I went out on a rare date night on Saturday. Not with the husband but with a girlfriend. To catch up, blow off some steam, and unwind. It’s crucial to unload onto a few good girlfriends so that the husband isn’t left alone to decipher all that femaleness.
We went out late night after the kiddos were put to bed. Well, hers, at least. Mine were probably negotiating one more story or one more drink.
It had been raining 100% of that day continuing into the night. We linked arms under my bigger umbrella and speed-walked into the theater after coming up on some decent parking. We laughed about my coat’s secret compartment. Perfectly sized to sneak in my contraband Twizzlers purchased from Target earlier that day while Christmas decoration shopping with the family.
As soon as Wendy Williams described this movie as a modern day version of Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard,” I was feeling it hward. Kevin, on the other hand, was relieved that I was able to go watch it with a girlfriend, sparing him from having to go with me one day if we were to get blessed with childcare again.
I was a bit nervous about our movie selection when I saw the kiosk at the theater spelling the title, “Beyond the Lites.” Thankfully, it turned out to be just the theater’s spelling, not the movie’s. I mean, it sure wasn’t going to win any Academy Awards but it was still enjoyable and just what we needed for a night out as two gals, as free as the wind for the next couple hours. A much needed break from running checklists, responsibilities and hyper-vigilance that can suck the marrow out of me at times.
It was around midnight and it felt so nice to be out. We were talking about different scenes from the movie when I shared a memory that the movie had triggered, of me and my high school sweetheart spending a day at the beach. Sounds like such a generic memory but while I was recalling it aloud to my friend who I’d only met after I had become a mama here in NYC, the memory became so vivid.
The intense emotions from that senior year in high school when I suffered from depression, what I was wearing – a faded button down GAP denim sleeveless over plain white Esprit t-shirt, and light brown Esprit shorts, squinting at the sun, redoing my ponytail in the ocean breeze, the seashells, how young (and thin) I was, how kind my boyfriend was, the sea air…
Suddenly, to keep from getting lost in my own memory and to keep our conversation flowing before I had to get abruptly dropped off, I forced myself back to the present by asking, “So, whaddid you think of parent-teacher conferences last week?”
That is when I experienced the WHO-OO-OOSH(!) of time travel. I truly felt like I had been yanked back into 2014 from two decades ago. Almost like a brain freeze sensation. Very Marty McFly.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? I was 16 in my hometown of Los Angeles, mentally preparing to go off to college a moment ago and now I’m back in the passenger seat of a girlfriend’s car, a friend so grown that she has two kids and attends parent-teacher conferences!? THAT’S BECAUSE *I* am adult enough to attend parent-teacher conferences myself!? As a PARENT, not as a student!
Whoa, there, what, *I(!)* am a mama to two active boys who have names that we daydreamed about for approximately 39 weeks and why is it so cold? Oh yeah, because I’ve been living in NYC for nearly a decade! And I also have the babies’ daddy waiting for me at home, a husband who wears adult clothes like slacks and a Brooks Brothers work shirt everyday as he hoists his weary body onto the subway to get to his lawyer gig in Manhattan.
The only other time I felt a similar sensation was when I woke up in the middle of the night to pee when we lived in Astoria (NYC). I was enjoying such a deep, yummy sleep that it took me a moment to get my bearings as I went to the bathroom. What day is it tomorrow? Weekday? So I have to catch the subway by what time again to avoid the crowds? Where am I? WAIT, WHAT!? Why do I have a huge belly? Holy…I am 34 years old and knocked up!? Happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life (see belly). I was just dreaming that I had to take my college finals again because I was one unit shy of graduating.
What a wild ride, these mind-freeze, time travel moments.
Life is wild. What a trip. Moves so damn fast. Not DURING the difficult moments of course, just after the fact.
I can hardly believe I am about to spend Micah’s FIFTH and Ellis’ THIRD Christmas with them. And that I’m learning how to create my own family holiday traditions. I mean, I even got us an Advent calendar, a Christmas wreath, and another live tree. Who am I!?
And now, once again, here we are, weeks away from a brand new year. 2015. Blank slate.
I hope I am fortunate enough to experience another WHOOSH as I unload my luscious-cheeked grandkids from their carseats to go swimming in the ocean with grandma, squinting in the sun.