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Date Nights

2013 October 29
by Becky

Do you do Date Nights?

I remember when I was pregnant so many people gave me advice. One bit I heard a lot was “Find a good babysitter and go out once a month.” I thought, “Of course we will!”

Then Ethan was born and we lived in the NICU. Then lived without much sleep for weeks at home. We were traumatized for months, never thinking of heading out for “fun” without The Peanut. It wasn’t until Ethan was over five months old that our friends Catrina and Aaron showed up with babysitters for both our kids and dragged us out of the house for dinner and drinks in a public venue. Sure our conversation mostly centered around poopy diapers and breast feeding, but we were out and it was fun. I thank them to this day for this ultimate friend deed.

We’ve been ok at getting out since then. But not great.

Until this past Sunday, it had been many months since we left Ethan with a sitter and had a night out together. My my back issues are somewhat to blame, but mostly we are just bad at making the effort and expense of going out.

So Sunday we went out. I was supposed to be in Nashville all weekend with some girlfriends but bailed on the trip because the thought of sitting in a car for 9 total hours over three days made me panicky inside…my back is just starting to feel really good, I couldn’t risk it. So to ease my trip-cancel pain I bought two tickets to the Fabulous Fox Theatre. We hadn’t been to the Fox since returning to St. Louis, and it was time.

I called our babysitter—the neighbor’s sweet daughter—to see if she could squeeze us in on a Sunday night. And made reservations at a place we’ve been wanting to go. Ethan didn’t even bat an eye when the sitter arrived and we scurried out the door. He loves our sitter. He even cried once when it was time for her to go. (I wasn’t sure how to feel about that one…)

We slowly ate mussels and salad and steak and trout at the West End Grill while talking about all the other things we need to do: see friends more, go back to New York, tile the master bath floor, figure out christmas presents for Ethan, see more plays, get out to California, and how cool it would be to sit in Busch Stadium while the Cardinals play in the World Series (the bar had game four on the big screen).


To stuffed to even hear the word “dessert” we headed over to Grand. Just seeing that huge “FOX” marquee makes my heart beat faster. “Fabulous” really is so fitting. And I always know when I enter those doors, hearing the unmistakable dee doo of tickets being scanned, I’ll be seeing something incredible. This time? Harry Connick Jr. The first musician I was ever really passionate about and is still my all time fav. If you’ve never seen him in concert, do yourself a favor and go. I PROMISE, cross my heart you will love it. He’s so exceptionally talented, both concerts I’ve seen have overwhelmed me with the pure musicality. PLUS, he brings with him some of the top jazz musicians in the world. It’s like watching magic happen. New Orleans jazz was prominent—half the time it felt like we were at the best Mardi Gras party ever. But he sang the slow stuff too, like “You Don’t Know Me”—a Ray Charles cover, I know, but one of my absolute favorite ballads—and “City Beneath the Sea”. Swoon.

I could honestly go on all day. Let me know if you’d like to hear more about it, we’ll chat.
(I’d have pictures but darn it I followed the rules and didn’t take any.)

The sad part? I never thought to buy tickets for this concert until last week. I knew he was coming, I’d known for a long time but just didn’t consider going. Treat ourselves? Bah ha! It took canceling my girls trip—which was already something SO rare in itself—to make me think to plan something special and fun.

In the end, we remembered how important date night is. Not only do we get time to ourselves but we get time in the real world of social adults, of culture and new experiences. St. Louis has SO much to offer!! (The Rep! The Fox! The Powell! The Peabody! The Pageant! Touhill! Coca! Off Broadway! Opera Theatre!) I think it’s rarely the expense that stops us, as we can make some pretty cheap plans in this city, but the effort to get out of the comfy house where wearing pajama pants and slippers is perfectly acceptable attire while eating dinner on the couch during a Netflix episode of Breaking Bad (we’re almost through season three!)

We’ve also never been good at leaving Ethan. To date I’ve only left him over night a few times. And leaving him with a babysitter or relative is still not all that easy…until we are out the door and heading off on a little adventure. It’s the thought of the leaving that hurts the most. But once we’re gone I realize how ridiculous it is to feel guilty. It’s RIDICULOUS. The kid has a freaking blast with sitters.

I’m committing to do this more. Whether it’s with friends or on our own or heck, just me heading to a presentation or volunteer meeting, getting out feels SO good. I went to a seminar series several months back where I saw all kinds of old work friends and acquaintances and it was like I was a full functioning member of society again. Not just Becky: Mother of Ethan.

Here’s a push to all parents out there who forget date night or push off events too often. Find a sitter, ask a friend to do a sitter swap (you take turns watching each other’s kids), or hit up your family so you can GET OUT.

How do you do date night? 




3 Responses
  1. October 29, 2013

    Sounds like the perfect evening. Keep it up!!!

  2. November 5, 2013

    That’s very good advice. We realized when someone handed me last minute free tickets to Book of Mormon a few weeks ago that we need to get on the baby sitter situation stat. I need to find some good responsible teenagers! Glad you guys got a night out on the town!

    • Becky permalink*
      November 5, 2013

      Ahhhhh!!! I would have ditched stu and gone alone…I want to see that so bad!!! We just missed it here in STL, it was playing right before we moved back, and left right before it opened in DC. Someday!! Get a sitter sister

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