When Parents Date (“H” is for Happy)

A few weeks ago, we asked for prayer from our friends , for strength in the every day dance of PhD-studying-family-parenting-without-pulling-our-hair-out struggles that are constantly before us.

That evening, I had three messages, all from friends in our sunday school class offering help, kindness, words of compassion and love.

I will forever give testimony to the power of community. Words like these and these, and many more filed under the Community & One Another category of this blog offer up the stories of what it means to be cared for in the wake of God’s love.

One friend offered to watch the boys so we could go on a date together, to refresh, to look in each other’s eyes and speak words without interruption.

When parents date, it’s the sweetest thing. An hour and a half becomes opportunity, becomes a span of time only to be treasured, never forgotten.

And this time, I was just smitten.

We ordered our bacon sandwich, and we asked for our drinks– my latte, his cappuccino– and we sat our letter “h” on the tabletop and waited. “H” is for happy, and I’m so happy, I thought. I grabbed Trav’s hand and seldom let go for an hour.

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The windows let the sunlight stream right in, right on our sides and faces, pulsing warmth into our hearts.

I laughed a few times, those loud laughs that make everyone sideways glance around to see who’s being so loud. But that’s what made it so sweet, and I didn’t care.

We went to that cemetery, the one I took the boys to, and we walked along the same brick paths, just the two of us.

When parents date, the blessedness is recognized, the reality that someone else is taking care of our biggest care, our boys, so we can rest a few minutes in each other’s embrace.

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We looked at the city skyline and remembered how happy we are to be here, how thankful we are for the process, hard as it is.

And then I said, “It’s hard, but it’s not hard, and we’re going to be fine.” And we walked on, looking at plants we couldn’t name and names we could never know, but we marveled at all of it, still.

And then we returned to our friend’s apartment to see our boys doing puzzles and playing with glowing pumpkins. We saw joy in their eyes, the smiles from their deep, full hearts worn full on their faces.

Some days are hard, some seasons break and empty us, and then we come back around to being filled up again, thanks to kind friends and an afternoon together, inside with coffee, outside with a walk along cemetery steps, in the view of sacred angel statues and under the towering might of a sky-scraped city.

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