Dean and I had an impromptu date night this evening. Imagine that.
My assistant, Jamie, needed to break up her usual afternoon hours, so we thought, hey, let’s have her come back in the evening and sit with Aidan for a bit. Now, there’s an idea.
It was the original vision when I hired Jamie. One night a week, we were going to have her stay with Aidan while Dean and I saw movies and friends and, well, each other. But we haven’t been doing that. Jamie’s been with us for three months now but, somehow, we’ve just not gotten organized to have her work one evening.
Part of the problem is that Aidan doesn’t do very well with sitters. He LOVES Jamie, actually. If Dean or I is around. But without us, he just cries.
I was hoping that Aidan would get more used to being left with Jamie after a week on the road together. I took Jamie back east with us for my speaking engagements in SUNY/Delhi and Northeast State Community College. Aidan was with her a lot that week, both with and without me. And though he improved over the week, and there was definitely some fun play time and even successful napping, Aidan still resists rather fiercely.
Well, tonight, we decided to just go for it. Dean put Aidan down for his last nap just as Jamie was arriving, in the hopes that he’d sleep for the bulk of her stay. And as soon as he was out, we, quick like bunnies on the loose, threw on shoes and sweaters and bolted out the door. Was my hair dirty? Yes. Did I put on any make-up? No. The time felt much too precious to waste on such inconsequential details. The sooner we left, the sooner we’d get home and maybe, just maybe, Aidan and Jamie might have an easy time of it. So beauty be damned. We were off!
We went out to dinner at a local Argentinean place that serves killer steaks and bread dipped in parsley and garlic oil. We sat in the back of the restaurant, just the two of us, close enough to hold hands and snuggle between waitress visits. We talked about my work, brainstormed a bit about next steps. It was…
Not the restaurant. Surely not the company. Just being out at all. It felt like I’d left my arm at home.
What’s really strange about it is that we’ve been out before since Aidan was born and though I felt sprung each time, I didn’t feel what I felt tonight. I didn’t feel like an essential and customary part of me was missing. It made me a little anxious and distracted all evening.
But it was absolutely delightful to spend some time with Dean. It took no time at all to start remembering our life before Aidan (yes, there was a “before Aidan”) and, though I couldn’t exactly sink into that place on account of my missing arm, it was great even to dip a toe in the pool. Really great. I really love my husband.
When we got home, we were greeted by something unexpected at our front door: silence. As in, no screaming baby. No crying, no plaintive wailing, not even a bit of fussing. We opened the door and there was our boy, playing happily with Jamie. He’d only slept 30 minutes (so much for sleeping through our absence) but his upset on finding us gone was minimal. He was consolable, if a bit clingy, and together, he and Jamie managed just fine. Such an improvement from previous attempts. And not just a little relief.
So maybe we can start doing this a little more often. It will definitely be new for Dean and I to shift some of our priority to our relationship but it’s probably past time. And I know it will feel great. If I can just get used to missing an arm.