Our date night a change of pace from athletic events

by Denise Dykstra

This past week, the weekly high school football game was canceled.  My husband was a sad, I cannot even find the words to describe.

During the week, he has a countdown to when the game will be.  He thinks ahead of how to map out the best way to drive to the game.  He stresses over the day of work in hopes he can get all his semi’s loads delivered in time to be home extra early on game day.  He wakes up hollering “GAME DAY!” to all of us.

So no football game was indeed a blow to his week.

He also has been working hard trying to finish up his garden work.  My husband grows a garden that is massive and he sells the overflow of his produce on a little table in front of our house.  I make signs that declare “Garden Food” and people like to stop by and pick up some produce from his garden.

Right now he is trying hard to stay on top of the sweet corn he has (he staggered numerous patches of sweet corn this year), the tomatoes he still has producing, the winter squash that have begun and all the hundreds – yes, hundreds – of potatoes he has planted.

My husband has also been spending a majority of his weekends or early evenings at his mother’s home, helping her.  There comes times when in a shockingly bizarre change of events, children care for the parents and he has found himself at this time in his life.

It is hard for him to keep up with all the things of work, his garden, his mother’s needs, our family and the other commitments he has as well.  The man is a wee bit busy.  The only time we have seemed to spend together recently has been while we are exhaustedly sound asleep at the end of the day.

To be fair, we do spend time together at the football game.  Kind of.  My husband can not handle sitting down during a game.  He needs the highest point of the stands, he needs to be standing preferably at the 50 yard mark and he needs no one to bother him with mindless chatter.  Our time together on football nights is the time driving to and home from the game.

With no football this week due to the other school falling ill, my husband began making a list of all the things he needed to accomplish.  He needed to know the exact times of our weekend plans so he could make the events we had as well as get as much work done as possible.  I knew he would arrive home tired Friday night but I made an executive decision.

We were going on a date.

I made reservations — this required planning ahead — to a restaurant my husband had been wanting to try.  I informed him only that he needed to be home by six in the evening.  And while I knew his to do list was mile long and he was sure to be tired, I hoped that this interruption would be a good one.

He could hardly handle the suspense.  When he realized I wasn’t giving up any information, he started in on the boys.  Our darling children totally forgot that dinner out was a surprise and spilled the beans with hardly any pressure at all.

I curled my hair (which is something I have not done in quite awhile), picked the most impractical shoes I owned to go with my outfit and we headed out to dinner.  I was thrilled to see they offered outdoor seating that beautiful fall evening, but the night was for my husband and he was excited they had TVs showing college football games.

We ate food we did not cook nor that was not handed to us in a bag through a window, we chatted a bit and he was able to catch part of some exciting moments on a few different games showing in the restaurant.

When we were done with dinner, we realized the night was early but we didn’t have a clue what to do.  Most of our friends were at their children’s games.  It was too dark to go strolling for a walk.  Neither of us had any desire to walk into a single store.  Coffee would keep us from sleeping at this time of the night.  And the list of things to accomplish the next day had us suddenly feeling very tired.  So we held hands while we drove home, where to my husband’s great delight there was a nationally acclaimed high school football game on TV.

He settled his head to the back of the couch and relaxed for the first time in a long time.  I pulled out my latest knitting project.  The boys gave us a hard time that we were home just after eight in the evening and called us lame.

But there was something blissful about getting out alone together followed by having a relaxing evening at home in the middle of a chaotic season. It’s often the simple moments in life that recharge us and give us joy.

Soon our chaotic season will be over as all seasons do come to an end.  I am thankful for our quick getaway.

What are some of your favorite relaxing plans that recharge you in chaotic seasons?

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