Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Conversation

Overheard in the car, driving to Petropolis

Him: "Wow. I can't believe we are finally getting away!"

Her: "Yeah! It's been so long! Do you think the kids will be all right?"

Him: "Oh, I'm sure they will. Do you realize how long it's been since we've gone anywhere together? Just the two of us?"

Her: "We went to Casa Shopping just a couple of weeks ago to pick out ceramic for the floors..."

Him: "No! I mean since we've gone somewhere for the night! No kids ... no noise ... nobody to keep us up until midnight then wake us up at the crack of dawn! No obligations! No one to entertain!"

Her: "Oh, yeah! It has been a really long time... when was the last time, anyway? I'm sure it was before Kevin was born ...."

Him: "Yeah it was before Kevin was born! It was ... umm..." (thinking) "It was ... "

Her: "I think ... ummm... let's see ... ummm ???"

(silence. look of consternation crosses his face.)

Him: "Actually ...

(pause for dramatic effect)

Him: "Actually ... It was before James was born."

Her: "Huh? No way!!!"

Him: "Yes way! I know... it's hard to believe! It was in July of 1995 ... over ten years ago! You were 7 months pregnant with James!"

Her: "Oh yeah, I remember! We went to Visconde de Maua!"

Him: "Yes! That's it!"

Her: "Are you sure that was the last time?! That can't be ... surely ... we must have ..."

Him: "No ... that was it. Never again."

Her: "But ... but why??? How could we be so complacent??? Ten years???"


Him: "Well... first James was a little baby. Then Christian was born when James was only 18 months old. So for the first few years we had our hands full."

Her: "That's true..."

Him: "And Christian wasn't exactly a piece of cake. Remember those late nights! Remember the crying."

Her: "Yeah..."

Him: "Then later ... he was a little wildcat. If you took an eye off him for one second he would be into something."

Her: "Yes, but ... there must be some mistake! Christian was six when Kevin was born! Why wouldn't we do something before that!!!"

Him: "Ah, but how soon we forget! Remember ... it hasn't always been smooth sailing. There was a time in which we could barely turn our backs without them trying to tear each others hair out ... and that went right up to about the time Kevin was born."

Her: (in a subdued tone of voice) "Yes. You're right."

Him: "Oh, and also ..."

Her: "Enough already!!! I get it. There's always been something."

Him: "So that's it. It's been 10 years."

Her: "Ten years."

(extended period of silence)

Her: "It's almost as if this were ... our first date..."

(awkward silence)

Him: (clearing throat) "So! Do you think the kids miss us yet?"


At October 18, 2005 11:00 AM, Mark said...

10 years? Man, that is a long time. We just recently did our first night with both of us away from Ben, and he is two. I like how you made it a dialog entry. Moreso than narration, it helps the reader feel he/she is there.

At October 18, 2005 11:44 AM, Kim said...

Doesn't reality suck sometimes? A decade. Steve and I can relate. We've spent nights away from Lane, but it's usually when Lane is spending the night with a friend and then we look at each other like, "Well, what do we do now?" We suck.

I sure hope you guys had a great time! I'm a bit jealous!

At October 18, 2005 2:16 PM, Mom said...

I really enjoy your blogs. It is wonderful to have these frequent updates of the things going on in you guys lives.

I'm so glad that you and Cristina finally took the time to go away together. I trust you didn't spend too much time worrying about how the children were getting along without the two of you. I hope you guys had a great time!

Maybe it will be the beginning of frequent get aways for just the two of you.

Also, I hope it will spark the possibility of the occasional night out together. Unless things have changed a lot, the only times you went out together, were when I was there, or you were here; and I more or less forced you to leave the kids with me.

Great account of your last try to play tennis. I'm sure that nature isn't against you playing tennis.

At October 18, 2005 3:01 PM, Anonymous said...

Anyone that has children can relate. It's just a testament of your dedication to your family, although a decade may be a bit extreme! If it weren't for mom and dad, Lea-Ann and I would never get a night out either. They still seem incredibly rare...but it's all good. Every now and then we'll manage to get a night out, only to realize later that we spent 99% of our time talking about the kids.

