We usually plan long, holiday weekends by making as few plans as possible. There's something special about not having to jump in the car and get from here to there and back again on a schedule. We covet the opportunity to pick up the frisbee and start an impromptu game on the front lawn. There's adventure in letting go and just seeing what happens.
In this fast-paced, heavily scheduled world we live in, I do find it a somewhat of an experiment to just sit back and let life happen. Especially for the children, leaving ourselves open to possibilities usually brings about things we have been hopeful for, but sometimes have been working too hard to get.
Memorial Day weekend brought just that kind of experience. Hanging out with the kids, I was thinking about what I would do after they went to sleep for the night. My husband was having our neighbor over to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championships on television, and I had the night open. Usually during a regular week, I take advantage of the time to write or catch up on my sleep. But I was really antsy for a casual, relaxing chance to catch up with friends. I was being sentimental thinking about how when I was young, a long weekend meant an impromptu call to go out on the town...and then the phone rang.
It was one of my "hot mum" friends (blog readers were introduced to the "hot mums," a group of my friends who all met with our children were in daycare, in an earlier posting.) I hadn't spoken to anyone in a few months and had a lot to catch up on. It turned out that one's husband headed out on a road trip with the kids to visit relatives and was -- get this -- F-R-E-E! So she and one of our other friends were heading down to a local sports bar for a drink and would I like to join them? You bet!
We had a great time catching up, of course. But there was also something liberating, as well as sentimental, about our night out. I recognized that as my children grow up, I grow up too. In those early years we give ourselves fully to our little charges and hardly have a moment to give ourselves. But time comes back to us as time marches forward. In some ways, recognizing that we're getting a little bit of our lives back is sad as it means we're doing really good at our jobs as moms and letting go. We're teaching our children to become independent, to move away from us so they can discover themselves. But I sense that with each night out, letting go will not become any easier.
As the 80's music blared, we lifted our glasses to toast life, motherhood, our special night on the town, and the special, yet sentimental, experience of growing up.