for many people, when you have kids the most pressing role you play is "mama" and "papa." there is a tendency to forget that once-upon-a-time you might have been "girlfriend" or "boyfriend," then "newlywed" or what-have-you. sometimes you forget what its like to be a couple, as opposed to a couple of parents. for a sustainable marriage, this spells disaster.
at one point early this year, blake and i hit the hard realization that we don't really know how to just be "the two of us." we used to date? really?? that was soooooo long ago. its not like we NEVER go on dates, its just that it is so infrequently that every time we are out it feels....weird. so we made a pact to get to know each other all over again, outside of the role of mom/dad. and let me tell you, it is NICE. more than nice, it's downright HOT.
i highly recommend dating your spouse. we realized that we DO have things in common, which was a surprise because parenting can be so difficult at times that all you see is where you disagree. this can lead to "we are SO different...." which can lead to "who the crap is this person??" and that is, as i said, disaster.
sure, we ARE very different people, with very different personalities. but when we come together over something casually-mutual like good food, or a favorite band we can see how we actually compliment each other--in a more relaxed way, outside of our normal home environment. at a restaurant, we choose different plates and sample each others food, and talk about what we like and don't like. at a concert, i like to dance and drink while we watch a band, Blake likes to hold my coat, and keep me safe from drunk dudes, and drive me home while we talk over the play list on the drive. we laugh together and come up with little "had to be there" inside jokes to share later....we make memories. when we are on our date we are "blake and leah", or "that cute couple" who might be newlyweds or together for a decade, or who may or may not have three flooping children at home.
this weekend was the ultimate date: overnight in Seattle to see the man that binds us, Mr. Nick Cave. our first time away overnight since having George. i was worried i'd put too much expectation into this adventure, that because i wanted it to be so relaxing and so magical and so fun that i'd jinx it and we'd fight or i'd somehow be disappointed. apparently though, in my 20's, what was once my ability to "jinx" things, has now become an ability to manifest...hooray for my 30's!
relaxing, magical, and fun: it was all of those things. our hotel was classy and quiet with a vintage feel (for cheap), we were 4 blocks from a fantastic restaurant that we got into on a Saturday with no reservation or wait, sat at the counter and watched the chefs work their craft, and opened our eyes together to the glory of the charcuterie plate; plus our show was only 2 blocks away and the band, Grinderman, KILLED--we had so much fun there and then stayed up late in our hotel room talking about it....among other things....:) in the morning we walked toward Pike Place Market (only 6 blocks) and found a great, quiet breakfast place serving fresh crab and avocado eggs benedict while we read the newspaper. after we checked out, we explored the (free!) Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront and finally, when we felt satisfied in our exploration of the city, we headed home, with hot coffee and happy souls.
i am already looking forward to our next date.....
we both agreed it was the best we've seen Nick...having this new, straight-up rock-and-roll project has given him new life...and the venue (King Cat) was small so we really got to enjoy the band up close
our hotel was called the Warwick and we had a Juliet balcony
here i am glaring at blake because he just belched loudly while taking my picture...just because we are on a date doesn't mean he doesn't get "the look"!