Happy Parents, Happy Kids

Go Out on a Limb

Routines are great for little kids, but they can make a marriage stale. "It's important to find new ways to connect and keep your relationship fresh," says Dr. Waite. In my own zeal to reconnect with Dan, I signed us up for a weeknight pottery class. I figured, how hard could it be to make a pot? Very, as it turned out. In our second class, I accidentally ran my potter's wheel backward, flinging clay at the walls. Dan emerged looking as if he'd been swimming in a mud hole. But a funny thing happened afterward. We went to a restaurant, and there was a pitcher on the table. The two of us began discussing its construction: Had the potter thrown it in two pieces or one? As we debated, I noticed another couple across the room. They ate silently, as if there were a vast ocean between their plates. I realized that it didn't really matter if we mastered pottery. The key thing was to keep sidestepping the dark depths of domesticity. Dan and I were willing to risk our dignity and stumble a bit as we learned new things together. We're never short on conversation now, and our eyes still meet across a table and hold. And Aidan and I have both learned that he can survive a babysitter.

Originally published in the June 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

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