1 Date + 8 Teens = 0 Romance

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the smartest equation I have ever calculated. But my heart was in the right place!

Hubby and I have attempted to make most Friday nights our “date nights” from the time our children were toddlers. They have always been “at home” dates, for early on we found this was more relaxing for us and more enjoyable for our children.

Historically, a date night goes something like this: Friday afternoon I get a call from Hubby and he asks me what I’m in the mood to eat. To which I always reply, “I don’t care—you just pick something up!” The only hint I ever give him is “something nice” or “something simple.” That gives him an indication of whether to order take out from a nice restaurant or a fun restaurant, or whether to stop at the grocery and grab a few ready-made things.

The joy for me: I don’t have to decide or make anything.

On the home front, the children always get to enjoy pizza and a movie, “all by their big selves” as my son used to say! I’ve always built it up as something really special for Mommy and Daddy—a night where we are going to stare into each others’ eyes, get all mushy, and say love words to each other. To which my toddlers used to giggle, my emerging teens used to declare, “Gross,” and my teens now … well, they just roll their eyes and work hard not to think about what the end of the evening might include. (And wrongly assume that at least it’s only one day a week!)

For Hubby and me it’s a treat to know that, even if things are a bit crazy during the week and we don’t enjoy enough quality long lasting relational time, there’s always Friday. Friday we take extra time for great conversation, great food, and great … well, never mind!

Last week I had an epic fail, however. When Hubby called, he assumed there would be no date night as he knew there were lots of extra teens lurking around. But alas, I assured him, “No, date night is on, and I’m in the mood for something nice.”

Upon his arrival home there were eight, count ’em, eight teens loudly laughing, sharing stories, consuming mass quantities of pizza, and planning what games to play when the food ran out. As Hubby entered the door he was smiling and carrying a sack from Capers—a lovely local restaurant that is one of my favorites. His big smile drooped (and so did his shoulders) when he saw the table, where we usually begin our date nights, infested with pesky teens.

So … we ate only about a quarter of our meal, sitting at the counter in the kitchen, leaning in close together talking—not to increase the intimacy but to hear each other. I gave an impish grin, and muttered, “Oops, not quite the date night you had in mind, huh?”

He smiled, laughed and shook his head, re-boxed his sparsely-touched meal and went straight for his dessert with wild abandon … recognizing that’s as sweet as it was going to get on this night.

Thankfully … there are 52, count ’em, 52 weeks in a year!

This article originally appeared in MomLife Today.