Thursday, July 09, 2009

A date with myself

I went on a date with myself today. Before having kids, I didn't ever anticipate that someday, I would crave time alone with myself before I would crave time alone with Jeremy. I arrived at that point a long time ago but chances to satisfy that craving are few and far between.

Through the volunteer efforts of Jeremy's two sisters, I got two hours of alone time this afternoon. During those two hours, I went to Target, Panda Express, and Costco, and I made sure to note and savor all the little pleasures that come from being by oneself.

I didn't have to unload anyone from a carseat when I got to Target and schlep them into the store with me.

When I walked in, I reached for a cart and then realized that no, I just wanted a basket, and since I didn't have any kids with me, I could actually use one.

I walked down whatever dang aisles I wanted to and took my sweet time making shopping decisions, in blessed silence. It was such a treat to not have to keep one fourth of my brain focused on keeping Magdalena from falling out of the shopping cart, one fourth making sure Miriam doesn't wander away, one fourth answering Miriam's incessant "why?" questions, and oh yeah, one fourth comparing prices and products and sizes and colors and tallying it all with the shopping list and/or coupons. All while keeping the pace snappy so no one gets hungry, sleepy, or has to go to the bathroom during the shopping trip.

Then I went to Panda Express and ordered some spicy food, since I knew I wouldn't have to share it with any sensitive child palates. I read a book while I ate and I didn't have to chop up any food or spoon it into anyone else's mouth besides my own.

At Costco, I got a berry smoothie and drank it all by myself, again while reading a book. Nobody begged me for a sip, or complained that it was too cold, or chewed on the straw so it was yucky by the time I got it back. I just drank it, little by little, in complete leisure.

In the car, I listened to Evita as loud as I wanted to and didn't have to provide a running narrative of what each song was talking about to Miriam. Also, I pointed all the AC vents at myself, instead of directing them up and over my head to keep the girls cool. Talk about luxury!

By the time I went to my sister-in-law's house to pick up the girls, I was feeling happy and refreshed. I have to say, there is hardly anything in the world better than a childless aunt. We're down to two in our extended family now. My sister Teresa had a baby a few months ago and while of course it's still fun for her to visit, some of her nurturing energies have to be directed to her own kid now. And that makes the selfish part of me sad.

But I'm glad to still have two fun aunts for Miriam and Magdalena, at least for a little while longer. And I'm glad to be in a place (at least temporarily) where I can take advantage of them when I just need a date with myself.


Grace said...

So glad you were able to "replenish" yourself today. Isn't it amazing how invigorating those couple hours can be to your soul?

Liz Johnson said...

HALLELUJAH! I'm so glad you got that.

So did you miss your girls terribly? :)

I once had somebody ask me that after I had a similar 'time out,' and I think she was surprised when I said, "Nope! Not one bit, actually!"

Jennifer said...

So nice! Free and guilt-free child care is one reason I wish we lived near family! I'm so glad you have the chance to enjoy it!

Natchel said...

I had to run to Target two nights ago and Nate kept Gabe. I got out of the car and ran into Target, reached to get a cart, realized I didn't have a baby with me and freaked! I thought I had left him in the car! I turned around to go back and then remembered I was alone! It was pretty sweet! The best part is the 5 seconds it took to unlock the car, get in and leave! No cumbersome infant seas to deal with! Glad you had a fun date!

Janae Ensign said...

I know what you mean. Even just having the baby is great. (As long as it's not her fussy time.)This is somethig guys can never fully understand (unless they are stay at home dads that is).

sarah palmer cook said...

glad you had an enjoyable time! you'll have to do it some more before you leave!

Jeanerbee said...

Oh that sounds nice... I ditched the kids the other night and spent an hour at the library surfing the internet. Ah, blessed silence. It is relieving just to run an errand without dealing with the buckle-unbuckle-buckle-unbuckle ordeal!

Hareega said...

I've been dating myself for 30 years and it's been great so far. We get along so well.

Teresa Jane said...

Mmm, that sounds so nice! I don't have room to complain yet, but since we want a big family, the time will come! It is weird not being the childless aunt anymore... sometimes I ditch Paisley when Jared has her and then take off (as in the backyard) with my 2 nieces (Brooklin and Madolyn) until Jared finds me and tells me Paisley is hungry and then I remember I am a mom.

Kat Clark said...

I am so jealous and I know exactly what you are talking about! I think it's high time I did something like this. You have inspired me. :)

Mikael said...

WOW! I am jelous of your date. I want one!
Derek thinks that me teaching is my alone time... what he doesn't get is that it is still a job, I still have to think and I still have to discipline children.
I love panda and those berry smoothies.

Amanda said...

So. Jealous.

Kristen said...

Closing my eyes and enjoying a vicarious thrill. You are dead-on.


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