I don’t go out much. Ever since having kids, the Hub and I have worked opposite to each other-I work during the day and he works until late at night. We save money on daycare, sure, but sometimes we sacrifice being with each other and have little time for a social life since we don’t have a babysitter. When my parents come to visit we get the odd chance to go see a movie or have dinner and drinks without the kids, but still, not very often.
This past week I had the rare pleasure of going out twice to catch up with friends, and I’m still pinching myself that it actually happened. Tuesday night I went to have a homemade meal with friends that I met when I first moved to the city. How nice to have a night that I didn’t have to worry about what time I came home, I was able to sit back, sip my wine and relax. We dined on boeuf bourguignon-tender, warming and delicious, perfect for the drizzly cool night outside. We laughed and joked, it was so great to be myself and have no edit, free to curse and swear as I pleased, not worrying that my kids will repeat my words at the most inappropriate moment and expose me for the imperfect mom that I am. The added bonus was spending time with a new friend as well, so it was a perfect blend of inside jokes, fond memories and that sweet feeling of learning about someone else’s life and walking away glad to have met.
My next outing was a ramen lunch date with two of my best chef friends. We met working at the same restaurant and have worked together on and off for years since then, always having each other’s backs, helping whenever possible and learning from each other along the way as we progress in our careers. The three of us have had rough spots in our relationship together, but our bond has only grown stronger as we work through it. Our conversations can sometimes be intense and emotional, but seems to always end with an aching belly laugh and some kind of dance move that stays with us forever, good or bad. Honestly, I barely remember the ramen, but I could have eaten plates and plates of the gyoza, I love a good dumpling. They were crispy, abundantly filled and pleasingly garlicky. I will gladly go back for those again.
Seeing my friends reminds me of who I was and who I am now. I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there that longs for their life before kids, but that feeling is fleeting. When the Babe throws her arm around my neck when she nuzzles close to fall asleep, and the Lady tells me in detail how her day at school was, I am so happy. When I’m with the Hub and I still learn something new about him after all these years, I am home. This past week has made me feel more like myself, not just mom, wife or chef, but me. Thank you friends, I can’t wait to do it all again. Thank you family, for loving me like you do. I am blessed.