Around 7:30 last night, I walked outside to retrieve a jacket that had been left on top of one of our cars. As I rounded the corner of the back of the house, two people were walking down a gravel road that runs near our place. For a brief second, I felt melancholy. I remember being able to take a nice stroll at dusk, before the wave of children and their bedtime took over our lives. I yearned for that pre-baby luxury.
If your single or childless so much is still going on at that time of day, but not in our house. I grabbed the jacket off the hood of the car and trudged back inside. The kids and Mama were finishing up story time and I went in and sat at my computer, waiting until she would return downstairs and we’d settle into our slow crawl towards bedtime.
Fifteen minutes all was quiet when I heard a sound. Was that vomiting? Then a yell from Mama for me to come upstairs. Baby G had gorged himself on dinner only an hour or so early and had puked some of it back up, on himself and Mama. I took the disgusting sheets downstairs while G took a bath.
“These kids are never gonna go back to bed now,” Mama told me when I returned. Four-year-old B and I went into the next room to play. When Mama came in with G wrapped in a towel I was teasing B about going to Target to buy a Marvel action figure, maybe Black Panther. “Too bad we can’t go,” I said. “Will it be open in the morning?” he asked. “It’s open now actually,” I said. “Too bad we can’t go.”
“Why not?!” said Mama. “Let’s just go. These kids are gonna be up forever.” Really?” I wondered out loud. The thought of us all going out as the night was descending seemed revolutionary. “Let’s do it,” she said, and so we quickly threw on some clothes and headed out in the car.
As we drove along it was blowing my mind. All these places–restaurants and stores–still open, so many cars still on the roads. I ticked down the names as we passed. “Red Lobster’s still open. Outback’s still open.”
A little after 8:30 we arrived at Target and all ran in. B was hyped for a new toy, G was digging riding in the cart, Mama and I were both jazzed to just be out and about. We found no Black Panther at Target so then–feeling wild and crazy–stopped at Wal-Mart nearby where we located a Hawkeye figure from the new Avengers movie. Success!
By 9:15 we were back in the car and on our way home. Little G fell asleep as we neared the house and so around 9:30 Mama lifted him out of her Jetta and took him upstairs to his little bed. B was still so excited that we let him stay up to play until a little after 10 before he went up too. I followed thirty minutes later, Mama shortly afterwards.
Today, we’re all a little exhausted from our night out, but it was well worth it. If nothing else, Mama and I got to see what life on the outside is still like.