went where we wanted.

My brother and his wife were so kind to take Ella Saturday night so Joe and I could enjoy a new restaurant and watch Avatar. I was afraid that Ella would flip out the minute we inched towards the door to leave – negative! And I was afraid that Ella would flip out because we were gone long enough for a three course dinner and an almost 3 hour long movie – again, negative! We were so grateful that they took care of Ella for the night, and it allowed us to just relax and enjoy time together.

The next day we had planned to return the favor by taking our niece Addison to the zoo for a few hours. (P.S. I got a taste of what having twins is like!) I just wanted my brother and his wife (who is expecting) to relax – something I feel every parent can use more of – time to relax.

While we were at the zoo, I ran into my old co-worker friend. The last time I saw her, she had one baby boy – now she has two! She asked if both girls were mine and in explaining that we were giving my brother and his wife a break and they gave us a date night the previous night, she said

“I think that is the best gift you can give any parent.”

She of course was referring to something that translated as “time”. Someone is kind enough to watch your child/children for a few hours to give you “time”. Sometimes Joe and I give each other “time” by taking care of the kids so we can hang out with friends or travel or even watch a football game or catch a cat nap.

I appreciated my time with Joe and Ella this weekend. So many wonderful moments in just a single weekend: the simple things like running errands together, folding laundry together, sleeping next to each other, cooking Ella scrambled eggs and cheese, watching a movie together, trying new food together, seeing the animals at the zoo, and holding hands as we walk together…just the three of us.

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