Sunday, December 7, 2008
All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go
Actually, we did have somewhere to go. And we almost made it there. Almost.
For weeks I'd been anticipating, planning for this night. Jim's company Christmas party. It was not only to be a guaranteed night out without kids, but it also provided the oh so rare opportunity to really get dressed up. You know, one of those nights when you get to wear the kind of outfit that makes you forget you're a parent because you feel like a celebrity instead.
I had arranged for another couple to come over with their kids to watch Kyra and Kylie and so I spent the entire day cleaning the house, preparing dinner for our sitters, ironing, and getting myself ready (which takes quite a while when you have a 2 year old wrapped around your knees).
Just a little bit before our friends arrived, Jim informed me that it was snowing. I didn't know it was supposed to snow, but I was delighted at the thought of it adding a little additional romance to the evening. Our sitters arrived with their two girls in tow and I gave them the rundown for the evening. We grabbed our coats, said our goodbyes and ran to the truck. We took the most obvious route toward our location only to find an ambulance blocking the road, so we detoured down a back road that would get us to the road we needed a little further down. However, our alternate route proved to be blocked as well. So we turned around and headed another direction. We had been on and off the phone with Jim's parents who were also attempting to make their way to the party. They were telling us of all the accidents they had seen and how icy the road conditions were. After discovering that only a handful (6 or 7) employees were actually at the event, they told us they were calling it quits and heading home. With no family to hang out with and few other employees, we weighed our options and decided to go back home ourselves. If the roads were already so bad who knew what they would be like when our babysitters headed home with their kids later on and we didn't feel right about putting them in jeopardy just to hang out for a few hours with a dozen people that we may or may not know.
We arrived back home only about a half hour after we had left and sent our friends on their way to get their own family home safe as soon as possible. We changed out of our fancy clothes and in the blink of an eye were daddy and mommy once again. I kept telling myself we had done the right thing, but it didn't take away the sadness I felt. And I realized it was because I was mourning the loss of something dear to me, quality time with my husband. Time where we are husband and wife. Time to socialize with other adults. Time to make memories that don't involve the kids. And I cried. And then I learned that Jim's family and about 90 other employees did all eventually make it to the party. And I cried harder. And as much as I wanted to rush upstairs and change back into my nice clothes and speed (slowly so as not to spin off the icy road) toward the party, our fate had already been set. We were home, our sitters were gone, our kids were asleep.
It will most likely be another year before I get the chance to play dress up again and knowing that makes me feel a little sad even today, but maybe life will surprise me. And knowing that life is full of surprises makes me smile and anticipate tomorrow.