There are many times when I forget myself, when I fall back into a time without babies, a time of movement, and freedom, and fluidity. A time of trains, and subways, and coffee shops. Days of waking up at 10 a.m. and sitting out on the porch drinking coffee and wondering what the afternoon will bring.
These aren’t longings, they’re fleeting and isolated moments where my brain has somehow shut off. I’ve been alive for 28 years, after all, and I’ve only been a parent for two.
Usually these moments pass unnoticed, unmarked, and unvoiced. Sometimes, though, especially when my husband and I happen upon an hour or so of baby-less time, I inadvertantly draw attention to them.
About six months ago, my husband and I left the babies with my in-laws and went out for coffee – actually, espressos because I’m chic and trendy and he’s European.
The bill came to $4.70, and he’d left his wallet in his car so while he went to get it, I scrounged to see if I had the money. I had four one-dollar bills and a bunch of loose change. He came back to pay.
“I’ve got it,” he said
“No, I’ve got it,” I replied. “Look, it’s all there.”
“As long as this is a dollar coin. Is this a dollar coin?” I often had dollar coins from using the Subway system in New York City or the T in Boston, in a former life.
My husband started laughing out loud.
“No, baby,” he said. “That’s a token from Chuck E Cheese.”
The moral of the story? This life may be less glamorous, but it’s just as rewarding. To be honest, I’d rather go to Chuck E Cheese than get on the subway anyway.