Saturday, November 14, 2009

Much too young to feel this damn old?

Late this afternoon, we decided to take a family trip to Toys 'R Us to get a birthday gift for a party Bub's attending tomorrow. Getting everyone out of the house seemed a better option than continuing to pull Little Bit off the table (climbing up on chairs and then onto the table is his new favorite thing) where he grabs hubby's Blackberry, which necessitates taking that away, which leads to tears and whining. Bub was busying himself throwing socks around the room (from the sock bin that he climbed up on top of the couch to retrieve from on top of the cabinet where I used to be able to put things I didn't want him to access).

On our way to the toy megastore, we were stopped at the end of our street waiting to make a right turn. There's a bar at the end of the street, which just has the coziest vibe. There are little lamps on each table, old-fashioned decor that is not lame, and a little courtyard in back. Very inviting. As we waited to make the turn, I looked with longing at the twenty-somethings inside. The front door of the bar was open to let in the unseasonably warm November air. The kids inside were talking and laughing and drinking. Probably some of them were watching football. I like to imagine that some might have been playing board games (that bar has them for patrons to play). Whatever the case, most are years away from pulling toddlers off tables and ducking to avoid being pelted by socks.

To be clear, I do not want to be a twenty-something again. Not. At. All. I feel tired just thinking about it and know that those years are not as carefree as they might appear.

So I absolutely do not want to be 23 or 24 or even 26 again, but I would enjoy having more moments when I could just relax and hang out with friends in the middle of an afternoon without having to think about naptimes or babysitters or what time the kids would be getting up the next morning. More time to relax. More opportunities to laugh with friends who know me really well. Maybe a beer (not now, in my pregnant state, of course) and some boneless buffalo wings to add to the pleasure of the afternoon.

Fast forward to a couple hours later. Little Bit was in bed and Bub jammied up. I ordered some Chinese food for our dinner and decided to take advantage of the great weather and walk to pick it up. I walked down Clark St. past Wrigley Field. Twentysomethings dressed in college logo sportswear spilled out from bar after bar. Kids were crowded outside smoking and making calls on their cell phones. Most of the bars looked hot, crowded, and sweaty inside. Tables were littered with empty bottles. Big screens everywhere were lit up with football games. Plenty of visibly intoxicated youth. People were catching cabs, and I wondered how many of the twentysomethings getting inside them were headed home to change out of their OSU sweatshirts and into their "going out" clothes and then keep drinking elsewhere. I can't even imagine.

I enjoyed the walk and the awesome weather, but I would not trade places with any of the people I passed along the way. Unlike the scene we passed on the way to Toys 'R Us that made me feel a temporary sense of longing, the people and places I passed walking to get our dinner just made me feel good about where I am now . . . ready to get home, dig into that Chinese food, and clean up the socks and toys littered all over the floor.


Actchy said...

Great post, MEP.

Although oddly, I couldn't stop focusing on Little Bit and Bub climbing up on chairs to reach things previously put out of the way. Probably because we've just finished babyproofing, and the thought of Acey climbing brings home the fact that this place is pretty much not toddler-proof-able.

Nap Warden said...

I get sure would be nice to be able to visit every once in a while (the mid twenties)...but sure don't want to go back;)

Christine said...

If it makes you feel better, speaking as one of those 20-somethings who you saw on Clark St. yesterday evening, I was in bed by 10:30. Didn't even get to see firsthand how awful SNL was. :)

cake said...

beautifully told.

plan to do NANOWRIMO with me next year, won't you?

Sarah D said...

If you had a Like button I would click it.

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