Lie to MeSeptember 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Bun, Family, Lollipop | 33 Comments
Tags: Balance, Challenges, Children, Fatherhood, Friendship, Multitasking, Parenting, Relationships
Going ok. Enjoy your movie!
I stepped outside a restaurant a few Friday nights ago to find a text with these five words waiting for me on my phone.
And I cheered. The four close friends with me cheered. Because I had just been cleared for a night out. With no kids.
Let’s Make a Deal
My husband and I had made a deal before I left home that evening to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I would call after dinner and make sure the house — and the daddy — was not exploding. If he needed a wingman, I would come home. If things were going smoothly, I would head to the movies with my friends.
The movies. With my friends. On a Friday night.
I can’t even remember the last time I strung all those phrases together.
It Is Decidedly So
But as I savored every single uninterrupted bite of my eggplant parmigiana that night, I figured the multiplex was a pipe dream. I mean, attempting to feed a reluctant and cranky Bun is enough to try even the most patient of souls. (Mine included.) Throw in two other kids and all the messes and dishes they leave in their wake. That’s parental Kryptonite, right there.
Instead, I got the text: Going ok. Enjoy your movie!
And I did. We saw Salt and debated whether secret agents would be allowed to have lips as pouty as Angelina’s. We shared orange tic tacs and lamented the price of movie theater concessions. We kept our phones on vibrate and checked periodically for paternal maydays. We had a good time. Such a good time.
Flashes, Floods, and Famine
But the thing is, it wasn’t going okay at my house. Things were exploding. Literally. Lollipop had managed to pull her nightlight out of the wall just enough to make it spark. She burned her finger and the wall outlet, and she scared herself badly. Giggles wouldn’t stop crying in his crib about something he couldn’t explain and my husband couldn’t understand. And after two ounces, Bun refused to eat.
But my husband sent the text anyway. He wanted me to go, knew I needed to go. He handled it. All of it. And did the dishes, too.
All Quiet on the Home Front
When I walked in the door, giddy from hours of grown-up conversation and clothes that didn’t smell like spit-up, it was quiet. Three children slept. There was no hint of the earlier uproar. Except I saw it in his tired eyes and the nearly full Avent bottle on the coffee table.
And as he recounted his evening, as we worried and laughed together over the never-ending craziness that comes with this parenting gig, I hope he saw something in my eyes, too.
Ever been lied to — in a good way? Ever been so proud of (and for) your partner? And when’s the last time you caught a movie with friends?