Like it used to be.

Tonight CJ, the Mister, and I went on a date.  We went to a local mall to pick up an item for our lakeside family reunion next weekend, then we decided to grab something for dinner.  The Chili’s we usually go to at this particular mall was packed, so we decided to try the newish Dave & Buster’s.

We walked around D&B looking for a free booth, only to find there were none available.  But in the next room, we noticed that there were several free tables in the bowling alley.  I had no idea there was a bowling alley in D&B!  So we decided to throw caution to the wind, rent some skank-nasty shoes, and knock down some pins while we ate dinner.  We used to love going bowling.  I’m terrible at it, but the Mister is pretty good.  My problem with bowling is that I have no arm strength anymore and I have lingering tennis elbow and carpal tunnel in my left arm, so I have to use the lightest ball I can find (which is usually a 9 lb. ball).  But the 9 lb. balls’ finger holes are usually too small for my adult-sized fingers.  So I have to toss the ball using the tips of my fingers and I can never get a good enough grip on it.  But tonight I actually found a ball with decent sized finger holes.  I got a few strikes with that ball.

But I digress.

We all had a really great time tonight.  CJ loved all the lights and sounds and activity.  He would watch us from his high chair, clapping and giving us high fives after we threw our balls.  He ate a good dinner, and didn’t cry or get fussy at all.  I’m actually very surprised that he was so good because he seemed to be a little tired before we got there.  But he just took it all in.  I’m really glad that he is such a flexible, easygoing baby.  We came home, got him ready for bed, and he went right to sleep.

I love my baby, and there is nowhere I would rather be than with him.  I love spending time with him and making the most of every moment I have with my little family of three.  But I would be lying if I said that sometimes I sort of miss the freedom of being able to just pick up and go out and do things whenever we want.  We used to go lots of places and do lots of fun stuff.  Braves games, the aquarium, weekend beach trips, bowling nights, miniature golf, movies, you name it.  I’m a go-and-doer, and I love to have fun things to do.  I rarely had a plan or agenda.

That has been the biggest adjustment with becoming a parent.  Our every activity has to be so planned.  We have to make sure we have a stroller, diaper bag, toys, snacks, sippy, change of clothes (I always need them if I don’t have them), and various other essentials.  I can’t just pick up and go.  Spontaneity has not been a part of my vocabulary in a very long time.  But now that CJ is getting older and can actually stay engaged with us in whatever it is that we’re doing, opportunities for fun like tonight will hopefully pop up more often.  He’s proven himself to be resilient and he deals with disruptions in his schedule very well, so life and activities don’t have to be so cut and dried and scheduled all the time.  We can go out as a family and go with the flow.

I think that’s why I had such fun tonight.  It wasn’t scripted.  Life just happened.  Everyone rolled with it.  And it was good.


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