Doug kicked me out of the house last night. In a good way.
While he was sitting in a courtroom somewhere downtown yesterday afternoon (having been summoned for jury duty) I got this text: “So, where are you going tonight?”
We had talked recently about how I needed to get out regularly, away from the house and kids, and do things that feed my soul. And when I received the text, I realized that I had been a bit crabby the last few days and Doug was probably right in thinking some time away would be restorative.
It was funny how hard it was to actually leave. As much as my spirit wanted to go, I kept looking around at this or that unfinished chore or mess and thinking that I just had to take care of one more thing…
“You’re still here?” was all Doug said when he came out of the kitchen to finish clearing the dinner table. I finally made the break and grabbed keys, phone, purse and a book and walked out the door, not exactly sure where I would end up.
I drove to our neighborhood Starbucks, and as I stepped out of my car I dialed a good friend and invited myself over for a visit. Then I went inside to get a latte. As I stood in line, I realized how awkward I felt. It was like I didn’t know what to do with my hands. I had a hard time holding on to the things I was carrying and kept shifting things from one hand to the other. And when I paid for my latte with one of my Christmas gift cards, I stood there like a dork long after she had rung up the sale, a long line of people waiting behind me. “Oh, am I done?” I asked, and she smiled graciously and nodded.
I felt a bit like that student athlete whose schoolwork is excellent when they are in a sport, with all of the demands of games and workouts and practices, but whose grades suffer when they do not have such rigorous demands on their schedule.
And as I approached the door to leave, I felt that wave of stress come that normally accompanies every time I have to get my crew (in some combination of walking, strolling and carrying) through a doorway and then I realized I could just slip out with ease. No production. No stares.
I ended up spending the evening with our dear friends who just had a baby in December (and no, the irony of this is not lost on me). I had the chance to hold little Evan (or baby Even, as Aaron calls him) and talk to him and hear the stories of their journey into parenting and we spent the evening talking about breastfeeding and sleep schedules and diapers and how insanely much we love our children. It was a perfect night.