Starring you as the greatest gift

What better gift can you give your spouse than the gift of your time and undivided, kid-free attention? I started doing this a few years ago for birthday and Christmas, and even sometimes a “just-because” for Rich. He requires very little and those things he does want/need have very clear specifications. He usually purchases those without waiting for any holiday. Besides, I have an aversion to buying a “gift” for him that he’s written the specs down for – not much surprise/romance there!

So, I started buying gifts of two event tickets for him. Luckily (for him), he’s chosen to take me to these events as his date! They’ve typically been concerts – Fleetwood Mac, Matchbox Twenty, Bob Dylan. Last year, for his 50<sup>th</sup> birthday we trekked to Kansas City to see one of our favorite bands – O.A.R. We made an overnight stay of it at the Crown Center Marriott. It was wonderful! They’re going to be in Kansas City again in June and so will we! Last night was Rich’s Christmas present – the comedian Lewis Black at the beautiful Holland Center downtown.

There were many years Rich didn’t feel well enough to go out. Then there were the years we were reluctant to get a babysitter because we’re generally overprotective of our little Peanut. Now, we have young adult children who gladly watch their sister. Allison is old enough to listen to reason and knows what the expectations are when Mom &amp; Dad are gone. We can leave her with her siblings without thinking twice.

I make a point to get made-up and dressed-up for these outings. I silence my phone and check it infrequently (just in case the kids need something). I shake off whatever worry might be weighing on me – who wants to go on a date with a worrywart? Me neither. I try to be the date I’d want to have – no nagging (not that I EVER do this anyway), no worrying, no conversation about kids. I focus on being happy, forgetting about work and the harried world we live in, looking into his eyes and making him feel like the center of the universe.

These have been, by far, the best gifts I’ve ever given. As it turns out, they’ve been one of the greatest gifts I’ve received as well. They have been the most fun and life-renewing. They’ve created lasting memories and moments of connection that have strengthened our marriage.

If you haven’t gifted like this before, it might be worth a try. You have to go all-in though with your focus on being a fun date – even if you don’t feel it at first. Discuss the rules for the date ahead of time. Relax and enjoy. Who knew YOU would be the greatest gift of all?

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