I have a problem that annoys a lot of people. I am an eternal optimist. That is why I photograph weddings. I pretty much walk around with a bluebird on my shoulder, a Disney tune in my head and if something doesn't work out it "wasn't meant to be." But in marriage that isn't always how it works. There are times when it feels like you are paddling upstream and you wave at the other people passing you by so effortlessly. You feel like you surely must be doing something very wrong. Because it was so easy when you first met. He or she was so interesting, there were still things learn about each other, and most importantly he/she was just so darn cute. But then there are comfortable times followed by some hard times, happy times and more comfortable times. Me and my husband have to go along our separate paths most days. He works a lot and I work a lot. My daughter started to notice this trend recently. We tried to not make too big of a deal about it and keep things status quo. This is just real life right?
One morning, Nick (my husband) went into work at 6am which made me and Stella really happy because it meant that he was going to get out by 6pm. These are the days when we feel like a "normal" family and we love them. He is usually tired, but from somewhere he finds enough energy to play with our daughter (which always amazes me as I would be crying in the fetal position if a 12 hour shift was my "easy" day.)
Well Stella decided that she was going to do something special for us. "Mommy, you and daddy are going on a DATE NIGHT!!!" I explained to her that we all wanted to be together so that wasn't going to work. Whenever Nick has an early night we love being able to be all together. She quickly decided that we needed to go to the grocery store to buy some food because she was going to make dinner. She wanted to bring "date night" to our house. We got a recipe out and went and bought the ingredients. Then she decided we HAD to have wine at this dinner. Because every date had wine and she was going to be the waitress to pour it. Alright!
When we got home, I started making dinner. Stella came out into the kitchen with her best version of a waitress outfit. Her blackest dress (it had leopard spots but hey, it worked) and an apron. She asked for a piece of paper. As I am cooking, she kept asking me how to spell words. I quickly figured out she was making a menu. She set the table and put out the menus and waited and waited.
Sure enough he came home way after 6 and Stella screamed "Daddy!!!!" She pulled him aside and demanded he put on a "tie" for dinner with me. Then she demanded I put on a dress and high heels. This is a very big thing to a five year old diva . . . high heels. Whenever life seems a little off kilter. . . a pair of high heels are sure to put everything back in place. So I did. While I was getting dressed (thinking that I might break her heart if I didn't) the doorbell rang. "Mommy go get the door!" I came out to see Nick leaning on the door frame, with a tie on, straight out of an 80's movie. I almost expected to see a Deloreon in the driveway. Stella greeted him like a real server and showed us to our table. With the records playing, she danced through the whole cold dinner. There are going to be hard days and this little girl wasn't going to let those hard days get the best of us! She was so happy to see us happy.
I was seriously crying like a baby when she brought us out the menus. I was crying because I knew this was the best day of my life so far without a doubt. When she was a baby, I went to psychic healer. I was tired and he was away and I needed some advice. She ended up telling me that this baby was going to be a great healer. At the time I thought I was raising a future Dr. but now I see what the medium meant. Stella does this sort of "healing" thing in so many ways for so many people. Even though we don't have the things a normal family strives for like extra time and extra money, we have enough because we love each other so much. With her simple gesture of "date night" Stella made us see that.
Some days, especially this day, I have to pinch myself because this is real life.