Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering This Moment: Date Night With Davy

Remembering This Momentcapturing a moment in our day that I want to hold onto.  It doesn't have to be anything special, just one of the myriad of small, beautiful moments that make up our life.  I know someday the memories of these moments will fade.  This is my way of hanging onto them.  
Read more here.

Friday night was our date night.
It had been a while, what with Aaron traveling, Thanksgiving and all.
Date night is essential.
We can complete sentences without interruption.
We can even tell a whole story without once saying, "hang on, I'll take care of this one," and leaving the room.
Or we can hold hands while we walk and just be quiet together.
We can focus on each other.
I love date night.

Aaron suggested we go to LA for something new.
We went to Monsieur Marcel in the Farmer's Market.
I love the Farmer's Market.
I'd go every day if I lived nearby and had endless pennies for eating out.

Monsieur Marcel's reminds me of when we were in France.
Those chairs are in every cafe.
I love them.

But what I love best of all about date nights right now, is dating Davy.

We don't get a lot of one on on time with our kids.
There are 4 of them.
And because he's the baby and usually so chill, Davy can get  a bit lost in the shuffle.
That's why I love the nights when it's just the 3 of us.
I don't begrudge having a 3rd wheel on our date.
He's the sweetest little 3rd wheel around.

And yes, we keep him out late.
We're now the kind of parents I used to judge.
"I can't believe that baby isn't in bed.  What's wrong with his parents?  Don't they even know what time it is?  Don't they have him on a schedule?"
Those were back in the days when I had 1 kid and I was perfect.
Now I am so not perfect.
Now I know that if Davy stays out late with us it will not mess him up for life, or even for a couple of days.
He rolls with it.
So do we.
Because I know our date nights out with this baby are fleeting.

He's already reaching for our food.
See how he's looking at Aaron's beef bourguignon?
He wants it.
He grabs at everything on the table.
He almost spilled my coffee.
And before long he'll be wanting to run around and not sit on our laps, chewing his Sophie giraffe and grabbing for our forks.
We have to enjoy these moments while we can.

It's funny.
With our other kids, we couldn't wait to get a night out without them.
But it's so different with Davy.
People ask me all the time if it's he that is different, or me.
And as mellow as Davy is, all my babies were mellow at this stage.
I think it's really more about me.
I have finally learned to relax.
I have learned to just sit back and enjoy my baby.
If it's late and he's getting tired and fussy, I'll nurse him.
I don't worry that it's not "time" yet.
I don't worry that he's almost 6 months old and still sits with us in church.
He's only 6 months old!
Does he really have to go in the nursery?
I don't care that some guy in the mall said, "wow, this is sure a late night for such a little guy."
Before, I would have worried about what that stranger thought of us.
Now, I don't care.
Now, I'm just enjoying a date with my baby.

And my calm transfers to him.
At the restaurant that night, 4 different people commented on how mellow Davy was.
Our waiter asked if we were giving him wine.
Another lady told us we were hipster parents (ha!  it's the glasses we were both wearing) and so "together" in our parenting.
(doesn't that sound like a very LAish thing to say to someone?  it made me smile)
Ironic, when we were doing just the thing I used to think was terrible parenting.
Each day that I parent my kids, I am learning the value in making the most of a moment instead of making a lot of rules to live by.
Yes, there is a time for schedules and routines and organization.
But there is also a time for bubble baths in the middle of the day, cuddling your 5 year old to sleep and keeping the baby out late.

After dinner, we walked around The Grove.
Davy loved the lights in the mall.
10 o clock at night and he was wide-eyed, taking it all in.
We loved watching his wonderment and sharing a little Christmas magic with our smallest boy.
He won't remember it, but I always will.
Davy's first Christmas.
Now I have totally made myself cry.

We really don't know when our last day will be.
Will you be here to enjoy next Christmas?
Will I?
Don't think I'm trying to depress you.
I'm not.
I'm encouraging you to live each day fully and enjoy the people you love instead of being too busy for them.
It's Christmas.
There's no easier time to tell people you love them.
Or show them.
Do a little of both.

Today while we were driving, a Christmas song by Mannheim Steamroller came on the radio.
Their music reminds me of the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland.
It makes me laugh.
It also makes me think of my dad.
Because he loves Mannheim Steamroller.
And he always tries to make the rest of us like them too.
And we just laugh at him because we just can't get past the Main Street Electrical Parade vibe.
So I told the kids, "this is some of Dziadzi's favorite Christmas music."
(dziadzi is grandpa in Polish)
And then I called my dad and told him that I just heard his favorite Christmas music and it made me think of him.
And that I loved him.
It only took a minute.

I know I am not the only one who gives into the temptation to feel frazzled and stressed about getting it all done in the 18 days until Christmas. 
(crud.  really?  18 days?) 
But I am trying not to.
Remembering instead that it's all about relationships and not "getting it done."
Remembering it's about this:

Love from,


Katie @ minivan diva said...

The phone call to your dad almost made me cry. I love that you are breaking your own rules. I love that about having more kids.

Betsi* said...

I love everything about this post from the photo of you and beautiful Davy to the time stamp of 2:08 am (we were up together as I was feeding Luke!).
I'll never forget what an older woman told me when I was young, had only one and was raising him on the perfect schedule: you can't spoil children by giving them too much of your time and love. Shifted my whole outlook on parenting.
Also, my mom loves Manheim Steamroller too and we will also never understand the draw of its crazy Main Street Electrical Parade sound. But it holds an appeal for me now cuz I think of Mom.

Tammy Callis said...

Well, now you went and made me cry! Beautiful post Greta, Joy to the world indeed!