Saturday Night

July 15, 2009

Last weekend we left our son with F’s parents for the night for the first time.  I found that as the time to drop him off drew nearer I became incredibly anxious and sad.  I wasn’t worried that something bad would happen, I knew he would be fine.  But just the idea that neither of us would be there if he woke up in the middle of the night was gut-wrenching.

So late in the afternoon we headed over to their place.  We stayed for a little while, playing with him, spending time with the family.  And then when it was time to leave we each gave him a small kiss and snuck out of the room.  When we got to the car F, who had failed to understand my anxiety throughout the day, turned to me and said, “Ok. I get it. I’m sad, too.”

But we went home, made a nice dinner together, relaxed for a while and then went out dancing.  Being at home was definitely strange- we kept thinking that he was upstairs asleep.  But once we were out in the city, it was awesome.  Going to a bar, being around grown-ups without kids, and not having to worry about how drunk I got was a truly exceptional feeling.

The next morning we woke up bleary-eyed and slightly hung-over (we hadn’t gotten to bed until 3am) and headed over to pick M up.  Seeing the look on his face when he saw us was absolutely wonderful and I was so glad to pick the little guy up and give him a hug.

But the whole night made me realize how it is possible to have both worlds, at least to a certain extent.  Being a parent does not negate being someone who goes out and dances until 2 o’clock in the morning.  And not only is is possible, I also think it is important to have nights like that.  If we don’t make space for ourselves and our marriages, we are going to be left not knowing how to be anything but a parent (and an overly involved parent, at that).

Would I like a night out like that every week or even every month?  To that extent? No.  But to know that there is that space, that opportunity to be my 28-year-old self again is really nice…


One Response to “Saturday Night”

  1. 8rowneyedgirl Says:

    I think you’ve pretty much just described my evenings out too. My son is 2 and it breaks my heart every time I leave him, but I know if I don’t I will forget I’m a 27yr old, and have a marriage to look after!
    I think most parents feel like this except not many people admit to it, so thank you for making the rest of us feel normal. x

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