Seize the Date!

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. . ." - Robert Herrick

We've gotten smarter, my husband and I.

One of the nice things about getting a little older (besides the fact that it beats the alternative!) is that you become more savvy when it comes to matters of romance.

When we had our oldest son, he was the first grandchild, the cute baby - everyone wanted a piece of him. He went to Grandma and Grandpa's and we partied.

Our daughter followed four years later. . .a sweet baby girl that could be fluffed and patted. But she also had to have heart surgery at six months and required a good bit of our attention.

We had at least one date alone during those busy times. Nine months after the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert and nineteen months following his sister's arrival, we greeted our second "last" child.

When the really last "last" child arrived, I had built-in sitters. She is eight years younger than her closest brother. Maybe I should have had teenagers first. . .

Doling them out one-at-a-time to family members wasn't a problem. I can say with the utmost authority that I understood why no one wanted them all at once! Our "dates" dwindled to the occasional "no kids allowed" wedding and, when we could afford it, dinner out on our anniversary. And with all of the kids' activities, we never seemed to have time for a real date.

Ah, but hindsight is 20/20 and rose-colored, is it not?

We've since learned the value of having friends with kids to exchange babysitting, the importance of "networking" through school or church or atheletic venues, and, most importantly, to adjust our idea of exactly what constitutes a "date."

From our cultivated wisdom springs the concept that a date can be a cup of coffee at Waffle House between kid-runs. Thursday, it was a stroll around Seville Square during a concert while waiting for our son to finish acting class. Sometimes, it is going to Wal-Mart together at 5:30 AM to do grocery shopping before the onslaught. Or a thirty-minute walk around the block. Or telling each other stories about our grandmas while we're sitting on our front porch bench. We look for whatever opportunity we can find to be alone, even if it is just for fifteen minutes, to re-connect.

Some day, they'll all grow up and move away (and perhaps move back and away again, from what I hear. . . )It is important to invest some time now in the guy who's got to think I'm hot when I'm 80!

You don't have to stop gathering rosebuds because you're married, you just have to be more creative about finding them!