Taking the time to celebrate our love helped us remember when it was just the two of us.
The day stretched out before us, longer than my wife and I could really understand. It was just the two of us, no kids, for the first time since our second child was born. It was also our fifth anniversary, and the day before the Crown Princess of Sweden was to be married.
So we wandered around the appropriately-titled "LOVE Festival" down in Stockholm's Old Town, eating ice cream, relaxing in the sun and cutting ourselves off every time we started talking about the kids.
We've had a busy five years. In June 18, 2005, we got married in Sweden. We then moved to America, bought a house, got pregnant, had a kid (who did not sleep), sold a house, moved back to Sweden, bought an apartment, got pregnant again, and had a second kid (who still gets up at 4am). I have been on paternity leave twice. My wife has been on maternity leave twice, worked and entered a graduate program.
We've had our magic moments alone — dinners and brunches here and there, with one night away during her second pregnancy. But we never had the space or network for more (plus, Sweden has no real babysitting culture). It always seemed as if we were getting ready for a big trip to the U.S., or our daughter was starting daycare or coming off a long summer vacation.
So to finally get a whole day and night... well, it made us giddy. We reveled in clean hotel sheets. We ate junk food because we could. We walked slowly along the water through central Stockholm.
At one point, we wandered into a beautiful church in the center of the city. Suddenly, as we walked down the aisle, we were both taken back to our own wedding on an island in the Baltic Sea. We held hands and stood before the altar, and suddenly it was as if none of those big transitions had ever happened. We were still just the boy and girl who met as peace volunteers in Croatia and got engaged backpacking in Thailand.
All because we finally got a little space.
Then we went to the hotel and slept for nine straight hours.
Can you remember life before kids? How do you eke out alone time?