Monday, May 22, 2017

Taking myself on a date.

For Mother’s Day, I asked for a five hour date by myself. Cambria is seven months old, and the only time she has ever had a bottle has been when Matt and I have gone on a date, which means that I haven’t been alone for more than two hours since October. I am a girl who has always loved time alone, and that has been hard for me. 

So a week after Mother’s Day, I took myself on a date. On Sunday afternoon, I left a bottle for Matt, packed a beer in a cooler, picked up sushi, and had a picnic by myself in the sunshine of Balboa Park. 

This week was particularly difficult with Everett dropping his nap and being overtired, Cambria teething, and marriage ups and downs. Turns out that being surrounded by two young children 24/7 can be a bit hard on a marriage, and yet, we created this family together, and it is utterly beautiful beyond our wildest dreams. Sometimes we have a tendency to make life harder than it needs to be, and while we recognize this, we can’t seem to escape ourselves. 

As I sat in the park, eating my sushi, sipping on my cold beer, and reading a novel in the sunshine, I couldn’t help but think of my family that I was surprisingly missing during my time alone. 

There were reminders of them popping up all around me. Everett’s favorite park musician was playing nearby, and I thought of how he would love to dance to the music and watch the man play guitar, and I missed my son. The musician began playing a song that Matt used to sing to me, and I missed my husband. 

I couldn’t help but think of how I got here, to who I am and where I am at today. I remember being in college and studying abroad, falling in love with another country and culture and a new part of myself that I discovered while traveling. I was so happy learning and growing and experiencing new things by myself, and yet something, or rather someone, was missing. The deepest desire of my heart was to adventure with my then boyfriend, Matt. I wanted to be by his side and travel and have a career and make a home and live life together. So I followed my heart and got married while I was young and naive and hopeful. We traveled the world together, established careers that we are passionate about, made friends, said goodbye to a lot of close friends who moved away, turned toward each other, loved passionately and fought too, mostly over nothing important.

After we had experienced a lot together, we got to the point where we knew something, or rather someone, was missing, and we decided to have a baby. All of a sudden, the deepest desire of my heart was to get pregnant. We added Everett to our family, and loved him more than we ever thought possible. And so we decided to add another family member, and we love Cambria more than we ever thought possible. My life now is better than I could have ever imagined as a college student, when I started to discover that Matt was the person I wanted to marry. Yet, being a parent is harder than I ever expected, too. The sleep deprivation, the tantrums, the constant mess and chores, the weight of shaping a human being. It is not easy, and this season is tough for us as individuals and in our relationship. It takes more effort to connect and be intentional and have time and attention for ourselves and each other. 

It is helpful for me to take space away and remember, I now have the deepest desires of my heart, my family. In the midst of everything, they are my dream come true. And although I asked for alone time as a Mother’s Day gift, time away helps me to realize that there is actually nowhere I’d rather be on a Sunday afternoon than with the three of them.  

(The photos are from an afternoon we did spend together in Balboa Park.)

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