Date nights are amazing, aren’t they? Wait, let me rephrase that… Once you become a parent, date nights are both incredible and essential. As a work from home mom who spends almost all of her waking hours at home, with our son, getting out of the house is truly like a vacation! I really do miss Justin tremendously now that we don’t work side-by-side anymore. At times we have contemplated me returning to work so that we can be together during the day, but then we feel bad that Elijah would not get to see either of us all day. I have the opportunity to work from home (which is a blessing), so, for now, this really is the best situation for our family.
We get to have date nights, but we rarely get “a day off”. Last Saturday, Elijah went out with his grandmother for the day. We went on a nice long walk, did some shopping, and went for lunch at a new spot. We found a Korean restaurant we have never been to (yes, even though we live in China, we eat far more Korean food than Chinese food!) – we never bothered checking it out before since we assumed that it wasn’t kid-friendly. Turns out that they do have high chairs, and as we sat there having our lunch, we missed our little man. It isn’t easy for Justin because he only gets a couple of hours with him every evening during the week. The weekends are when we all get to be together. To have a “day off” actually means that Justin loses one of the two days a week that he gets to spend with Elijah. We tried to remind ourselves that it was nice not to have to feed anyone, and that we could just relax and do nothing if we wanted to. It sure was easy when he was a baby, and he just lay there coo-ing. We got to be together as a family, AND feel like we were still having time together as adults.
Justin had a chicken and vegetable dish smothered in cheese… Can’t go wrong with that! We kind of shared our meals, but we both have a definite preference for certain meals. I had Tteokbokki 떡볶이, which is a popular Korean snack food made from soft rice cake, fish cake and sweet red chili sauce; gochujang. It is commonly purchased from street vendors in Korea, and I used to LOVE picking up a portion of it on my way home from work in when I lived there. This version also contained prawns, seafood, and a boiled egg. Above bottom right, always a nice surprise to find that your rice cakes are stuffed with cheese!
After lunch we took a walk in a direction that we had never been. We found lots of older buildings and alleyways. Of course, these were adjacent to huge new fancy buildings, which is common these days in China. The new and the old, side by side. We found a few new stores, got some coffee, and enjoyed our time as “just us”. When we got home it was strange that Eli still wasn’t back. He had ended up taking a nap at his Nana’s place. I would love to have a “free Saturday” every week, but I realize that this is because I’m with Elijah all week long. Justin on the other hand, was over the moon to have Eli back home again later that afternoon. Funny how it is so different for the parent to works away from the house, and the one that works at home. Justin envies that I never have to miss Elijah, and I envy that he GETS a chance to miss him. hahaha!