Last weekend my husband took me away to Wintergreen, a winter sports resort in central Virginia. The trip was his Christmas present to me, including the part where he arranged with my parents to babysit Zoe for the weekend. We’ve had overnights away from Zoe before, but I don’t think (or at least can’t remember) a whole weekend away. It was time.

It was time especially because lately I had begun to forget what our marriage was. Lately it’s seemed more like a parenting partnership or occasionally encounters between business people. Sure we love each other, and I would venture to say that we’re still in love with each other. But when do you have time to be in love?

Zoe is a wonderful little girl. With a lot of energy. Who demands a lot of attention. I have my own business. Randy has a job that has steadily increased in responsibility and that expects employees to work no matter how much snow is on the ground. And then there’s all that other stuff, like finding food to eat and cooking it. Washing and putting away clothes. Paying the overdue bills. So what’s left?

Little time to take care of oneself, much less of one’s partner. And really if you’re doing triage, you know you HAVE to take care of your child, and you HAVE to feed and clothe your family and prevent foreclosure.

So when we went to Wintergreen it was bliss. On the way there I was still kind of tense, having trouble separating myself from everyday stress. Randy was checking email on his phone and returning calls to discuss the details of a possible business trip. It was hard to imagine the weekend would be much different from regular life.

Thankfully cellphone reception on the mountain is very spotty. 🙂

We arrived and checked in and spent 20 absurd minutes trying to get our card key to open the ski locker closet adjacent to our condo, not realizing the front door was 10 feet away. We unpacked and went to dinner at one of the nicer restaurants on the mountain. The kind where they bring you wine and ask who will be tasting. I realize for most grown-ups this is not so unusual, but we don’t get out that much, especially to fancy restaurants. And, being lightweights, we’ve learned that we shouldn’t drink a bottle of wine and dinner and drive home. The waitress kindly informed us when we hesitated over the wine list that we were allowed to order a bottle and bring it home with us. Ah, the joy of sharing a bottle of wine and not having to drive and not having to worry about taking care of a small person after drinking a few glasses. We also enjoyed ordering whatever food we wanted, not having to think about whether it was appropriate to share with Zoe. And most of all, we savored the opportunity to have a long, philosophical conversation without giving a thought to chores we had to do, the possibility that anyone would get impatient or ask to play with us, or work. Oh yeah, this was what dating was like. When you get to spend all this time with someone you love and not think about anything else. I remember now.

We spent the rest of the weekend exploring the resort. We went tubing (hurtling down a mountain in an innertube) Saturday night, luxuriated in massages at the spa, and had a ski lesson. But mostly we walked around holding hands, shared relaxing meals together, and giggled a lot.

Of course there were lots of little kids there who reminded me of Zoe and made me miss her. We called once to check in and she was having a fabulous time with Fuzzy and Poppy, still in her pajamas mid-afternoon. We looked forward to seeing her on Sunday evening, knowing she would run and jump into our arms.

But in the meantime, I was so happy to be with my husband and just have him to myself. To delight in each other’s company and remember all the reasons we wanted to be together in the first place. With a small child and challenging careers and all the rest of what life throws at you, it’s easy to put your marriage on hold. We’ve known each other for seven years now. It was such a great reminder to know the good stuff is still there. You just have to move everything out of the way to find it.