Okay, I’ve been trying to write a post about our evening out without kids and I’m laboring over it because frankly, it was terrific. No drama. No weirdness. No phone calls home…okay, that’s a lie.
There was one measly little call home right between the appetizers and the entrée. And the CSFB (that’s the Competent but Sexy Finnish Babysitter, for those of you not paying attention) answered the phone and told me that cookies had been baked and children had been wrestled into pajamas and teeth had been brushed and there was not one kid screaming in the background or yelling for “Mooooooommmy!” at the top of her lungs and it seemed the thought of Mommy and Daddy had been discarded like yesterdays full diaper.
My children barely remembered they had parents.
I was excited about this and…well, you know…sad as hell, because this was the milestone I dreaded – the first time they realized we are completely replaceable. That any leggy, 25 year old Finn with hair like corn silk and perfectly round, perky breasts could waltz in to our home and do the job as well as us. From that vantage point (the one where I have been discarded and harshly abandoned by my children) it was heart crushing...but the rest of me adjusted pretty well.
David and I walked through The Village on this very lovely and warm October night. I wore a very short Variazoni suede dress and knee high boots, and David kept gawking at my legs and finally said, "I feel like they're glaring at me...I haven't seen your legs in years!"
Okay, I need to get out of sweats more often...
I admit, I felt young, sexy and completely head over heels in love with my husband that night - the kind of heady love that you feel when you first start dating and the whole world seems filled with the promise of new adventures. Well, this was our new adventure and as I saw the twenty-somethings in The Village drinking their apple martinis at tables on the sidewalks, I realized that I missed this care-free part of our lives.
And yes, to all of you out there muttering “I told you so, Kim" - I'll say it. You were all right. We should have done this AGES ago!
I can say this safely now because when we left, there were no tears or tantrums. That helped a lot. In fact, the scene as we left kind of went like this:
Kim: (On my knees, looking into their eyes, holding their hands. I was talking to them like their puppy just died) Daddy and I are going to go out soon, okay?
Lucy: Susanna (that’s the CSFB’s name) make cookies…something unintelligible…have dance party (She is clutching the Pillsbury cookie dough, jumping up and down and obviously thrilled )
Kim: That’s right, love. You guys are gonna have a great dance party and those cookies are gonna taste yummy!
Lucy: Cookies here, Mommy (She is waving the cookies in the air and pretending it can fly)…cookies fly like butterfly!
Kim: Okay, you know we love you guys, right. Now, Susanna is going to be here all night and she loves you guys so much. You’re going to have a great time.
Lucy: Bye Mommy (She gives us a quick dismissive wave and flies the cookie dough around the room. Edie is examining the lint intently.)
I turn to David, with my "concerned we might mess up the kids" face and whisper, "I think she's in denial...". He ignores me.
Kim: (I try again) We’re gonna miss you guys…Now, we'll be home super-quick, okay?
Lucy: Bye! (She turns to the CSFB and loops her hand into hers and pulls her toward the kitchen.) Susanna, come with me…put cookies in oven! (Edie tags along behind carrying her lint. The girls have forgotten we are in the room)
David: (Whispers to me) Okay, let’s get out of here. (He tugs on my coat and nudges me toward the door. The cookie dough is being unwrapped. Kids barely remember they have parents.)
Kim: (to the CSFB) Don't forget to turn off the oven. I don't want to burn the house...
(David's glaring at me and silently threatening to carry me out of the house. No small feat since I'm still carrying some baby weight.)
Kim: (To David) Maybe I should breastfed Edie a little before we leave…
David: Look, at her!…She has lint. She’ll be fine. (He pulls me out of the house, while I madly blow kisses at children who don’t even bother to look up).
Door closes. We are in the hallway. I listen at the door and expect to hear wailing. I hear laughter, but just as I think I might cry, I realize I have no children around me and I feel unexpectedly light. Free. I go with that feeling for the rest of the night.
We had a lovely night. We started at the piano bar Marie's Crisis, where some very drunk gay men sang several selections from the Sound of Music and met up with Mark and Cathy and went to Rosa Mexicano (It was supposed to be Babbo but apparently there are no Mexicans in Australia - makes sense, I'm mean how would they get there? - so Australians seem to find good Mexican food a bit exotic, so we went this route and it was excellent.)
Mark and Cathy are so much fun - they are starting out on a three month adventure around the world - really, they were the perfect couple to venture out with...fun, smart, adventurous and great cooks and eaters (I watched their oldest daughter, Georgia, wolf down a stack of pickled onions. How cool is that?) Love them and can't wait to see them next year in Sydney.
It felt so good, we are taking the next big step - David is a Tony voter so we get tickets to every eligible Broadway show, so we're going to go to dinner and a show every week or so. Just to re-connect and enjoy each other and for me to be in the world a little bit more.
I'll keep you posted.