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Date Night

Date Night

by: Elizabeth Thorndike

Okay, I have to be honest with you, when I titled this post, a little bitterness popped up. My immediate thought was to title it “Date night…NOT!” I have struggled with the date night phrase for years. It has presented itself in many forms and has always left a bit of a foul taste in my mouth.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love date night! A small boutique-like restaurant deck overlooking the ocean with a spicy margarita, my hubby, and great conversation. It is one of my favorite things on the planet. However, as our new life journey took flight, I quickly realized that date night was a thing of the past. During those days, if we were lucky, we sat uninterrupted for 5 minutes with a HOT cup of coffee. I average 3.5 microwave re-heats per cup, per day (Juan Valdez just rolled in his grave).

Steaming Coffee

Seriously! If we ever managed to sneak in a five-minute span of time, we would sit with goofy smiles and acknowledge, with a toast, our small “date”. Most of our days were filled with creative redirections and do overs, melt downs and celebrations, and of course, the occasional dance parties. We lived at medical appointments and various types of therapies. We rarely sat down and never had our eyes off our kiddos for safety reasons. It was busy!

Once, we attended marital counseling where our therapist suggested a weekly date night. (Are you kidding me??? We are lucky if we get a weekly shower! LOL) We had grace knowing that the counselor meant well. I am positive the weekly date night thing works for typical couples, but unfortunately it was not an option for us. I would be lying if I said we were fine with this. The truth is, we weren’t. It was hard. Hard to pour into our marriage with our situation. Hard to know our extended family was not capable of helping. Hard to try and try again to find appropriate respite care, only to be disappointed.

marriage counseling

We were surrounded by friends who were able to have date nights often, even weekly. Friends that were able to go on weekend getaways and fly places for vacations. If I am being brutally honest, it was hard at times not to sit in envy. I loved our life and accepted our limitations, but seeing others have the breaks we only dreamed of was a wound for sure. I cried out to God many a time about this envy. I knew it was unhealthy and I knew I had to find a way to move forward in a place of peace.

Hearts In The Right Place

Then, there are the precious, well-intentioned friends. The friends who noticed we needed a date and quickly offered up their babysitting services. Now, keep in mind that we have 5 kiddos, 3 of whom have special needs. It takes a unique respite care worker that has a ton of experience to even begin to consider our family as a place of employment. Having a sweet older couple from church ask to help is kind but would not work. (I quickly get a vision of that movie clip where the babysitter runs out of the house, wet and covered with flour, as you pull up in the driveway!)

Alas…

NOT having a date night is just part of our journey. It is something we have come to accept, but at times it can still sting. I have to say though, with prayer and time, we have grown to love the time we do get and to celebrate others in their own marriage journeys. Through prayer and time with God, we have found creative ways to connect. Our moments may be small, but God has been faithful in making them deep.

Please tell us about your “date nights”. We all need to be creative when it comes to the absence of respite care. We need your inspiration. We need your ideas.

Anniversary Photo

I had to sneak our Anniversary photo to prove we have had 1 date!

about us

Meet the Thorndikes - Moment to Moment Family

Hi there! We are the crazy cool parents to 5 amazing and crazy cool kiddos. But, first, we are Dan and Elizabeth Thorndike – married 15 years and living this life one moment at a time. We have a full and blessed life, but we are clumsily tackling a journey we never foresaw ourselves living.

Read our story of how this journey all started in our blog post titled:
“The Beginning. Our Special Needs Journey”

Author

Elizabeth Thorndike

Introverted extrovert – that’s how I describe myself. I absolutely love being a mama but never knew how hard it would be, nor how deeply I could love.

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