We don’t do date night too often, we don’t make it a priority to escape just us two but maybe we should. So it’s a big deal. We have a gift card to a restaurant, I put on my nicest outfit – fuchsia tights, tall brown boots and a little black dress – and whip out the black eyeliner, I’m feeling so saucy. It’s our night. All day, I’m dancing in delight at the thought of an evening with you, my darling. It’s not too often I get to go out for supper, let alone just us two, to have a conversation without a single – hang on a second…. – interruption. All week long, it’s been Evelynn’s week of need with her runny nose and teething misery. Not a supper has been made unless she’s riding Ergo-style on my back and I’m ready for a rest. My mother is the Baby-Whisperer and we’re still going out and I think I’ll leave my diaper bag at home to celebrate.

We curled up at a local steakhouse. We hold hands lazy across the table, like we always do, fingers touching. The service isn’t great and it’s pretty cold in here but who cares? It’s date night and they can take their time, we’re sipping red wine slow. Our meal hasn’t arrived yet and we’re just getting to the good conversation, the one that comes after we’ve talked about the day and the tinies and work and the details and the catch-up-on-it-all. We’re drifting into our favourite words, the conversation of corner booths and empty restaurants, of years making love in all hours of the day. The gift of listening well is being given.

But then phone is buzzing and our wee girl, she’s just inconsolable at home. Ever and I, we’re in a funny cosmic connection phase right now. She knows when I leave the house. If I put her to bed and stay home, she sleeps bliss. But if I put her down and sneak quiet out the front door, she wakes up within moments of my soul leaving the premises and cries her protest. Occupy Bedtime! I want my mum and I know somehow that she isn’t near me. I had hoped we could get away with an evening but it’s just not to be tonight.  We sit in silence for a minute and date night is already over. We can’t recapture the light night when I know there’s a wee girl at home that needs her mama.

So you pay full price for a meal we’ll eat at home heated up in the microwave an hour later. We drive through wet snow-rain, holding hands on the gear shift and when your company car rocks into park, I’m already running into the house, leaving you, and I dash up to the stairs to see her there, crying real crocodile tears, looking forlorn and lonely, surrounded by people. It’s a quick change out of my fancy clothes, back into my jammies, and then she’s in my arms, quiet and exhausted, both of us resting at last. Your eyes aren’t resentful on us, you look happy to see us together again, your heart just as much for her as my own.

I nursed her and tucked her into bed where she slept easily. (Of course she did, she knows I’m home to stay somehow.) And then Joe fell out of his bed with a crash and woke her up again and we started over with two sobbing tired tinies (one still snoring through it all) but sleep came mercifully quick for them.

An hour later, we finished our date night on the couch. We heated up our supper and it wasn’t very good, let’s be honest. We balanced our plates on pillows, jammies on, faces scrubbed and watched The Daily Show on our computer, laughing and eye-rolling.

Oh, my love, this is the season for date night, interrupted. And it’s okay – really – with us both. We’re together, corner booth or corner of the couch. You lean over onto me, at rest, and my fingers are on your ear lobe kneading and I know that you’re happy, too, that this is really all we ever wanted on those late nights of early loving more than 12 years ago, we only ever wanted to be together for all of this, didn’t we? Kiss me goodnight in our bed, let me rest my ankles on your leg, the snow is starting to fall in earnest.

I write sometimes about what love looks like for us.

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In which I had the chance to do something amazing - and I didn't
In which I sing songs in the cold twilight
thank you for sharing...
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  • I love this post. It’s so true of the season of littles. And I love how your husband isn’t resentful or bitter…but his heart is for the sweet baby too.  My husband is like that also, and I know I am blessed.  My oldest was the WORST about waking when I left. My husband is still traumatized by it almost 8 years later. Yet, I love that attachment because it doesn’t last long.

  • I adore these “love looks like” posts. So real and beautiful and true.

  • Tara_pohlkottepress


  • tears welling… so sweet.

