June 07, 2010
I often underestimate the power of getting out of the house. I’m less motivated to take my kids out when I am alone for several reasons, not the least of which is that I cannot run in three directions if they all take off on me. This is bound to happen sooner or later, but most of the time they are their own play group. Being naturally more solitary, I’m content to stay home. Working at home gives me balance, besides the ever present opportunity to wipe snot off my shirt and pick up empty bottles. Don’t get me wrong, I take the kids on play dates. And we visit the children’s room at the local library once a week (it is a contained room with toys, books and games). This being my comfort zone, I often forget that it is also a vacuum, where it’s pretty easy to avoid drama and have a peaceful existence, outside of the requisite crying and sibling rivalry.
So when I was offered tickets to a Black Crowes concert, I hesitated. I confess, I actually had to look them up and listen to some samples of their music to see if I recognized any of it. I did, but I still wasn’t sure it was my thing. Since my kids were born, I have struggled to do anything new, opting for things of comfort and security. I decided I would reach out. I invited a new friend I don’t know well, who I would like to know better, and who I knew could also use a night out. She has twin one year old boys and hasn’t lived here for too long, and agreed to join me. We chatted about motherhood and related issues on the drive to the concert, noting that making new friends is sometimes like dating – trying people on to see how they fit. It can be tough to connect with people. At 40-something, I figured the Black Crowes would not really be our thing. But where it got comedic was when the Dolby Surround Sound truck offered us a listen in their rolling theatre. I hadn’t exactly expected that we would end up drinking wine that was chilling in a cooler in the Dolby guy’s car trunk. As I anticipated, the music turned out not to be for either of us. Watching the opening band and the Black Crowes, all old guys with too much beard, flannel shirts and incense floating around made us realize that it was pretty late. We had fun, and it was nice to be out and about. But five a.m. comes all too fast when one and two year olds decide it’s time to start the day. I don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.