For the first time in a very long time, I went out on the town, and had an adult dinner, with adult friends. We drank, ate ostrich carpaccio and calamari, spoke about work, the world, and life in general at a cool hip restaurant in downtown Toronto. There was no rushing home to let the babysitter go. There was no calling to check in. It was a good night. A simple night of pure unadulterated fun. It made me remember the days of up-all-nights (and not the “Go the F*** to Sleep” kind either) and party all day. The life before diaper rash and bottle feeds, spit up and teething. The life before becoming a mommy.
I think sometimes we as mother’s get caught up in that label; “Mother’s”. To the outside world, we simply did not exist prior to the day we gave birth, created life, experienced the most excruciating pain and absolute joy at the same time. To them, we drew our first breath the same time our children did. I’d like to think, or hope at least, we are more than just procreators. For the 22 years before my daughter was born, I was Carley. I liked her. I liked her a lot. I miss her, I miss her a lot. I never had to think about anyone else, other than myself. If I wanted to buy a pair of new shoes, I did. If I wanted to go the movies, I went. If I wanted to take off for the weekend and not know the destination, I could.
Now, if I want to buy a new pair of shoes, I must think to myself; “Does my daughter need anything first?” “What is the price point and can I fit this into the budget?” “Is this a want? Or a need?” If I want to go to the movies, this is what runs through my head; “Who’s going to watch her?” “Movies are at least $45 to go to, is it really worth it? Or can I wait until it comes on the Movie Network?” As for taking off for the weekend and not know the destination, this is what first comes to mind; “Forget about it!” From the moment our children are born, we no longer rank #1 on the most important person list, to be honest, I doubt we even rank #5. We are at the bottom of the totem pole. Our pets rank higher than we do.
I had a great time this evening, I really did. Towards the end of the night, however, I was thinking about my Princess. What she was doing, was she having fun, did she miss me. I started thinking that it was at this time that we would be just finishing up dinner and starting to get ready for bed with bath time and then story time and then finally off to dreamland. I miss twirling my fingers around her blonde curls. I miss our conversations about Monsters and Dinosaurs and Alligators that that romp and stomp in the ceiling and creep and sneak under her bed. Most of all, I miss her. So while I don’t always get a new pair of shoes, or get to go the movies, or may never take that trip without a destination until she’s in university, every moment I’m with her makes all that seem so insignificant. In the meantime, all I can do is be Carley, and be Mommy and try my very best to combine the two as seamlessly as possible.