Last Thursday, I went on my first solo overnight trip since C. was born (I know! 15 months is too long, but that whole nursing thing has gotten in the way). I had a doctor’s appointment at UCLA (all is well), and stayed with my friend S. in Venice beach. I had no idea how it would go, but a few things surprised me.
I was looking forward to some “me” time — but as I was driving south through the Mojave desert looking at desert brush, deserted trains and blue sky, my mind kept wandering to C. I kept getting visions of him cocking his head to the side and smiling so big you can see all of his six teeth and I was laughing to myself like a wacko in the car.
S. took me to get drinks at The Tasting Room. We had scotch and ginger drinks and saw the actor who played Charlotte’s bald Jewish husband on Sex in the City. He was shorter in person than on the screen, surprise surprise. And I felt a little bit old and a little bit frumpy and I didn’t care.
Then we had a 9 o’clock dinner at Gjelina, a hip restaurant that had more than an hour wait. We shared several tasty dishes and the vegetable list looked exactly like what I’ve been making at home from our farm box (which, trust me, is shocking) — kale, cauliflower, beets. And by 11, I was yawning incessantly. I guess that’s my new bedtime.
The next morning, after my doctor appointment, I found a brunch place in Santa Monica where I could sit outside next to a heat lamp, have a latte and breakfast burrito, and eavesdrop on the LA glitterati. I also took my writing notebook. But I spent the whole time talking with my sister-in-law about parenting. I also could see a bookstore from my seat: Books and Cookies. It was wholly for kids. So, of course, I went over and browsed the shelves and took mental notes of what they sell. I read so many kids books daily, that buying a new one is actually a treat for me so that I don’t lose my mind.
I think a night or two here and there away from C. is really healthy. What surprised me most is when I pulled onto our block, I actually had butterflies. When I walked in the door, I could hear bare toddler feet slapping on hardwood floors as C. ran to me calling “mama” and circled his chubby arms around my neck.
After I put him down for a nap, I tackled A. and held him tight and said: “Thank you for taking me to the desert.” Now that C. is almost fully weaned, my next night away from C. will be with A. I can’t wait.