Tuesday, October 28, 2014

{crazy kids}

This weekend, to put it eloquently, completely rocked.

There were lots of good things about the weekend as a whole, but the main event was something that has been a long time coming: Barclay and I went on a date without Sullivan. First time in over nine months (his whole little life). 

This is one of those things that I've caught a little bit of flack for from different people over the months, as they've emphasized and re-emphasized the mondo importance of getting a babysitter, going on a child-free date, putting your marriage first...letting go a little.

I happen to agree with them on those points, actually. Good, important things, all. But I also think that everyone lets go differently, of different things at different times, and I don't see what the rush is. This kid goes to bed at 7. Sometimes we pack him up in the car seat or stroller and go out for a coffee while he sleeps. Sometimes we put him to bed at home and watch a movie or paint or whatever. He's been to a baseball game and a football game and quite a few good shows and about 200 different coffee shops and parks and even a few restaurants and has probably covered thousands and thousands of miles in his stroller. I don't feel like our marriage is getting shoved to the back of a dank old basement room. Things just look a wee bit different right now than they did pre-Sullivan. Which, I think, is quite possibly normal.

However. I know that I'm just a taaaaaad more anxious than the average bear. When Sully was born, the thought of letting him out of my sight made my skin crawl. Putting him to sleep in his crib in the room down the hall, handing him off to a near-stranger at a baby shower, having someone who is not me take care of him while I'm across town in a movie theatre...? Too much, too soon. I knew those things had to happen, some sooner than others, but I felt like they didn't all need to happen within the first week of his life. I felt like I would just know when they needed to. When I was ready.

I don't know the exact combination of time and 'bravery' that it takes to overcome separation anxiety, but little by little I've been able to let go one finger at a time. I watched women pass him around at a friend's baby shower without hyperventilating. No one dropped him or shook him or yelled in his ears. We moved him into his own bedroom. He didn't flop out of his crib onto the floor like a fish or get his head stuck in the railings.

The babysitting thing has, admittedly, taken a bit more time. It's hard! I didn't expect it to be! Who am I?!

(And, I mean, there are logistics too. He eats all the time and I'm, like, his food.)

But this week, I realized that I was ready, and that it was time, and that it was going to be okay and even fun. So we dropped Sully off at his grandparents' and hit the town like a piƱata. Minus the candy. Plus cheesecake. And possibly an informative IMAX movie about the South Pacific. (I know, we're crazy kids.)

It was good, and Sullivan was so completely fine, and we'll probably do it again at some point. Now I just have to tackle my fear of letting Barclay take Sullivan sky-diving.

I'm just kidding.

PS: Also this weekend, we finished our painting! And Barclay was immediately like, "What should we paint next?" So I think he didn't hate the process too much. (It was his first attempt at watercolours.)

6 comments:

  1. Aw, sweet thing! I think 9 months is great timing for a date! You are exactly right about mamas being ready for things at different times, and it's so good and right to heed those feelings. Those are your God-given instincts!

    I think you're such a beautiful mother, Suzy. I know I just get an online snippet, but it is so lovely to see you approach everything with such thoughtfulness, but also such present joy. It's really gorgeous to behold!

    I'm glad you and Barclay had fun on your date--and the painting looks great too! (Trev and I are going to have to try something like this because we are back to "creative" dates now that there are no grandparents around, and I'm having the same trouble handing my girls over to a hired babysitter!!!)

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  2. Thanks so much Sarah. It's like you know how wonderful it feels to be affirmed in your parenting choices or something. ;)

    And yes--you and Trev need to do this. AND, you need to think of other creative dates and let me know what they are, and I'll share my creative dates with you. Those are hard to think of, but usually the most fun!

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  3. That painting is incredible!!!

    And I completely relate to the separation anxiety. I had to have surgery when Presto was 7 weeks old and it was pretty much the most traumatizing thing ever. Besides that part where I left him, at less than 12 hours old, with his hadn't-slept-in-two-days dad who literally falls asleep in seconds and can't be woken by anything so I could go and get my veins filled with contrast dye because they thought I was going to die from a blood clot. He magically slept 6 hours straight (and never would again for at least two years) because I think God knew that he (I) wasn't going to make it otherwise. Yea. He still hasn't spent the night with anyone except Noah and me. He's 3.5 years old and I still can't let go for a whole night!

    So, basically, what you feel is normal. And you're a pretty rad mom. :)

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    Replies
    1. Wowwww that would be awful. Yikes yikes yikes.
      And I think it'll be QUITE a while before I can spend a night away too. That seems a bit much for me right now.

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  4. It must be SUPER hard to let go a bit, I can't even imagine the stress levels involved in that. But I'm so glad you did it and that you guys had a lovely time :) You and Barclay seem to be so amazing that I'm sure your relationship would never be entirely relegated!

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