The baby has gone to bed, the television is turned off, the laptops are set aside. Ice cubes clink-chink in our water glasses and slightly shy smiles are exchanged across the table. My husband and I are alone – and awake – for the first time in months.
When you have a rambunctious 21 month-old at home you sometimes allow your relationship to…well…"slip". We are definitely guilty of that happening to us these days as most of our time together has been spent sleeping or handing off the aforementioned intemperate cherub. Reading the same book eighteen times in one evening or watching the Hakuna Matata sequence from the Lion King six times in one day is enough to send many marriages into the tank – for us it simply makes us stronger.
Leith has brought so much joy into our lives that we can’t really complain either. Even when we are both too tired to sit through the Oscars or to watch anything on television that is on past 10pm. Even when S. gets home from work starving and the only thing I have had time to do that day is bathe and dress Leith…my hair is standing on end, I have paint and crayon marks on my arms and a crazed look in my eyes. He takes the wee one up in one huge swoop of his arms and I go to quickly shower and then head to the kitchen to make something that a little boy and a grown man will both find appealing.
Then there are the rare days. So rare I don’t remember when the last one was, actually. The scattered Saturdays when Leith goes to bed and we sit down to dinner after he’s asleep. Those days I generally spend most of the day in the kitchen, putting together an "adult" meal. It might have food that you have to chew carefully before swallowing (salmon or medium-rare steak), hot foods that are in need of being served hot (such as soup) or foods that are one-bite-bits that are too big to fit in the tiny gob of one baby Leith (sushi is a perfect example).
This time it was an appetizer of Stuffed Mushroom Caps that coaxed us back into adulthood and out of the parent-trap. Soon our smiles became more familiar, more relaxed and the evening stretched into hours I personally hadn’t seen in months.