DATE NIGHT – – – FOR ANOTHER COUPLE
What a wonderful service and Christmas gift to give NOW so a mom, dad, or couple can get their shopping done, or have a few minutes to renew and rejuvenate.
As I look back over the years, some of the sweetest memories I have, and those of my now-grown kids, are the times we arranged a date for another couple, while caring for their children so they could go out together.
- Some couples had a special needs child(ren) which necessitated extraordinary care, making it a rare occasion when both mother and father could go out together; since one needed to be home to watch over the child(ren).
- Some couples simply did not have the means to ever go out on a date, even one of a minimal cost.
- And some did not realize the importance of taking crucial time away from the kidlets, to be together and strengthen their marriage.
- Some cared for elderly parents that could not be left alone.
One exceptional family included a daughter who could not walk, talk, eat, sit up or even control her hands on her own. Extended family helped as they were able with doctor appointments and other occasions, such as allowing the mother to attend a school play to support and see her other children, while dad was at work. Dates were considered an extreme luxury and occurred very rarely, as they did not want to impose on the help of family members and close friends, more than they already needed to do.
We volunteered to watch the kids and arranged for a date for this couple. The kids were fun to have over and the special needs daughter brought a priceless spirit into our home.
Another couple that really stands out consisted of a mother, father, a young boy and little girl. The young boy had braces on his legs; he was almost completely blind and also had other handicaps. This family was far from any relatives and lived on a very meager income.
I approached them with the proposal of a date night. They said they had not been on a date in years, actually since before the birth of their son due to lack of help to watch their children. They were happy with the offer, but did not know what to do or where they would go since they hadn’t lived there long, and even one extra dollar was a huge obstacle. I told them not to worry; we would take care of it all.
It was summer time, and on the arranged day I made a picnic meal and put it in a cooler with a note to please bring it back with them after their date (now I would use a disposable one, but they didn’t have them back then). If you choose to do this, don’t forget the paper plates, utensils, etc.
The kids and I went to the dollar store with our little budget of maybe $5 and they had a blast choosing what we would use to decorate with. (My little girls wanted to decorate with dolls and my young sons wanted to decorate with army men and match box cars.)
Taking the party supplies to the local park, which has a beautiful little area with a picnic table by a stream in a secluded area, we laid out the table cloth, sprinkled the confetti, attached the balloons to the table and of course left the cooler. Inside the cooler was surprise tickets to the local movie house (not having extra income of my own, I had called and asked for a gift of two tickets for this very wonderful couple. The manager was so kind to oblige).
I left my oldest son to ‘guard’ the table and went home with the rest of the kids to meet the family. When the parents came I gave them a little map with directions to find their picnic.
My oldest son was watching for the couple to come, and when they came into sight he hid around the corner to make sure they found it, and when they did, he made his way back up to the main part of the park so my husband could pick him up and bring him back home (it would be so much easier now with cell phones).
We had a terrific time with the boy and his sister. The parents were in tears when they came back, saying they never dreamed of a wonderful date with just the two of them together. They moved shortly after that, and we have lost track of each other, but it is a cherished memory.
I hope you will consider making it possible for a couple to go on a date who would not be able to, due to health issues, money or just never thought it was important. It will strengthen your own family, as much or more, than those you are willing to serve.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.