“What do you want to do?” I asked my wife, eager at the opportunity to head out into a beautiful summer night without fighting with our kids about bath, bed, brushing teeth, or whatever.
“I don’t know. What do you want to do?” she replied.
I leaned a little closer to her on the couch and flicked through the channels again. For some reason, it landed on American Ninja Warrior. Twenty minutes later, I asked her if we were actually going to do anything.
“I’m good,”she replied.
Our wild week without children was off to a yawning start. The boys were away with their grandparents at a lake for the week. This was our first night back in a child-free life and we were well and truly bored.
As my wife watched American Ninja Warrior, I opened my Macbook to edit a few of the short videos I take of the boys. I watched a video of Zacharie playing on our last camping trip and it felt like a lifetime ago. In reality, it had only been 72 hours since I dropped him off with his grandparents, but it felt like ages.
Last year, Jen and I revelled in our mini child-free staycation – now I wonder what our lives will be like when the kids leave the nest.
I’ll admit, sleeping late in the mornings has been wonderful. I’m fully rested, with no third wheel in the bed, I’m waking up at 7:30 AM instead of 6 AM. We both sit out on the back deck, starting the day quietly with our coffee, a slight breeze, and bright morning sunshine. It’s absolutely perfect.
But then there’s the rest of the day.
Having kids defines a lifestyle, to an extent. We are so used to wrangling the boys for bed, bath, dinner, activities, and so on, that we don’t know what to do with ourselves when given a week off.
As the week went on, things got a little bit better. Tuesday night, we had drinks and pizza with friends. Wednesday night, we played golf. Thursday night, more drinks with friends.
It was fun to get out and see people and not worry about finding a sitter. But we were bored, and it was painfully obvious that my wife and I had forgotten how to be a couple. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves without the kids. Our time together has been all about kids for so long, that when given some slack — we’re lost.
And so, a resolution has been made for the fall — more dating time. Once a week, twice a month, whatever it is, we need to do more of it. A week of being bored without the kids showed me that I could use a little more boredom in my life.