Date Nights: Rain or Shine

My husband and I have a running joke that we have a rain cloud that follows us around on date nights, and once you become a parent, it’s a sin to have fun any more.

Is there some sort of rule that says middle-aged parents should stay home, watch TV, and never enjoy life without the kids in tow? And, by golly, if you do, parents, then Mother Nature will wreak havoc on your plans and make you walk around in torrential rains with thunder and lightning all night.

Of course not! But I do have to pose the question to whoever will listen as to why it rains every time we schedule a sitter.

If you are a parent, then you know that scheduling a sitter takes a lot of planning. It’s not that we just roll out of bed that morning and say, “I feel like having dinner out tonight without the kids. Let’s get a sitter.”

Trust me: If things were that simple, then parents would never stay at home. We would be in cafés every night of the week enjoying dinner in peace. If you have two children under the age of 6 sitting at your dinner table, then you are probably saying “Amen” right now. You know what I mean.

Sometimes when we schedule a date night, I may have to go through six or seven names on my sitter list before I find one available to babysit. Sometimes, we have to schedule a different night altogether in order to find a sitter who is available.

So far this summer, we’ve had at least eight date nights, and it’s rained on at least six out of the eight. I know rain is needed, but I prefer it on one of the six days that we are home not having dinner in peace.

This past weekend, though, we had a BIG date night. I say BIG because it was an OVERNIGHT. Those are rare. Our destination was the lovely King’s Daughters Inn in Durham. My husband and I drove 30 minutes from home to enjoy a night off from parenting and to explore an area that we rarely get to see on our shorter date nights. It was a 24-hour “parent-cation.”

We were eating at an outdoor café when the booming started. This wasn’t just an ordinary rain coming our way, but rather the kind that shows up as “intense” on Greg Fishal’s Doppler radar. We moved inside, ordered dessert, and then eventually headed to our car in a soft rain before the stormy fireworks and heavy rains started again.

We were in unfamiliar territory. We didn’t know the area, nor the roads. Exploring Durham would have to be put on hold. We retreated back to the comfort of the King’s Daughters Inn. Our clock on the nightstand read 8:33 p.m.

I think that may be a record for the earliest we’ve ever come in on a date night.

Guess what? We didn’t care this time. We were in luxurious surroundings, and we would wake up kid-free the next morning.

Rain or Shine. We were happy. I think we got the last laugh on Mother Nature for this date night. Don’t you? We’ll just have to go on another “parent-cation” and explore all that Durham has to offer. I just hope for some clear skies, though.