Best Thing That Never Happened

Sitting across from my husband, sharing a meal and uninterrupted conversation is a rarity in our lives.   On those rare date nights, I’m reminded of their impact of them on our marriage. I’ve always understood that marriage, or any valued relationship, takes work. It’s never easy for two people to sustain a relationship of any sort without acceptance, compromise, effort and passion.

Most experts cite scheduling date nights as one of the keys to maintaining a strong marriage, and I completely agree. However, most experts are not discussing marriages where there is a child with special needs involved. It’s not as simple to arrange to nights or days out for that matter.

For us the consideration in childcare is having someone who knows Cole well enough to understand and anticipate his needs. Someone who can lift and transfer him if needed to tend to his needs or to put him to bed. Someone who is comfortable with his g-tube if it’s during a mealtime. And someone who can be engaging with him and who will initiate activities besides just watching television. It’s a tall order, and one that unfortunately no one in our immediate family can accommodate.

He’s grown too big for my mom to lift him so evenings are tough, unless it’s a quick school meeting or something along those lines. Daytime quickies could work if the timing is right. He loves spending time with her but it’s most common that it’s an activity, shopping or taking her to lunch, these days.

We have a couple of people we engage but it’s dependent upon their schedules whether or not it works, and more often than not, it’s for group events or school events. It’s rare that we manage to find ourselves sitting across a table in a low lit restaurant, sipping wine, chatting and laughing…but when we do, it’s impactful. Not having to talk over Cole or the TV, and talking about random things that sometimes, shockingly, have nothing to do with our home life, family, or school, reminds me of our long ago dates.

Despite having been married for nearly fifteen years, these evenings serve to remind me of the times when I was just a girl and he was just boy and we were falling in love. We’re still in love, but there’s something so wonderful about the falling…

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