Last night, I took Sam to a “Family Night” at his school after-care at the YMCA.
I picked him up from there after work, drove home, fed him dinner, and then we got back in the car and went back to the Y.
I’m italicizing this because it’s such a revolutionary moment in my life. As we do not leave the house once they get home.
If you’ve kept up with me on this here blog, you may know I’m a strong (fanatical? zealous? hysterical?) believer in bedtimes. I firmly believe that getting my kids in bed early and them getting a full night’s sleep is the only thing that keeps us going and my marriage intact.
Bedtimes aside, it’s also usually a disaster of the highest order if I take my children out in public around bedtime. There is acting out, crying, misbehavior, etc. Then, the next morning, there is acting out, crying, misbehavior, etc., because they haven’t gotten enough sleep.
We just don’t want to deal.
It’s easier to stay put and be captives in our own homes. Just to keep the peace and this ship upright. It used to bother me terribly, that we couldn’t do more. But then I realized more is not worth the strife of experiencing more (if that makes sense?).
So, basically, we’ve been holed up in my house (and before that, apartment) for the past 5 years. My children have no idea what night-time really looks like.
But last night, I did the unthinkable: Sam and I went back out. In the dark. (Kit went to bed and Nat stayed home; I’m not that radical.)
Sam played with his friends, I talked with other parent friends (mainly about heroin, my weird go-to topic these days in social situations), Sam got back in the car, we came home and he was …. fine.
Fine. He was fine. There was no emotional outbursts from being over tired, or whining, or anything. There was nothing. He was … Sam.
And it’s like a the seas parted and the sun shone brightly on me. So many things may now be opened up to us. What those things are, I’m not exactly sure because I’m now super used to hanging out at home and it’s been so long since I’ve done almost anything after 7 p.m. But it’s such a beautiful relief to see it can be possible. That more things will be possible. That we’re entering into a new chapter and it’s very exciting to maybe not be a total shut in anymore.
It gets better. It really, really does.