I went to an old and very dear friend’s 30th birthday last Saturday night. I ended up going alone… ALONE. It was my first extended outing away from the pixie, and the furthest I had ever been away from her in distance.
It felt strange.
I felt like I was going out naked. No nappy bag, arms empty, nothing and no one to carry.
Nothing to identify me. Nothing to give a picture of who I was or what I did or where I came from. Nothing to distract me from conversations, or on the flip side – to create a conversation for me. I was actually stupidly nervous!
I was also thrust back into a world which was once my Every Day, but that I realised now has become completed foreign to me. It’s like when you lose weight (or put it on…) over time. Because you hang out with yourself every day (I do wish sometimes there was a program to receive some respite… from yourself…) it’s hard to notice. Well, I suppose it was a bit like that, becoming a parent and gradually, over time, recognising myself as a parent. Things subtly shifting: people, places, activities, hobbies, days and nights. Then all of a sudden I was out on a Saturday night (albeit I was home by 8.30pm…) with a wine in my hand and a smile on my face and friends to talk to. Yep, it’s true! Hard evidence of me and the birthday gal right here: (happy birthday love!)
It was then I realised I had nothing to talk about. Apart from being a mother… and babies… and sleep cycles and nappies… and cooking… and toilet training and crochet and the weather. Usually I don’t notice any of these things because gradually, slowly – ever so slowly – the people in my day-to-day life have become people who talk about these things too.
I felt weird. I actually shed a little tear on the way home, just a lone one, down the cheek, nothing too dramatic. It wasn’t a sad tear, just a nostalgic one, but a happy-to-be-where-I-am one too.
I over contemplated everything about that night. But I truly did have a great time. I wanted to stay, I wanted to have another wine and talk to people and dance and, more importantly – talk to people that I haven’t seen in a long time. I missed them and that old life and I when I felt that tug-at-my-heart telling me it was time to leave, I felt annoyed. I was having fun and I didn’t want to go. I felt a ridiculous sense of injustice that they all got to stay and I had to go home. I potentially may have stamped my feet…
I realised that old Lucy is still in here too, each and every day, I had just forgotten about her momentarily.
Will she come out from the shadows again one day? When the kids are grown and discovering these same things for themselves? When they don’t want me hanging around, wiping their bottoms and kissing their tiny noses? When I have time again to be me? Now I’m wondering who I will be left with after all of this, who I am and who I will be? Big questions… way too big for my over-tired, over-active, over-stimulated mummy-mind.
Motherhood has swallowed me whole and parenting consumes me, but would I have it any other way? Absolutely not. I guess I am just old enough now to have a life that has chapters, regardless of what is in them.
Do you think about these things too?