We hadn't had a night to ourselves in so long that we jumped at the slightest hint of an opportunity. Some random friend mentions "Hey if you want us to keep Fred some night so you two can go to a movie, just let us know" I understand that sometimes people say things to be polite and we all let things slip just to keep the conversation rolling, but offering parents of a 2 year old (technically a 19 month old) a night on the town isn't something you say out loud without truly meaning it. It's like offering a homeless man a free meal. He's going to take you up on the offer cause you said it and in his mind why would you offer if you didn't intend to follow through.
In this case the Gigi offered and like that homeless man that hadn't had a steak in twenty years we jump on the invitation for a night of freedom. Being a parent in a lot of ways is like being a zoo keeper. Zoo keepers don't get to sleep late. There are animals to be fed and cages to be cleaned. Sometimes the creatures jump through the hoops when asked, sometimes they look at you like your the dumbest amphibian on this planet. A zoo keepers job is never done and at the end of the day you can't help but detect the slightest aroma of poop on him.
Before the baby we were book readers, movie watchers, back rubbers, stay up all night playing board gamers. We did what we wanted when we wanted too no matter the time of the day. After the baby those days became things of legend. Stories of our adventures all begin with the phrase "Remember when we could...."
Well this weekend we got a chance to relive those days and....we hated it. It started at the restaurant where every family in town showed up with their clone of our Fred and sat all around us. Kids laughing at their daddy's. Mom's begging them to settle down. Chicken nuggets being begged for. The idea of a romantic dinner for two resembling the good ole days kept being interrupted by flashes of the way we were now. Just like the car had felt empty with only two people inside, the dinner table felt odd without the high chair sitting next to it.
Yes the movie was nice, but again the silence of the car and the echo in the house afterward were deafening. It's not that I don't love my wife and her I. It's not that we didn't have stories to tell or things to talk about over dinner. The food was fantastic, the movie amazing, the time together necessary...it's just that it felt...incomplete. Sure we joke about having a kid can sometimes be a struggle and how it's the most exhausting thing in the world. We kid about how we would kill for a night for just the two of us...and once we got our chance, it was all we could do not to go get the little guy the second the waitress laid the check on the table.
We used to be book readers, movie watchers, back rubbers, stay up all night playing board gamers...we used to be.