Sometimes Parenting Has Very Little to Do With The Children

By Megan

“Grab a fleece and meet me downstairs,” I whispered to Al as I brushed past him outside Bean’s room Saturday evening.

We’d finished up the bedtime routine with both kids a little bit early, and I’d already surreptitiously poured us each a glass of wine, lit a few candles, and collected a warm, snuggly comforter from the basement and lay them, waiting, near the glass door to the back porch.

I drank in the thrilled expression that spread across his face, and as I watched him walk happily off to do as I’d instructed, a tell-tale bounce in his step, I felt the burden of the past weeks slip easily off my shoulders.

Minutes later, we snuck out the back door out onto our patio and into the cool night air, Al carried our glasses and his iPod, and I followed behind with the candles and the blanket. We quietly arranged two chairs side by side, touching, “like a sofa,” I smiled at him. We settled in together and sighed. He flickered and clicked briefly at the iPod and out spilled a favorite song – an Al and Megan song. We leaned back into our chairs with twin sighs, sipped our drinks, grinned pleased grins at one another. His hand found mine.

The sun bowed out gracefully, and we talked slowly and softly, laughing and nodding, our eyes catching each others’ gently, the two of us at ease at last. There’d been no altercation, no crashing disagreement, just a slowly tightening resentment borne of too many hours apart, too many days gone by with children and jobs and life, but without a moment like this to savor together.

Without our togetherness.

We lay our heads back, one against the other, and looked into the sky as dusk faded to night. A gentle breeze brushed a lacy veil of lavender, grey, and soft blue clouds from the face of a shyly glowing moon. We watched deeply, listened to the leaves rustle, sunk lower into the cushions of our chairs and gathered the comforter closer around us. The music carried our thoughts away and we dreamed new dreams quietly with one another, a few words, a plan, the future.

Later, inside again, he’d pull me close as I put away the last of the day’s dishes and say, simply, “Thank you for tonight. I love you. You’re my best friend.”

And I am me again with him, and he is him.

And we are.

18 Responses to Sometimes Parenting Has Very Little to Do With The Children
  1. melissa
    August 3, 2009 | 5:55 am

    one of the best posts I’ve read so far 🙂 it is so true and so touching 🙂 I sincerely hope that I will never forget it and manage to keep our togetherness and happiness just like you 🙂

  2. Courtney
    August 3, 2009 | 8:48 am

    Beautiful! I thank God for those little moments uninterrupted by cries, squeals, and requests of more milk.

  3. Jeni
    August 3, 2009 | 10:29 am

    What a wonderful evening! What a great idea – simple time together, without munchkins underfoot. My husband & I could really use a date like that!

  4. Kelly
    August 3, 2009 | 11:09 am

    The description of your evening is poetry, as usual.

    But your title is inspired.

  5. Jen
    August 3, 2009 | 11:38 am

    My husband starts grad school today (working full time, class in the evenings), so I’m sure times like that will become more and more important in the next few years. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Sandy
    August 3, 2009 | 12:55 pm

    So lovely! What a great moment and a great post. I think it’s SO IMPORTANT for parents to make time for each other, away from their kids, to keep the relationship strong.

  7. Melissa
    August 3, 2009 | 1:57 pm

    Oh, so sweet. Megan, once again you have inspired me. :o) Hope you have a great week ahead!

  8. candace
    August 3, 2009 | 2:55 pm

    Great post. It is always a good thing to spend some time with your husband. My husband and I have a standing date night once a month that we get out have dinner and see a movie we have been wanting to see. It is great b/c our son goes grandma’s and stays the night and we get some much needed time together. Taking care of ones marriage in my opinion is one of the best things you can do for children.

  9. nicole
    August 3, 2009 | 3:02 pm

    A beautiful reminder that we are husband and wife before we are Mom and Dad (spiritually, if not physically and legally). Thanks for sharing Megan and Al!

  10. Mari
    August 3, 2009 | 4:53 pm

    Beautiful Megan! You know what? Even when the kids are grown, life can do the same thing to you. I need to do your first step too!

  11. Hannah
    August 3, 2009 | 4:57 pm

    Note to self: Do what Megan did. Very soon.

  12. Alice
    August 3, 2009 | 6:42 pm

    “A gentle breeze brushed a lacy veil of lavender, grey, and soft blue clouds from the face of a shyly glowing moon.”

    Megan, how do you DO that?! I was captivated by the whole thing, but absolutely entranced by that one sentence. What a gift you have!

    Also, well done on that first step! A good one, too! I am not sure how to even get to that first step with Neil, we are so far gone! I say that with humour but actually it’s kind of sad. We have cheerful banter but also distance, and we could really use some of that closeness you describe. I will have to think on this and pray about it too. Thanks SO much for the inspiration! xxx

  13. […] Sometimes Parenting Has Very Little to Do With The Children […]

  14. Steph
    August 4, 2009 | 12:29 pm


  15. Erin
    August 5, 2009 | 8:37 am

    What a great reminder that you have to be great spouses to be good parents….I needed that. 🙂

  16. Carrie
    August 7, 2009 | 8:27 pm

    Beautiful post! You are so right – a rock-solid marriage is the greatest gift we can give our babies. 🙂

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