Today, my daughter came home from school only to walk back out to spend the evening with my parents, just like she does every Friday night. On her way down the stairs, I told her what I was doing tonight and she said, “I hate when you all go on dates.”
In all of her four-year-old wisdom, she told me that she hates when her mom and dad go on dates. There are times in my life when this probably would have broken my heart, but not today…
You see, pretty girl, you might hate that we go on dates. I know that the few hours apart at night once a week feel like forever because I miss you while I’m gone too. I long for your hugs and cuddles or your funny jokes, but what I long for even more is to provide you with a happy home filled with happiness, contentment, safety.
I love feeling balanced and rejuvenated after an adult-only evening with your dad. I love wandering around Target looking at everything but the toys. I love browsing Barnes & Noble for books that I love to read and bonding over which coffee your dad thinks I might like this time. I love not sharing my dinner with anyone to save money. I love having a conversation and not being interrupted. I love your dad. I just love him with my whole heart and I love spending time with him.
I am able to love you better because of date nights. I know you might hate our date nights, but our date nights remain with you in mind, too. We go on date nights because our love for each other is more important than keeping you happy in that moment, so that we may sow seeds for a happy home life and childhood. Our date nights stoke the fire of love between your mom and dad, that at four-years-old isn’t that important to you, but give it some time and you will realize how important it is.
Even though you hate date nights, we will keep dating as often as we can because putting our marriage first is what will allow you a happy home to thrive in as you grow. A place where you feel happy, safe, and unburdened. You were created in love and you will be nurtured in love at whatever cost.
Hopefully you will one day grow up and you will know what it looks like to really be loved and to love. What type of commitment marriage is – not just wedding dresses and honeymoons, or sex and playing house, but hard work and commitment. You will consider what you want a marriage to look like when you date a boy. You might even recognize that there were times when part of my heart wasn’t into date nights or that maybe I wanted to stay home with you instead, but I chose date night because I knew that was the right choice. I promised to choose your dad even when it was hard and I made that promise again in front of your little eyes.