I am a mother. I have three children, all under five, and my children are my constant companions. When I go to the store, they go too. If I read a book, they keep me company. Sometimes we go to a friend's house, but they are our friends because their children are the same age as my children, and so of course the children come too.
I love my children. I would never, ever trade what I do for anything anybody could ever offer me. I stay home by choice, and I've never regretted my choice. But as with any job or situation (even endless vacation), I enjoy a break occasionally.
We have some very close friends who are leaving (left) for their next post. We've been able to see them a few times since we've been in DC, and they invited us out to dinner for their last hurrah. Never one to turn down food, we accepted.
And so last night, on a weeknight, a very kind FS friend showed up at my door. We had had a rough day, and I was happy to see her. I was wearing makeup, dry-clean only clothes, and heels. And so with a smile on my face, I left my children, and picked up our friends.
We dropped by Main State to pick up Brandon, and worked our way over to one of those trendy restaurants that have red velvet couches instead of seats and strange artwork that looks like somebody paid too much money for it. As we were walking from the fifteen-dollar parking garage amid the other crowds of evening diners, I felt like an adult.
I am always an adult - nobody but adults should have any business having three children - but I'm usually an adult existing in the world of people under three feet tall who can't wipe their own bottoms.
But as we sat at dinner, sipping chipotle hot chocolate, sharing around plates and plates of tapas with lamb sliders and artichoke tarts and chocolate-sauced crab cakes followed by a five-course dessert, I returned to a world that I don't visit very often. Instead of talking about bunk beds, we talked about the security of Libyan oil fields. Nobody made mention of their friends from the playground, and instead juicy gossip about State was passed around. No plans were made about the park. But we did talk about traveling through Europe and eating ourselves silly.
This morning, I've already mediated at least five disagreements. Edwin is sitting my lap, trying to call China on my cell phone. And that's okay - it's the life I've willingly chosen. I do, however, enjoy a quick vacation to the other side every now and then.