On Saturday we had our last date night for awhile I reckon. I read all the advice about how important date nights are for a relationship, especially when you have a kid, and even more so when your child has a disability. Truth is, it’s just not something that is realistic for our family to do once a month or even once every few months. I can count on one hand -ok, maybe two- the number of date nights we’ve had since Seb was born. He’s four. And that’s ok. We get creative and have movie nights in and even special dinners together after Seb goes to sleep. But the freedom of getting out into the city or our neighborhood together, on our own, is pretty exhilarating. We now live within walking distance to two movie theatres and plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops. Walking home together after a film on a warm summer night, catching a glimpse of the crescent moon, bliss.
Since we lived in Egypt for the first two years of Sebastian’s life and his needs were greater than the local teen from the international school up the street could handle (Dear Babysitter), our explorations always involved Seb. Which was pretty awesome too. We did take turns getting out on our own, but as a couple we were limited to in house activities post Seb's bedtime. When Ali's mum visited for a couple weeks for Sebastian's first birthday, we all went up to Alexandria. After Seb had gone to sleep, Ali and I ventured out into the night market. It was our first time out together without Sebastian and it felt so weird! All the sounds he is sensitive to, we noted. It was as though he was still with us. More recently we had an event in the evening to meet the delivery team for our hospital. When Ali was looking for parking, he just said he'd drop us off and continue looking. Us? Seb was snuggled in bed at home, while the respite worker was available should he wake. We laughed.
As moments together alone are rare, recently two have have involved appointments in the evening for baby related stuff. One was a hospital tour back in February for a hospital we won't be delivering at. The other was the meet and greet for the team of doctors who deliver at the hospital we will be delivering at. Seb accompanied us for our recent tour of the cord blood bank and also our delivery hospital. The first hospital tour was emotional for us and we asked a lot of questions, trying to get to a place where we felt safe in this place. It was good that we were on our own. There were a lot of sideways looks at each other and hand squeezes. We had our tour yesterday of our actual hospital and having Sebastian along was a treat. He listened to everything and looked around. We talked about his sibling being born there and he smiled. It was a positive family affair.
We have gotten to go see a couple films this year thanks to my mom’s visits and a good friend or two coming by once Seb is asleep, being on hand should he wake. Whenever we visit Michigan we do get some time to ourselves, although recently it has been a couple hours here or there for shopping. We do try to get out to dinner or a movie and now that we are living closer to my mom, that has been possible. We’ve also been lucky to meet a great gal through Hippotherapy who runs her own respite care business, M. Sebastian is familiar with her from our weekly therapy where she accompanies another fabulous boy, a bit older than him. I started to keep her in mind should we need someone before Sebastian’s bedtime.
We always do the bedtime routine with Seb, although recently my mom has stepped in on occasion and now our new friend M, whom Seb thinks is pretty funny. Since he has a very specific bath and bedtime routine, including three medicines before bed for his seizures, I’m very protective about someone else taking over that job. I need to have someone I can trust to administer the meds properly as well as know what to do in case if a seizure. I also still have a fear of being too far away should a large one occur, so we generally stay fairly close.
After almost four years we gained independence as a couple again bit by bit and now we are going to shake things up and welcome another baby into our lives. And we are excited. Even though a bit nervous still. All three of us. But we are happy.