Gone Coastal

Sunday, September 30, 2007

getting away

The Bear and I were never particularly good about date nights. Not that we never went out or spent time together, but a lot of that time was spent just doing stuff. I look back fondly on some great conversations at Home Depot. And we'd go for dinner often enough, but it was usually more a matter of not wanting to cook (or shop first and then cook) than a conscious effort to enhance our relationship. Birthdays and anniversary always warranted a nice dinner, and everything else was just whatever happened.

Needless to say, our track record since we've been parents has not improved. Tweetie has thankfully always been pretty good company, and, unlike some of our parental peers, she's come out with us to a number of places on different occasions. But that doesn't allow the one-on-one time without distractions or interruptions of a real date night. Tweetie's a little over a year now, and I can count on two thumbs the number of times we've been out by ourselves. I think I blogged about both, but for a recap, there was the time in February we were on the mainland and came back late to my mom's place, put Tweetie to bed, and realizing we'd forgotten to stop for food, spontaneously decided to leave T in bed (with my mom also sleeping in the next room) and go out for a late sit-down bite by ourselves. Then there was our anniversary, where another mom from my block took Tweetie for a couple of hours while we went out for dinner.
We had planned an outing a few weeks back on the Bear's birthday, but plans changed when his family came over to visit and we all went out together for a nice japanese teppan dinner. We tried to reschedule our private night out, but I dropped the ball on booking the sitter and it turned out to be one of those few nights when Tweetie didn't make ideal company - partly due to the most unhelpful nature of the restaurant we chose - with the result that it was anything but a relaxing night out.
But tonight we execute on a plan hatched months ago. It started when they announced the Police were doing a show in Vancouver. The Bear really wanted to go, but he was out of town, so he asked me to try and grab some tickets when they went on sale. We were sadly denied, with the tickets being sold out in very short order. But then Blue Man Group came up on the radar, and they were playing here in town, and while they're definitely not the Police, they do promise to put on a very entertaining show , of a nature that appeals to a tinkering guy like the Bear.
So, tonight's the night. Our sitter will arrive at 6:30, we'll brief her on what's where and the routine, and we'll be off to go do something, just the two of us, for a whole evening. The Bear's so excited about seeing the show that I've actually got him doing housework for me! But don't tell him I told y'all. I'm looking forward to the show, but it probably would matter much less to me what we were doing. To be doing anything just for entertainment without having to multitask the child minding off to one side will be a welcome change for a few hours.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Okay, don't get too excited. I know this is two posts in as many days after barely two in as many months. And we may go back to the old pace again right after, but sometimes you just have to take the time when you can. And some things just need to be shared promptly. This one's some of both.

Today was a day when I needed to take it easy. Take everything down a notch. Not get excited about anything that could wait for another day. A hard thing for me to do at the best of times. But I had a little help. The traffic coming home was fairly civilized. Tweetie was mostly back to her happy self today after nearly a week of dealing with immunization side effects. I opted for frozen pizza so I could sit on the couch with her instead of bouncing back and forth between kitchen to cook and living room to see what she was exploring. We took the dogs out for their walk, and there'd been just a trace of showers and a threat of a little more. This meant when we went by the park it was empty of the usual crowd of local dogs and their folks. Which in turn meant I could just toss the ball and let them burn off a good load of energy without having to walk a long way myself. And when I let the dogs back in the house after, I turned back to see a bright stem of a rainbow shooting up from mount Tolmie, the start of a full, if more subtle, arc, right around to the neighbour's yard.
But the best surprise came while spending time with Tweetie. I've been encouraging her with her standing a lot, and she's taken a few tentative half-steps just this week, though often choosing to drop down and crawl when she tires of the stationary view. but today I let go again, held out my hands, and she took three good steps before lunging for my arms. We called up the Bear, and while I was filling him in she took another five. Once more while he was still on the line, and this time seven steps. At this rate she'll be running marathons next week.
It has been a very hairy day, but I think I know what parts I want to remember.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chicken Little

We have a few very special friends whom we can count on for just about anything. If things go really crazy, they're the ones that get the call. Or the desperate e-mail. Whether it's minor emergencies, major crises, or just tough situations and decisions that leave us feeling a bit over our heads, we can send up a prayer flare and know that they'll be going before the throne of God along with us, from wherever they are. Not surprisingly, these are folks that have been there on the ground with practical support, too, when that's what was needed.
Sometimes, as I'm reaching yet again for the flares, I can't help but feel a bit like Chicken Little, running around again, telling everyone the sky is about to come crashing down around me. Maybe it's the world we're in that tells us we should be ever more self-sufficient, take care of anything that comes up at home from within those same walls. I was definitely raised to be self-sufficient. Don't become too dependent on anyone, they might not be there when you need 'em.
So it's taken a lot of time to learn to reach out for that support. And our friends have been most patient with us. There've been a lot of flares fired their way in the last few years. Some of those things seem very small now, but perhaps that's because there were good friends alongside us. Certainly some of those things I couldn't see us having come through without them, at least not without some major scars. And if every now and then, perchance, I get a tad trigger-happy on the flare gun, they've been more than gracious and never let on.

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