Last night, Will and I dressed up and went to his Rotary club's 90th birthday celebration. It was more fun than we had expected (i.e. any fun at all), although there was a cash bar, which is always lame, especially when you've paid money for tickets to an event that doesn't even have the excuse of being a fundraiser. To add insult to injury, my diet coke and rum from said cash bar was very weak. My goal was to get tipsy quickly and then sober up for the rest of the evening in case I returned home to find a still-awake and hungry baby waiting for me, so I quickly downed the light, refreshing beverage and in case the bartender had only listened to the first part of my initial order, I made sure the alcohol came first when I asked for a whiskey with a splash of ginger ale for my second round. The results were much more satisfactory.
Being back in the same ballroom where most big formal events are held in Frederick reminded me pretty forcefully of when I was 22 and newly married. Will and I went to events ALL THE TIME back then. I loved shopping for a dress, finding the right jewelry to go with it, getting my hair done and going out to show it all off. It let me pretend I was a wealthy socialite without all the annoying paparazzi. There was never anyone at any of these events who was actually our age, but I didn't mind being bored out of my skull and dancing to 20's music as long as I got to tell people I was going to a GALA, or a BENEFIT or a BALL (do you ever think back and just want to punch your younger self in the face?) I think it also made me feel like an adult at a time when I still felt like I was playing house and pretending to be a grown-up.
But now, with plenty of little ankle-biters crawling around making me feel not only like a grown-up but downright old, I just recycled the bridesmaid dress I wore in my sister's wedding last week and spent a grand total of 30 minutes getting ready. As I said, Will and I were not really looking forward to tonight (A Rotary event on a Wednesday evening? Well, if we have to...) but then we realized that we would be going somewhere together without any kids in tow which made it kinda sorta like a date, something that has been in short supply for us for awhile now. Even if the event itself was boring, we would get a chance to talk in complete sentences without being interrupted by a request for a show or another banana or the howl of a baby who has been knocked over for the 100th time by her big sister. And we did have good conversations, which did make it fun.
Going to this "event" kind of made us think about all the freedom we used to have that we took for granted, but it also showed us the light at the end of the tunnel. Charlotte has been willing to take a bottle and hang with my family for a couple months now, but with my parents and sister being gone most of September and then the wedding right afterward, things have been so busy I've felt bad requesting babysitting. As Will put it, we've been sitting in a "holding pattern" for awhile now, just waiting until our kids are old enough for us to be able to resume some of the adult activities that we have always enjoyed together like going out in the evenings and traveling. It's been a long time, but the isolation of having a nursing baby tied to me at all times is almost over. We love being parents no matter what, but it's a lot easier to love it if being parents isn't ALL you ever do!
And having a strong drink now and then doesn't hurt either.