In honour of Valentine’s Day, I want to share this post~

100 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter~

The #81 Never stop dating your husband~

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That’s it Fox~

Easy!

It can be easy to forget one another when you are married with children.

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(Our engagement night~Christmas eve 1989)

Reality is…once you have that first baby, you feel a love like no other. You truly think you couldn’t possibly love anyone or anything more that that baby. Truth is you won’t, but most importantly to that baby the love you have for your husband will by far the most important love of all.
Children feel safe when their parents love eachother, when children are safe they grow up feeling confident with a sense of self-resect.

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(Me and My favorite Freckled Fox)

Your dad and I have never stopped “dating”. I remember when we were first admitted to MacMaster Hospital with Braden, one of the key supports provided was for dad and I was for our marriage.
If we would sit too late at Braden’s bedside, usually by 11:30pm the doctors would make their rounds and peek in on him. If we were there still Dr.Malcolmson would always come in and sit down with us and remind us to take care of eachother. He use to tell us to go get a bottle of wine and have a date.
At the time we were living at the Ronald MacDonald house, so we didn’t have a lot of “alone” time. We shared a kitchen, livingroom, games room and dining room. I’m not complaining as honestly it was a safe haven in a world so foreign to us.
Nana and Papa were also very concerned and supportive of our relationship. I think it was one of Nana’s biggest fears that I would lose my marriage over this trauma. They constantly took shifts with Braden at the hospital. Your dad and I would go out on a weekend evening to have dinner, sit amongst all the normal happy people living their lives and enjoying their freedom.
I suppose for us, we never took for granted the time we had together and for that every single moment alone spent together was truly a blessing.
After our date night, we’d head back to the hospital just in time to tuck Braden in or watch a quick movie with him. Chat with the nursing staff, have a visit with Nana and Papa and then off they would go.
Most weekends however were spent the same, we would order food and have it delivered to ICU. We’d watch a movie, just the three of us. We would listen to music, read books or play with him. Eventually the doctors prescribed a drug to help Braden relax and fall asleep. Some nights he wouldn’t give in and sleep until the wee hours of the morning. He was so nosey…lol
Chloral hydrate was the drug of choice, and the nursing staff had orders to give it too him when we were ready. Some nights he fought it and we didn’t get out of the ICU until 11pm. On the rare occasion he’d be asleep by 10pm and on those nights we would run out of there with our pagers. Its not like we wanted to leave him all the time, because truly I believe the doctors finally realized we weren’t leaving every night until Braden fell asleep. So it was their idea to give him some meds to make that happen quicker..lol I know they worried about Paul and I.

Back to dating, I do remember if we got out early enough we would go to Tim Horton’s and grab a coffee and then we’d go for a drive.
We would drive all around Hamilton, just so we could talk, listen to the radio and touch base with the outside world. We would head up too the mountain and sit in his car. Those were dates, to us it meant everything. It was our time, we loved to be with each other.
It was because of Nana and Papa dad and I could continue to date through those earlier years. We trained them with the medical procedures and eventually we could head out and go to dinner on a Friday night. Even though we couldn’t stay out late, we loved the freedom. We were the only two in our world completely knowing and understanding how the other one felt. It is a bond that has for sure been challenged but never broken. For that reason I believe our family has been successful.
Eventually and thankfully you came along, and you joined our little family. Although that added a new level of “strain” considering we still had a medically fragile child, we still continued to date.

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(Do you remember this Valentines day? We had a romantic dinner planned with you kids. Dad cooked his famous shrimp dish. We had lobster and we toasted one another. It was one of my favorite valentines Day. It was important to us that you kids had the chance to experience what romance and Valentine’s day should be about)

There is something you don’t know, dad and I were very sneaky with date nights. On weekends when we couldn’t get out of the house to date, if Braden was sick or you were or maybe it was a busy family weekend. After you and Braden would go to bed, we would go to basement, watch a movie and dad would go to Burger King and we’d get Bacon Cheeseburgers and Fries…and we would sit down stairs, watch our movie and eat our burgers. Best Date Nights EVER!
We were so in love with our lives, we both understood not to take advantage of one another or the time we had. I can’t even explain how every moment alone to us was amazing~
There were moments after you were born, and we couldn’t no longer stay at the Ronald MacDonald house. It was a choice, we didn’t want to uproot you. We wanted you to have your school, gymnastic classes, skating classes and homecooked meals. You wanted to be with friends and of course Harley. So nana and papa stayed with you through the day, and I would be home at night. But during those years dad and I did have less time alone together when Braden was hospitalized. We did however take 30 minutes each day during shift change to have a coffee together in the hospital cafeteria. We would catch up, usually about you. Discuss my day at the hospital and Braden’s condition. Those to us, were dates. As sad as it was, again it was our time. I can truly say…during those moments there is no one else in the world I wanted to be with.
Today we still date.
We try to get out one night a week,(Red Basil Thursday date night ;)) and of course a night on the weekend.
We don’t have as much freedom as others do, we can’t pick up easily and leave for a weekend or a night. As you know there is a lot of planning involved at this time in our life.
But that’s no excuse Fox. We still need time together, and that takes creativity. Thankfully we do have a cottage that we can run off too on occasion and have a romantic evening. Once you hit 40-50 years old it can get challenging to come up with romantic ideas for date night. I will always remind you….it is so important to always find the time to plan, orchestrate and execute the perfect night in with hubby.
Now, that’s not always going to be your job. Take turns planning date night. You know my rule about communication between spouses. Never put expectations on eachother, do not think he can read your mind about what you would like for a date night. Tell him what you want. Give him complete instructions of your expectations, that’s how men work. They don’t all think like women, and you can’t hold that against them. If you share your wants and he pulls it off, then you have yourself a good man. It shouldn’t matter that you have to give him a shopping list of food options, candles and chocolate sauce. He will learn fox…its up to you too teach him.
I only hope your dad has taught you how you deserve to be treated by a man. That was his job as a daddy to a little girl. He took that job seriously, and I know the man you marry will have a best friend in him forever as long as he loves you as much as your dad does.

 

This past weekend dad and I had a date night. As you know we don’t have a real fireplace in our cottage (sadly). But that didn’t stop us from having indoor S’mores complete with a little adorable flame.

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We locked ourselves in our little cottage and did absolutely nothing but “Netflix and chill”..sorry Fox, but its true~
So as you venture out into the world of dating and finding a potential future hubby….always be sure you make time for one another. There should be NO excuses, if your dad and I could do it under those circumstances that we survived. Then my baby, you should certainly be capable of it too. When life is busy crazy, nights come quick, mornings come quicker, take the time to touch base. All you need is 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to connect. For the rest of your married life, even through the chaos, DATE. I promise we will be there for you, we will be sitters anytime you need. To us, your marriage will always be a priority. If it hadn’t been for nana and papa’s love and commitment to dad and I…we may not be sitting here tonight having our tea, watching The Little Couple.
We love you and both you and Braden will always have us in your corners for fulfilling healthy, happy marriages. Not in a meddling kind of way, we don’t want to be TOO involved. That’s one thing nana and papa did as well, they always respected our own unique family life. Never judging, arguing or challenging our choices. They are truly the best teachers we ever had, and I will be forever grateful to them both. I promise to be the best I can for you~
My lovelies, if you are reading this I hope you can take away something from my experiences. I hope that you have the same love and respect for one another as Paul and I do for eachother~
So until tomorrow good night and god bless~

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