When I was thirteen, I babysat for two kids in my mom’s first grade class. The Stewarts (not their real names) were the ideal couple. They were the real-life version of Michelle and Barack. With two kids and careers, they still made time for date night. On Friday nights, they picked me up with their two kids and we all went to the movies. I sat and watched the kids in one movie while the parents had their own romantic date in another movie.
On New Year’s Eve they always had plans and I was happy to babysit for them. I adored their kids as much as I adored them. It was always exciting to seeing them come downstairs in their tuxedo and gown, as they headed out to a party or dinner. To this day, I still think about them during that holiday.
After passing out at work, Mr. Stewart went to the doctor. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. After unsuccessful treatment, he passed away and broke all of our hearts. He was an incredible father, husband, and he gave me my very first job outside of babysitting. Needless to say, I owe a lot to the Stewart family but the main thing I am indebted to them for is for showing me what it was like to be in the presence of a healthy, loving, and happy couple. Let’s be honest, those kinds of couples barely exist these days.
This week, I called Mrs. Stewart to catch her up on my life and to see how she was doing. We got into a great conversation about relationships. She said, “I tell my kids all of the time, that it’s about having shared values and whether the two of you solve a problem or issue in the same manner.”
That is the simplest advice but it is 100% true. My fiance and I share so many values. But I can sum them up in a few phrases:
- We believe in surrounding ourselves by family and good friends. Our families love the other person and we love each other’s family and friends.
- We both understand that tomorrow is never promised so we appreciate each other daily. We send each other random texts and emails throughout the month.
- We believe in date night, every other Friday. We love to explore new restaurants or concerts.
- We laugh at EVERYTHING, even ourselves. We spend the majority of time laughing at someone, something, or at each other.
- We are flexible and adaptable. If something happens to screw up our plans, we can always find a bright side.
- We communicate. We tell each other the good, the bad, and the ugly. And on the random occasion that we have an argument, we solve it before we go to bed. (I like my sleep too much to be stressed out).
The Stewarts gave me the foundation and example I needed and I will forever be grateful for their advice, generosity, and memories of an incredible couple.