Do any of you ever wonder where time has gone? I do. Even more so about what has caused me to become who I am. I mean, how can you dictate who you want to be, unless you have some sort of idea of how you got here? I don’t mean to dive right into the philosophical deep end. I promise the reading gets lighter.
I woke up this morning, and I was a wife and a mother of two children. I obviously know how those things happened, but when did I become so absorbed in this lifestyle? Three years ago I was worried about finding the right shoes. Now, I get excited over the right sippy cup. There are a lot of things that are different now, but the topic today is “going out.” I don’t do it anymore. blog over…. That’s not entirely true. Kyle and I find a babysitter every now and then, and we get a little rare time to ourselves. We enjoy it tremendously, but that doesn’t exactly encompass “going out” like many twenty-somethings understand the word.
Two days ago, I did the impossible. I had a night out with my best friend, without my husband or my two kids. I have not gone anywhere, (except for the grocery store or to run errands) without them for almost three years. I have considered doing it numerous times, going out with friends, having a “girls night”, but only to cancel plans last minute, or come up with an excuse not to go. This is mostly because I have a hard time leaving them. We are all so attached at the hip, that even a few hours without them has me in a frenzy, wondering if they have forgotten about me. I am a crazy person, I know. I am with my babies all day, every second of the day, and I am anchored to them. They NEED me. They wonder where I am, if I am not there. Heck, they wonder where I am when I go to the bathroom. It is unfathomable for me to leave them for a few hours. Don’t get me wrong, we take them and let them stay at their grandparents homes, but for them, that is the equivalent of a vacation. They get everything they want, whenever they want it, and they LOVE it. But this was different.This was for myself.
This week has been particularly draining on me. My husband has been working later hours, my two year old has been a terror, and my baby is teething. I am exhausted. I am worn out. I am dead on my feet. I am still losing baby weight, and I have been feeling down on myself. Basically, I was throwing myself a pity party, when my husband had had enough, and told me to call my friend, and go out and have fun. I was skeptical, but I did. I needed it. I needed to be “Courtney” for a few hours, and not “Mrs. Hall” or “Mom”. It has been a really long time since I was just simply, me.
I went out with my best friend of close to ten years. Just the two of us. She sat and listened to me go on about my kids, as I sipped my drink, and laughed about how much life has changed. I listened to her talk about her work and catch me up on all the town gossip that I never get to hear. We looked around for familiar faces, and studied new ones. Watched as kids who were once young to us, sat at the bar and downed drinks. Time had caught up to two old friends. Neither one of us were the same anymore, and that was okay. Time has a funny way of doing that, when you least expect it.
People ask me all the time, “Why don’t you ever have fun anymore?” I thought I did. I do have fun, but it is a different kind of fun. Taking my kids to the park and seeing them happy, that is fun. Playing in finger paint and creating macaroni masterpieces, that is fun to me. Loading up my mini-van (yes, mini van) and packing the family up to go to dinner, is fun to me. The days of crowded bars, socializing and “going out” are over for me, and thank god. All that is seriously exhausting. I realized, I have EVERY single thing that I have ever wanted in this life. Every single thing. I don’t need a night away from them. I don’t want a night away.
The people, the socializing and everything else that went along with that time of my life was fun to me. I can’t remember a defining event that took the fun out of it, for me. After having children, I didn’t instantly get a bad taste in my mouth if someone mentioned “going out.” It wasn’t like finding out about the Easter bunny. I think it is more like slowly leaving Neverland. Actually, its slowly realizing that you aren’t really forgetting about Neverland, you just found a better place to have fun.
As I sat across the table from my best, we both came to the realization that, by some weird twist of fate, we had both grown up. Our stories weren’t wild anymore, we used the word “bills” in one too many sentences, and way too many of our friends are getting married. I will be 25 this year, and she will be 26. She asked me, “Where did 18 go?” I have thought of it ever since. I honestly do not know. But a girls night, now, looks a lot like sitting in a room with a film reel, and watching the past go by. It is fun to look, but you would never want to go back.