It was our 16th wedding anniversary and the kids were headed to grandma’s for the night. For once we had our act together, planned ahead, and the wife and I were hitting the town. We had tickets for Coldplay at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and couldn’t wait to celebrate our anniversary together with tens of thousands of other people. Kid free.
The lights went down, the music turned up, the band took the stage and started rocking out to the songs we all remember: Yellow, Clocks, Sky Full Of Stars. They had given out these very cool wristbands for everyone when we entered that lit up different colors and choreographed the audience with the music. It was cool. It was very cool. And it was fun. Couples were dancing. Friends were singing. Parents were dancing with their kids.
About an hour into things I thought it. But I refused to say it. Then my wife thought it. And she finally said it, “The kids really would have had fun tonight.” I told her I had thought the same thing but had decided not to say it. As parents it is so tough not to get caught up in the cycle of feeling guilty when you enjoy something WITHOUT the kids.
But we’re all allowed to. We deserve it. I’ll say it again: We parents are ALL allowed to enjoy and indulge WITHOUT the kids. And we don’t need to feel guilty for it. That last part is most important: no guilt!
Long before we had two kids, long before we had our little house in our little suburban town, there were two young college students who found each other and fell in love. Long before the family, there was the couple. On this night, we were celebrating THAT. The COUPLE.
The music took us down a memorable journey for the night: In My Place, Viva La Vida, Fix You. As balloons bounded in the crowd and fireworks rocketed in the air, I put my arm around my wife and she put her head on my shoulder. It was that nuzzly head on the shoulder that sends tingles down your spine. That, “I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have someone who feels the way about me that I feel about them.” On this night, for these few minutes, it was back to just us again. And it was guilt free deliciousness.
We left the concert and got each of the kids a t-shirt. A guilt free t-shirt. Don’t tell the kids, but EVERY time they wear that shirt, I’m going to remember the time we left them home with grandma, and went out to celebrate our anniversary by enjoying a much needed and wonderful guilt free night of coupleness.