  • Yep. And this too shall pass. Which is both encouraging and a little heartbreaking.

  • It is a season. I give you bonus points for even attempting to go out with a baby at home~ mine always came with me.  I don’t think my husband and I did date nights very often for probably 10+ years.  It’s okay.  We love.  We live.  We are.  That’s marriage.

  • ::sigh:: this was our story two weeks ago.  Thanks for bringing new perspective… I love your writing!

  • Trait

    Sara and I laugh about this season of life as well.  We’re parents and it’s what we do.  If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend the TV show “Up All Night” with Will Arnett and Christina Applegate. It’s hilarious and a non-cynical look at a couple in our stage of life.

  • Daniloudoan

    Sounds like our date nights lately! Ah, sigh! Its a phase for sure…definitely can bring us closer together if we let it! Thanks for sharing:) We have even tried date nights in lately. We put our tines to bed early and eat dinner after. of course that is the one night that our seven month old wakes up screaming for whatever odd reason and ends up finishing our date night crawling over our feet:) 

  • Mum

    I’m not feeling like the baby whisper any longer…what do you do with small girl who really wants to nurse and cuddle Mama. I will return, one day. Love you guys and thanks for coming home. lol

  • Anne J

    Love this. 

  • Carriebeth

    oh my goodness, your  words are so beautiful and honest.

  • The hubs and I have terrible luck with dates. After Jason’s graduation, we tried to grab a date night. Did the same. Got all dolled up and fancified. And halfway there, got a call from our oldest who was watching her siblings that her youngest brother puked and we needed to come home. Grabbed some Chinese food from what USED TO BE our favorite Chinese restaurant only to discover that the people who took it over destroyed it. Watched a terrible movie and by the end, we were laughing so hard, it was just fun.

    Today we tried another date (first one since then). Wretched service, over-priced food, horribly inappropriate waiter. When the (finally) brought us our drinks and Jason’s margarita was garnished with a lime and OLIVE, we just burst out laughing.

    Thank you for sharing the disappointment and joy of your date!

  • This is so beautiful, Sarah.  

  • Love it

    this is one of the the most beautiful things I have ever read …

  • Madelyn

    Tis a season, to be sure…but you will never regret that you listened to her voice. 

  • O goodness, like every other time we are in bed together someone wakes up and needs me. And somehow we are still in love. Soooooo been here.

  • KathleenBasi

    This is just so beautiful. You have such a good attitude about it, too!

  • i smile at the real moments, the ankles on leg and the terrible food.
    beautiful life.
    made me cry, too. 😉

  • “…we only ever wanted to be together for all of this…” yes. yes. My word, I am weeping. And that last line of such beauty and poetry… man. I LOVE this series, Sarah. It helps me to take a step back and see our love, too. So thank you.

  • Diana Trautwein

    Sarah – sweet thing – for some reason, I am no longer getting your blog via email. So…I just ‘assumed’ you were taking a break for a while. Hmmmm…..I see lots and lots of posts that I’ve missed and that just makes me downright weepy. THIS ONE for example, did make me weepy . So lovely. And so true, especially when nursing a baby – love, interrupted…but still so deep. So, I’ve re-upped and hopefully, I’ll see your name almost every day in my too-full inbox. Missed you a lot.

  • jimmie lee

    I love this…

  • Beautiful.

  • love this one, Sarah.  We know this one quite well!  😉

  • natashia muna

    I call my mum ‘the baby whisperer’! – so funny thought that was just me 🙂 I remember my daughter being exactly the same when she was little. Peaceful sleeper when I was home, but should I step foot out the door….she would know, wake up and torture her poor father until I got back 🙂 

    I really relate to this post though. Love looks like what it looks like, and trying to make it look the way it used to, only leads to dissatisfaction. For my husband and I, like you guys, we are fine with it, we actually found it was our childless friends who had the most trouble accepting that our lives are different now and that we are ok with that 🙂