A Household Word: Home Alone

It was a miracle. A harmonic convergence, like the eclipse of the moon or the alignment of the planets. It was Saturday night and all three of my kids were out of the house. Two were sleeping over at friends’ houses and one was at an evening birthday party that involved laser tag and Lord of the Rings at the local movie theater. Sure, we would pay later with crabby, sleep-deprived kids and the obligatory, reciprocal sleepovers at our house next weekend. But for a few precious hours, they were gone. It was just me and my spouse in blissful solitude.

I figured we had about two and a half hours before Lord of the Rings let out and our 10-year-old burst through the door. Until then, the possibilities were limitless. It was a cold night and outside the stars sparkled in the sky. I felt my cheeks flush with excitement. It had been weeks since we had the luxury of  an evening alone. My husband, Harris, and I exchanged glances, and I recognized a familiar glimmer in his eye. I knew exactly what he was thinking, and it was as if he could read my mind. There was no need to speak. At that moment, we were one with a profound and intimate understanding of what was to come. We clicked off the TV, got up from the couch and went to ... Home Depot.

What’s romantic before you have kids – flowers, candy and kisses – changes once you are a parent. Long walks along a deserted beach don’t seem nearly as satisfying as an hour of wandering amid lighting fixtures, paint chips and plywood. Frankly, just thinking about my husband putting up new hooks in the coat closet gets me a little excited. I tell you, things have changed.

Before we had kids, my husband used to bring me flowers every Friday when he came home from work. That was kind of sweet. But now, I absolutely swoon when he comes through the door with a large cheese pizza.

When I was pregnant with our first child, he would make late night runs to the corner store to pick up the pistachio ice cream that I craved. Now, in the middle of the night, I feel giddy as a young girl when he gets up to take care of the kid who threw up from the top bunk.

Before we had children, we used to gaze into each other’s eyes over tiny tables in dark restaurants. Now, after dinner, I get weak in the knees when my husband whispers, “Honey, I’ll clean up the kitchen.” Frankly, I find a man in an apron simply irresistible.

One Valentine’s Day, when we were still newlyweds, Harris surprised me and made up our bed with satin sheets. He sprinkled rose petals all around, illuminated the room with dozens of candles and placed a little blue velvet box on my pillow. He arranged raw oysters on ice and brought them to me with a glass of dry champagne and two dozen red roses. That was nice. But it can’t compete with what he has planned for this February.

This Valentine’s Day, my darling husband is taking the kids skiing for two days and I get two days all to myself at home, alone. Now, that’s what I call romantic!!

When Carol Band isn’t fanning the flames of passion, she’s writing our Household Word column. Click here to see a complete list of Carol's columns.

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