So, it has been approximately 11 months since I went out as "Jessica" and not as "Jessica the Mommy." My best friend, Sheree, and I decided to get dressed up and have some wine downtown for my birthday. - So very big girl of me! - It was weird. As soon as I got in the car I felt like I was forgetting something (ostensibly Hollis back at home). Eventually, I began to feel more like myself, but I admit, sheepishly, that I had more wine than I normally do (3 glasses - up until then, the most I've had since having Hollis was a big 2) and that really dragged just plain old Jessica out of the box.
And you know what? No one died. Hollis didn't get drunk off my breastmilk like I feared. I didn't get crazy like I used to. Nor did I even touch (or want to touch) a cigarette! I didn't stray from who I have become today by insulting my marriage, my schooling, or my own intelligence by doing anything stupid or dangerous. - Seriously, people, it's a miracle I sit here today to even reminisce about the shit I used to do!
Instead, I sat and talked environment, relationships, aging, the past, schooling, sex, parents, friends, future, and various other topics with a very game and loving friend. Neither one of us had had a night like that in a loooong time and it felt good to know that I was still fluent in that kind of interaction. For so long my conversations have been about pooping and sleeping!
Then, the very next night, Anthony and I went out to a very swanky dinner (again to celebrate my birthday). I felt like a real, full blown person - independent of a little puddin' pop of baby love. We got there early and ordered drinks from the bar and sat and chatted like we were on a first date. It was fantastic. Anthony was so handsome and cute and I felt like the luckiest person alive.
Three hours later, stuffed to the brim and exhausted we drove home holding hands and talking about great our lives are. I couldn't wait to get home and snuggle into bed with my honey and be close to SBH in case he needed me. I hugged our babysitters goodnight (my mom and Terry) and went straight to bed ending a terrific couple of days.
I think one of the best gifts I got this birthday is a healthy reminder that I do exist outside of care-taking and "wifing" and that I am also a partner, a friend, and a woman all on her own.
(Oh, and the other awesome gift I got was Hollis crawling on all fours like a "real" crawler! He gave that to me on my birthday. How thoughtful of him!)