Father's day this year was a MAJOR fail at our house. In order to not drum up more sour feelings, I'm going to leave it at that. All around cruddy day. Soo....
With our anniversary on the horizon as the next time I could replace that sourness, I wanted to plan ahead. Something really special. Something that would be super cool for Lawrence and I to do together, to celebrate us, and really have fun. Not just dinner or a drink, but something different and special.
So when I got a Groupon deal in early July for a 4 hour sea kayaking class, I knew I had just found my anniversary gift. As our anniversary neared, things were getting crazy. Life felt really stressful and so we decided to celebrate on our Tuesday night anniversary with a beer and nachos at the new Big Al's that was in it's Grand Opening a mile from our house. And we scheduled our "real" anniversary kayaking celebration for last weekend.
Every time we have plans away from the kids on the weekend I get anxious. Especially when it is during the day, before bedtime. I spend enough hours away from them while I am working during the week; I really feel like I can't afford any time away during the weekend and I stress out getting ready to go. My partner in crime, aka Lawrence, stays cool, calm, and collected and usually even finds a few minutes or thirty for some Sports Center, while I'm scrambling around in shear panic. :) Then of course once we do have an actual date, I'm refreshed, and I remember that I need to do things alone with Lawrence more often. But it's hard to do that. To make time for that. And usually our dates are set up because someone has invited us to an adult only event, a going away party, birthday party, football game, concert, etc, etc, and much of the time is spent with the guys doing one thing and the girls talking about another. We spend the drive in the car together and then our date turns into a "see each other in passing" kind of thing. And since we are SO Dave Ramsey, we rarely do out to dinners, just the two of us.
So this sea kayaking class. It was more awesome than I could have imagined. Even though I was anxious when we left, we had a blast, and when we came home we made a big family pancake breakfast dinner, and the kids had a great afternoon with Julia, they were happy and excited to see us. And I didn't feel guilty, I felt good.
We weren't together the entire time, but it was just us with 2 guides and 10 strangers, for four hours, doing something new and cool and outside and active and together. Something that we couldn't, wouldn't, wish we'd brought the kids too. We went 9 miles in the Willamette River around Ross Island and saw the city (of Portland) in a totally new and interesting way.
Lawrence is kind of a bossy teacher, and it reminded me of our early dating days when he'd try to instruct me on how to (snow) ski better, totally out of love. But my know-it-all-this-is-good-enough-self, hates that. So I chuckled inside when I yelled at him, "I KNOW!"
as he suggested I hold my paddle with my thumbs pointing a different way or what ever. The river was so peaceful, so there were long periods of time of no talking, being alone with our own thoughts, working hard the whole time. It reminded me of us. What we are like when the busyness of every day life and the tasks involved with carrying and caring for 3 young children aren't there to distract us from each other, from us. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE that distraction. We love how involved the other is our children's lives. We look at the other being a present parent and love more for it. It's not that we want to be away from the work that children bring. It's that last weekend when we were, I felt reconnected and rekindled and reminded. He is my buddy, he is fun, he is my best friend. When we get away to realize that, we come home and model that we are more than just teammates working for a common cause. Mommy and Daddy are in love, they are friends, and they go out and come home and are even more fun to be with because they have each other as a partner in this life. It's pretty cool.