A few days after the miscarriage Z found out that OK GO was playing in Syracuse at a theater around the corner from our house on October 26th and the tickets were only $15. I was a royal mess and he was clearly trying to do something nice for me by suggesting we go and I think that’s what made me say yes. It also was far enough in the future that it didn’t seem real. Of course every time I thought about it after the tickets were purchased my heart started racing, but I fixed that by just not thinking about it. But the Steve Miller Band was correct, time does, in fact, keep on slipping into the future. The show was last night.
I got more and more nervous as the day progressed, and as I donned my best approximation of a rock and roll outfit I felt like a total fool. It was unseasonably warm last night, warm enough for short sleeves and I knew the venue would be hot. When I came downstairs the very nice babysitter commented I had my tattoos out for the show and I felt like even more of an ass. So, to put it kindly, I was snippy with Z as we walked to the restaurant for the dinner part of our date. He asked if I was going to be mean all night long, because if so he wasn’t really interested in hanging out. That was a fair point, so I tried to zip it.
I get take out from the restaurant we went to at least once a week. The kitchen guys know me and my order. But I hadn’t eaten there with Z since I was pregnant. After we got our table and were waiting for the food I actually started to relax and enjoy myself, mostly because I was enjoying the company so much. We realized it was the second date we’d had since T was born. Last winter we got a sitter and went to see Alice in Wonderland. I’m not counting the time we went out to dinner when visiting my folks because I had an anxiety attack mid meal and we had to bolt. Or last year’s anniversary. My mom was staying with us and we did go to have dinner, but we were back at our place in under an hour. T wasn’t yet a month old. I was freaked out about leaving him.
People do tell you a lot of stuff about this parenthood gig that you comprehend intellectually, but you really don’t understand in your bones until it happens to you. I know we need to have time alone and away from the house because it will help us be better parents to T, but last night I really felt it for the first time. We missed T, we talked about him quite a bit, but we didn’t talk about him more. We talked about us. And it was awesome.
I read once that the human mind can only remember five things at any one time. I don’t know if that is true or not, but it really sparked my imagination and I think about it a lot. Before I became a parent I didn’t know if I wanted to become one. It seemed like such a huge responsibility I wondered if one’s child wasn’t always one of the five things. I remember awkwardly asking one of my best friends if she ever forgot her baby daughter existed. And she told me of course. When the baby was in bed and she was hanging out with us her daughter wasn’t in her thoughts every single second. I felt so relieved.
So last night felt good. We got to be us again and we found out that while we love being a family of three, we also miss being just a couple. And that is more than OK. Don’t get me wrong, it was not a perfect evening. When we got to the theater at 9:30 we were sure the second opening band was playing, but it was the first. We impatiently stood around till 11 waiting for OK GO to come on, and 11 is way past our bed time. We didn’t stay for their whole set, the babysitter has morning classes so we bolted at 11:50.
But I’m glad we toughed it out and watched them play. They are really fun live. And it was the first night since T was born that I thought of myself as something other than T’s mom. I love being his mother, it is the best job I’ve ever had. But I was just me for 32 years before I took on that role. It was nice to remember. And frankly, it will probably be a hell of a lot healthier for T if I don’t let myself get wrapped up in being his mom every second of every day for the rest of his life. He won’t be able to breathe and I will be lost when he grows up. This post feels like another super obvious one. But I guess everyone’s experience with motherhood is reinventing the wheel over and over again. You just don’t get it until it’s your life.
On the way home I told Z I would probably regret saying it in the morning (leaving the house is still an epic struggle for me), but I’d like to have date nights more often.
Us being us before T was on the scene. Full disclosure–T actually was conceived when this was taken, but we had no earthy idea yet.