Play Date

March 14, 2010 at 10:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Jay and I were alone. Yesterday afternoon, evening, and night—along with this morning and afternoon—Jay and I were able to sleep, talk, watch television, sleep some more, and talk some more. It was strange to speak about something other than Star Wars. Stranger still not to be interrupted. It was amazing.

It is rare to get a vacation from your kid in your own home. My parents deserve the Nobel Prize in grandparenting for making this possible for us. The came to Helena to see Andrew and I play in our first piano recital. But, they arrived a day early. They rented two hotel rooms down the street, and invited Andrew over for an evening of swimming in the hotel pool, building the new Lego set they got him, eating dinner at his favorite pizza place, and leaving Jay and I alone.

I love my son intensely, and I value the time I have with him—and with him and Jay. I like to think that I’m aware of how precious and fleeting the time is when he is a young child and still wants to hang out with his parents. My time in Chronic Town has only heightened my sense of how much I want to spend time reading, playing, eating dinner with, and snuggling with Andrew. I’ve too often been faced with illness-induced limitations on my mothering, so I don’t think very often about how much work it is to be a mom to an active, strong-willed, and imaginative kindergartener. But Andrew does consume an inordinate amount of my energy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But it certainly is nice to get a break. Jay and I didn’t do anything. We just hung out together like we used to before Andrew’s arrival. Because I’m still not feeling totally well and because I’m still immune-compromised and need to avoid crowds—and because I wanted to make sure I conserved energy for the next day’s recital—we didn’t go out to dinner or a movie. Truthfully, I don’t think we would have gone on a “date,” even if we could. It was better to inhabit our home without having to meet Andrew’s needs in it.

When I was younger and childless, I used to think parents had little breaks like this so that they could have sex all night and day long as loudly as they wanted with the doors open. Apparently, I had no understanding of all-consuming children can be. Adult life as we used to know it (sex included) is the true allure of a kid-free evening. I was more excited at the prospect of having a conversation with Jay—one in which he could finish a sentence without the threat of Andrew interrupting to ask if we mind being turned into Legos (and then whispering loudly to pretend that we are now Lego people living in a world of Lego things.) And now that Jay and I live in a state of perpetual sleep-deprivation, a nap and a full night’s sleep sounded pretty sexy.

I thought I wanted more time with Jay alone. I know dutiful, “good” mommies aren’t supposed to say that they relish time away from the constant work and responsibilities of parenting. But I think it’s important to be honest with myself and others about how much I value my time to work, my relationship with Jay, and the beauty of a nap. But when Andrew barreled into the house, I didn’t feel the slightest regret after all. In the tumult of his homecoming, I realized just how quiet the house had been without him.

1 Comment

  1. Evelyn Gonzalez said,

    I admire your strength and courage in this most difficult time. I can relate to you, since I have the same illness. Remember “with God all things are possible.” You are in my prayers.


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