Marc and I signed up to be part of a Marriage Check Up study at Clark University – and every time we go in for a “check up,” the results are always overwhelmingly positive, we know each other inside and out, truly love each other, consider the other to be our best friend, etc. We work great as a team to head our family – but the thing that we are always told that we need to improve on is spending time alone together. With two, or four, busy active children, one full time job, time spent at the gym or working out, trying to carve out time when it’s just the two of us a real battle at times. For three years now, our version of a date is having just one child with us.

My new project is to make sure that at least twice a month, the two of us go out alone somewhere. It’s important not just for us, but also for the kids to see that part of a healthy adult relationship is making the time together a priority. I have sitters, my kids are easy to watch, well behaved, Sam’s certainly fine with me going off without him – there’s no reason in the world not to do it.

Last night – we went to the mall. I know, the mall. Kind of a goofy date, but Marc had pulled his hamstring, so we didn’t want to go paddleboating (which was a great idea I had stolen from my cousin) or a long walk… plus it was hot and humid and gross outside. We went to Bertucci’s for dinner, wandered around the mall for a bit, spent almost an hour in the bookstore, and then went shopping at Macy’s to spend a gift card Marc had for his birthday. It was lovely, we held hands, talked about all kinds of different stuff, he kissed me every now and again as we window shopped. I loved it.

It’s easy to lose sight of our relationship – to get caught up in our parenting roles, and to focus on what we have to do all the time. Marc and I catapulted into parenthood immediately when we first met (story for another time), so it’s not our default, to be just he and I, alone. But really, he’s my best friend. I find him fascinating, so brilliant and smart and easy to talk to – and it’s fabulous to be able to see him not just as the dad, not just as the guy I wish would bring out the trash, and could you please just change this diaper while I do the dishes – but to have him be mine. Just mine, and he loves me, loves me, loves me.

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