Monday, June 27, 2011

Mama's Day Off. (There IS a downtown.)

Lily had her first sleep over, ever, last weekend and I think it was a remarkable experience for us both. I was so overwhelmed with the prospect of an unscheduled day I was almost paralyzed with the freedom it promised. And nervous about how it would go. For both of us. But we prepped gently during the weeks before, and then...
Off she went.
It didn't help that she was beyond sweet and well behaved and awesome on Saturday morning before her pickup. But it did feel good to hand her off in good form.

My first day/night without my girl, and while I was needy for updates, ever wondering how she was doing, I did manage to indulge myself with some alone time.

Did I say remarkable?

I read, in the sun, and slowly sipped ice coffee while doing so.
I headed down to a favorite neighborhood and revisited it like a tourist just returning to NYC after a long hiatus. I treated myself to a long, hedonistic lunch and cold beer with lime at an old haunt from my pre-parenting days - and leisurely read and ate and drank to the vibes of soul and Latin beats - a NYC soundtrack that I hadn't enjoyed in a very, very long time.

I wandered streets aimlessly, visited a crafty bazaar, treated myself to funky jewelry and never glanced at a clock.

I did think of Lily throughout, and checked my phone regularly for updates and emergency calls. But I love to think about her, she is an instant upper even when not physically by my side. The calls never came and the updates told me she was fine at her Granny's so I did manage to


It was almost indescribable.
An afternoon with no constraints or obligations.

I comforted myself with the thought that this could be considered Alan's shift. He would have given me some afternoons off to regroup and recharge - so that's what I tried to do and it eased the guilt tremendously.

Lily could never be a burden. She is my greatest joy.
But I now understand even more fully what a parent means when they say "I need to take care of myself so I can be a better parent".

I am now a better parent.
But I'll take more sleep-overs too.

I want to be even better.

I went to a movie.
I watched TV in bed.
I awoke automatically at 6:44am but was able to get myself back to sleep until 8:59.
Not bad for a novice.
And when I was up I had my morning coffee on the roof again, and recharged some more in the sun.

And my girl? She visited her Granny's nail salon (no polish yet), went swimming with BebeO, dined outdoors, climbed out of her travel crib numerous times, fell asleep in bed alongside her Granny, played in her tent, scratched her ankle, went successfully (when she was in the mood) on the potty, went to their playground and

I guess some things are a tradeoff...

Fair enough.

And as my friend told me in anticipation of this event, "she will never look so delicious as when she returns".


I couldn't get enough of her.

I hugged her and kissed her and hugged her and kissed her and off we went to swimming class where she clung to me a bit more fiercely than usual.
Felt good.

So so good.

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