Friday, January 28, 2011

The land between guilt and relief...

I have bruises forming all down my back, and on the palms of my hands. My calves are cramped up, and my shoulders are stiff in the way that lets you know the real pain is coming tomorrow. I haven't fallen asleep yet, but I'm somehow starting to already feel hungover.

I've seen my son for maybe a grand total of three hours, combined, all day, and more than anything I really wish he was here with me to cuddle right now.

But for all that, to be perfectly honest, this has been one of my best days in a long time.

First of all, just so there's no confusion: I love my son more than anything that ever existed. I love spending time with him; I don't resent a second spent with him. I don't feel that having him has caused me to miss out on anything at all.

But that doesn't change the fact that, once you're a parent, there's just certain things you don't really get to do anymore.

But, just for today, I got to do those things.

First, to explain the bruises and achiness and overall feeling that I was in a car crash. Well, I was. Several mini-crashes, sustained over the course of about an hour.

As a "team-building" event, several of the people from my department went go-karting. And before you think that doesn't sound too bad, allow me to clarify. This is extreme adult go-karting. The karts go up to 40 mph on a slick course. It is mandatory that you wear a head sock, helmet (with visor) and neck brace to even get in one (before they turn it on).

And because the borderline sociopath who organized it confused "team-building event" with "place seven adults in a hyper-competitive situation and give them ample opportunities for vehicular assault", I spent the afternoon sideswiping people with whom I usually process invoices.

And, for the record, that place is definitely geared towards male customers. Being the only woman there, I didn't want to complain, but nothing fit me. The oversized helmet turned me into a bobblehead, and they didn't have a neckbrace small enough for me, so it just hung on me like a thick padded-foam necklace. I also tightened the straps on my go-kart as far as they would go, but there was still too much slack, so with every turn I was slung side-to-side, my heavy oversized helmet snapping my neck back-and-forth in my useless neckbrace.

But, I came in third, and established a reputation as the most aggressive driver and dirtiest player in the department, so that's a bonus. (Though I did get credit for screaming apologies every time I T-boned anyone.)

We hung out at the bar for a few rounds afterward (yes, a bar at a go-kart track, I know), and, despite the fact that high-speed go-kart racing ranks below paintball and just ahead of body piercing as a logical team-building exercise, we really did have a good time and enjoy each other's company. (Though I begged for us to just go bowling next time.)

After I got home, I saw my son for just a little bit, and we left him with my parents so my hubby and I could have a date night. (The 4th date we've been on without him since he was born...18 months ago.) We ate dinner at Chili's, I had a couple of margaritas (on top of the beers from earlier), and we went to see "The Green Hornet" (my new favorite superhero movie). It was almost 10:00 by the time we got out, so my son's long since fallen asleep at his Poppa and Mimi's.

And now I want to hang out with him, and it's too late for today. Sure, tomorrow's the weekend and I'll pick him up as soon as he wakes up in the morning, but I miss him now. And I know he probably had a such a fun time sleeping over with his grandparents (two of his cousins are there, too), that he hardly even noticed my absence. But...

I had such a great day, having fun just doing adult things, and I suppose I feel a little guilty about that. Not once today did I have to worry about his safety, or what sort of example I was setting (like, by running my co-workers off the track, for example), finding a high chair in the restaurant (we just sat at the bar) or whether the movie would be too scary for a toddler. It was very relaxing, for just a day, to not have to think about those things.

Of course, now I miss him like crazy, and just crave his messy, clinging, overwhelming company. And 99.99% of the time, I wouldn't have my life any other way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to parenthood. I would love to say the guilt will subside with time, but that's a lie. If it makes you feel any better he'll probably go through a stretch as a teenager when he hates you and doesn't want any time together.


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