It definitely gives me an appreciation for our parents...raising four kids each...WERE THEY OUT OF THEIR MIND??????

Glad you had a good trip...


At October 18, 2005 4:28 PM, Simon said...

Sweet Jebus...

I think my wife and I waited nine months after our boy was born before we let him have a sleepover at Granny's house. I was pushin' her to let the boy out of sight for a while, if I recall.

But man, a decade? Wow.

At October 18, 2005 6:54 PM, Jim said...

Mark, Kim, Simon, et al.

Ok ... let me clarify something ...
We have spent a few nights without the kids before Kevin was born-- when the kids asked to spend the night at their grandparents' house, with the cousins. But we were at home, or maybe went out for a movie or dinner. (Cristina's parents live a couple of blocks from us!) Usually, though, it's one or the other that stays there-- not both at once. This weekend was Kevin's inaugural night out! And he did great, according to Ana, my sister-in-law.

What we hadn't done, though, was travel ... get away, out of town, both of us, simultaneously, together!

It was funny because, although it's something that we have talked about and considered several times in the past, we really never realized that we haven't ever done it since the kids were born! Time flys when you're having fun!

I make no excuses... although we don't exactly have volunteers lining up to take care of 3 BOYS for a weekend (!!!) , there's no question that it was our own complacence that let things slide for so long.

Of course, we do a lot with the kids... but there's no question that it's revitalizing for the relationship to get away every once in awhile... even if only once per year! This weekend exemplifies that ... it was really great. I'll say more in my next blog post!

At October 18, 2005 7:08 PM, Jim said...


It was great for us to get away together ... and I hope we can start doing it more frequently (at least every 4 or 5 years! a decade is way too long!)

But we have been going out together much more than in the past. As I mentioned in another post (the japanese food one, I think), we have been leaving the kids with Iolanda maybe 2 - 3 times per month, so we can go out and see a movie, have dinner, or just have a beer somewhere. The only problem is our "curfew" ;-)
We generally try to be home by 9pm because she still has a long commute to get home.

Of course, we are looking very forward to your next visit here so we can get away even more ... maybe even stay out until after midnight! Wow! Wouldn't that be something! Would you lend me the car keys, too?

But seriously ... our guest accomodations are nearly ready. Potential babysitters will be very welcome ... let Steve know what the price of our "bed & breakfast" is!

Hey! That invitation goes out anyone else thinking of spending an "interesting" vacation in Rio de Janeiro! (Excepting anonymous psychopaths, please)

At October 18, 2005 7:25 PM, Jim said...


This is the big problem... when we go out for a couple of hours, we almost always find ourselves discussing the same subjects, in the following order:

- the kids (85%)
- the house / construction / decoration, etc. (10%)
- problems of other family members or friends (3%)
- misc. domestic matters, such as what groceries we need or the toilet that's stopped up (1.8%)
- us and our relationship (0.2%)

The great thing about getting away overnight is that the tired subjects soon wear themselves out and we end up developing fresh subjects. Of course we talked about the kids, but, if anything, the percentages above inverted their order!

At least, that's what I can offer from my vast experience of once in a decade going out overnight with my lovely wife! ;-)

... also ...
I've often thought our parents (and Cristina's, who had FIVE) must have been insane. People tell me that we are insane for having three.

So ... Rick and Michele, what do YOU have to say???

At October 18, 2005 7:27 PM, Jim said...


When my firstborn was 9 months old, my wife was already pregnant again!

At October 18, 2005 7:55 PM, Mark said...


Oh, I see. That's different. We haven't done more than just one night away together yet. That will be interesting to see if we get past the mundane topics, as you and your wife fortunately did.

By the way... I would not have thought that the guy playing tennis was you, based on your Blogger profile picture.

At October 18, 2005 8:47 PM, Jim said...

Mark, I know ... I'm pretty goofy looking in a cap.

At October 20, 2005 5:08 PM, Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does Petropolis invoke images of a superhero home base?


At October 20, 2005 10:22 PM, Jim said...

Egad! I have unwittingly divulged the name of my secret mountain headquarters! My archnemesis will now be able to Google its whereabouts and ascertain my true identity!


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