Sunday, June 24, 2012

Best. Date. Ever.

Hubby and I don't get out much.  You know, on dates.  When the kids were babies, we used to have a standing Tuesday night "date night", because his mom would take the babies for us.  It was so great, and I think I took it for granted.  Because these date nights started as soon as we had the babies, I didn't know how great they were.  Until they stopped.  And everything changed.  That was when we lost my sweet mom-in-law to cancer.  The kids were 4 and 5.

Since then, life has just trudged along, and we have become used to the fact that date nights can be hard to arrange.  We do have a large family around us, and I'm sure if we'd have put some work into it we could have found a way to get out more often, but truthfully, we quietly let it happen.  Sadly, I think it just kind of took a backseat to other priorities, like laundry.  I actually think we just had a very difficult time processing the loss of hubby's mom.

So anyway, it had been a while.  Now the kids are at an age where we can leave them home alone for short periods of time, but I'm still more comfortable doing that during daylight hours, and not for more than a couple hours.

This past Thursday night, we had a date night scheduled.  (Insert sunshine and gospel "Hallelujah!" here.)  Sister was in town, and she and my mom were going to take the kiddos OVERNIGHT to hang out with them at Grandma's and swim, and they would have them until dinnertime Friday.  So we made reservations at a restaurant we had been waiting a long time to try.  I was so excited!  I showered.  Shaved the legs and pits.  Freshened up my toenail polish.  Applied make up.  Not just mascara--I'm talking EYESHADOW, people.  I put on lots of shiny jewelry.  This was going to be an EVENT.  Dinner and a movie.

So we get to the restaurant.  Order a couple glasses of wine and our appetizer.  Yum.  Then we order our main course.  As she's setting our plates down on the table, my phone rings.

Ugh.  Of course.

It's my sister.  A has been "injured".  They took the boys to my nephew's soccer game, and there is a playground near the soccer fields.  A and J went over there to play.  A, in all his infinite wisdom, decided to jump off the top of one of those tube slides, and he rolled his ankle.  He was in a LOT of pain.

Now, this probably doesn't sound like a big deal.  And I knew in some part of my brain that it likely wasn't.  However, this is the kid with the Herculean pain tolerance.  So much so that when he was a small child I worried that he may have that disorder where he can't feel pain, and that would have been horrible.  This is the kid that fell on his arm last fall and walked around for a WEEK with a broken arm before I brought him to the doctor because of how he wouldn't stop "holding" his arm.  I was not about to make that mistake again.

So there went our date night.

We spent the rest of the evening in the urgent care with A, my mom and my sister.  I have to mention here yet again how AMAZING it is to have such a supportive family all around me.  Without hesitation, my brother and SIL1 took responsibility for J so he wouldn't need to go to the urgent care.  My sweet Nephew 1 (who just got his driver's license!  Yay!) took J back to their house to hang out and wait for us.

As it turns out, A did not have a break at all.  He seems to have pulled some tendons in his foot, and they did wrap his foot and give him crutches.  Sort of like a sprained foot, I guess.  He's already getting much better, and went for a while last night without his crutches.  So all is good.  But no movie.

Right here I have to warn you that this is going to be a really long post.  It goes into Part 2 here, so if you don't have time you might want to come back later to finish reading this if you're so inclined.  It's been a while since I posted (sorry) and so I feel particularly wordy today.  So go, and come back tomorrow if you want, otherwise, go get another cup of coffee and keep reading!

Part 2.

So at the urgent care A was super devastated that he couldn't stay at Grandma's and swim some more in the morning.  But since the injury was not all that serious, the doc gave him the go ahead to swim as much as he could tolerate, and Grandma gave him the choice.  So the kids went home with them!  (Insert more sunshine and music here.)

One of the main reasons we wanted to do this extended date "night" was for the next day.  Hubby has been riding his motorcycle more than usual this season.  Partly because of the beautiful spring/summer we've been enjoying, and partly because of my dad's motorcycle that he inherited, which I think is easier to ride than his other one.  He recently went on a long ride with one of his buddies and thought it was super cool so he wanted to take me on the same route.  So that was the plan for the next morning.

I was nervous.  When hubby and I were dating, we went all over the place on the motorcycle.  I loved it!  I was young and childless, madly in love, and had no worries or fear.  Then I got pregnant, and it all stopped.  I couldn't ride when I was pregnant, and once you have babies it just doesn't happen much.  You can't put a carseat on a motorcycle, and there was an added hesitation on my part, because all of a sudden my life was so much more important to me.  I was a mom, after all.  So over the past few years I have probably been on the back of hubby's motorcycle about five times.  For short rides.  I was nervous about this one.  We would be on the cycle (other than stopping to eat) all day.

We left at 7:45 in the morning.  We went southeast.  Breakfast in a town called Zumbrota.  Went across the river into Wisconsin and stopped in a town called Nelson to go to Nelson Creamery, where they specialize in wine, cheese, and ice cream (HELLO, HOME).  We went into Lacrosse, Wisconsin.  Crossed the river again into Winona, Minnesota, lunch in Wabesha,  and headed back home from there.  All in all, other than our brief stops, we were on the motorcycle for almost 8 hours.  My ass HURT when I got home.  My knees were killing me.  I am old now, and I have little to no muscle in my butt to cushion it.  My feet were on pegs the whole time, forcing my knees to stay in one position.

But I didn't feel the pain until the last hour or so.  And as soon as I got off the motorcycle, I wanted to go again the next day.

Now I might get a little weird.  But folks, I swear, it was almost a religious experience.  I TOTALLY get why people join motorcycle clubs.  I think I could be an "old lady."  There is something so amazing  about being on a motorcycle for that kind of trip.  It was beautiful outside.  We drove along these back roads that were so gorgeous they seemed fake.  The woods.  The hills.  You can smell everything.  The water in the air.  I swear there is a smell to the color green.  I saw more bald eagles than I can count.  Crossing the river, you just can't believe this is where you live.  And that you don't get out and thank God for this every single day.  I had the love of my life between my knees.  The sun never felt hot on my face because of the wind rushing by.  And I could feel the outside all over me.  I let myself just relax and take it all in, and it really was one of the most memorable days I have ever had.

Now I need to get the hubby to buy the new motorcycle he's been thinking about to accommodate my tender heinie, and we may just start our own M.C.

So thanks mom, sister, brother, SIL1, Nephew1, and of course the hubby for making it all happen.  My butt feels normal again now.  It's time for another trip!

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