We had a really interesting weekend, busy and fun and a little bit disorienting, but good. A few months ago I discovered that one of my favorite musicians was playing here and I, bed resting at the time, ambitiously bought us tickets. I wanted to see him so badly and he rarely comes down to Los Angeles, apparently not his cup of tea (this gleaned from lyrics of various songs) so I had to try. He holds the same name as our son, (no, we did not name our Mason after him, but I feel he is in good company sharing with a man as sensitively creative as Mason Jennings). And I just plain love his music. I have such wonderful friends, one made me a beautiful CD of his more obscure songs and while confined I listened daily to help center and calm my at times raging mind and imagination. It is hard to think bad thoughts when you are hearing a voice such as his.
So, anyway, we did make it to the show on Saturday. It was interesting to plot and plan up to the day, then actually be able to do it…to slip away into the night with 2 best friends, Omi and Opa at home with the Beans, armed with written instructions, breast milk galore and cell phones at the ready. There were no untoward events, they followed the routine, had a great time doing it and gratefully turned them over to us when we arrived home. So, that was not the big deal. The big deal was me. Isn’t it always?
See, I really wanted this, I thought about it a lot. I have to remind you that I was home for 12 weeks…3 months…no outings other than doctor; no dinners, no friend’s places for game night or stamp parties, no nothing. So this became really important. Scarily important. I got a new top, I pumped furiously to allow me to know that I would leave enough to feed them through the night so I could enjoy more than just one
glass of wine, we bought an invertor for the car just so we could bring my hospital issue breast pump (which looks oddly similar to an oil rig when running)(Tim marvels that we do not have to do regular maintenance to the thing, it is that massive). There was not a detail missed. Oh, until we opened the invertor package and discovered it hooks up directly to the battery with jumper cables (that is how much juice the pump requires. No wonder my nipples are wrecked). Problem solvers that we are, we just added an extension cord to the list of things to bring. Tada!
Saturday night comes, we place all necessary bits for the beans in plain sight
for the GP’s, load up our friends and some beer and wine and hit the open road, heading to Malibu for dinner at Malibu Seafood and music at the Malibu Inn. It was great, Tim and I cruising in the Family Truckster with grown people in the back seat, not a baby item in sight except for a stray bottle. We made record time to the dinner place, found parking right in front, had a lovely couple assist us in opening our bottle of Chardonnay and ordered our meals. BTW: the food at Malibu Seafood is lovely. It is little more than a cut out off the side of PCH with tables and the shack where one orders and manually retrieves their own tray, but the food it excellent. Fresh and beautifully prepared, we had the sock eye salmon, ahi tuna, clam chowder and Dungenes crab and each were done just right. Highly recommended is the chowder in the bread bowl. So great.
Dinner was so fun, eating two handed and enjoying that extra pour, gazing at the Pacific from our picnic table, conversing about things that we did, have done and plan to do with Mike and Kate. But there was that niggling feeling, that feeling of being misplaced, not whole, unbalanced. Because we were alone. Tim and I kept glancing at each other with the same look in our eyes, kept bringing up the babies and their specialness, wonderfulness, babyness. And our friends understood. I kept reaching for the digital camera that I should have been using to photo all of the above so as to have pictures to remember and post, but instead looking at the pictures of the boys, showing Mike and Kate and the people at the next table over. And our friends understood. We kept thinking we should call to check, and yes, our friends understood. They do not have children yet, they are going the traditional route and waiting until after they get married, but they still understood. These were the right people to venture out with the first time.
And then, off to the venue, again we found just the right spot to park. Situated way below street level, the public beach parking had enough shelter to conceal us from eyes that likely would have tripped out to see a open hood, jumper cables leading to a bright orange extension cord disappearing into the Truckster where the loud hiss/pull of my pump could be heard. I think the tinted windows and darkness did
enough to keep my modesty intact. Kate sat next to me watching the pump process and made the remark that my nipples look like udders when being pulled by the pump. She is not wrong, it is a strong pump. Gets the job done in 10 minutes flat…and then I reluctantly spilled the results of pumping out the door. That was hard. It is gold, liquid gold (now, if you watch PBS and have heard of Huell Howser, you must think this statement with the same accent he uses when he says “California’s Gold”. Are you feeling me?). All items were put away and we were off, walking the 2 or 3 blocks to the Inn, breathing the sea night air, salty and fresh.
Our singer had yet to take the stage so we nursed a drink and chatted, observing the typically Southland crowd; the hipsters and blondies, beachy 20/30ish crowd. Not really our scene, but apparently they were all enamored of Mason Jennings too. It is just that I can see why he hates to play L.A. It was a good show, unfortunately the venue was geared much more towards drinking that acoustics, at times the crowd forgot they were there to hear the artist and I kept trying to find excuses to whip out the camera to show off my babies…but it was a good show. One song made me cry, it is a powerful piece about death and a boy (or maybe girl. Adrian could be either, I guess.) And the whole time Tim and I kept giving each other that look, that one, you know? The one that said to each other, ‘How are they? What are they doing?’ and on and on.
The realization that this is it, how things will be, it was not too hard. I expected it. But what I did not anticipate was the pull. The desire to turn around and go home to them every few minutes. The desire to show and tell every person nearby about our Beans, how they are smiling at us now, how they turn their heads to our voices when we come into a room and talk, how they make us laugh when they fart like old men. It was so powerful, this desire. It was so powerful. And when we finally did get home, the feel, ahhhh, the feel of my babies in my arms. Defies description.
So, it was a lesson learned. Sure, we need ‘us’ time, we need to
occasionally be with each other without the little guys. Sure, we can go out and enjoy this time with friends and have a few drinks and listen to some good music and eat some good food. Sure, we can, but we will never be ‘free’ and we don’t want to be. I loved the tug, the pull, the promise of my lovelies waiting for me to kiss them and sing them to sleep as only, I, their mama, can. And next time we will not see Mason in L.A. Maybe we will go see him in his hometown instead. I've always wanted to get to Minnesota.