There’s a memory I have, faded and foggy. It’s just a whisper, really, so ancient and ethereal it could almost belong to someone else, seeped into my id from the collective subconscious, or an episode of Barney Miller.
There was a gathering, but not a holiday. Just people getting to gether, talking, laughing. Like some sort of…what’s the word? Party?
Yes, Party. And I wasn’t tired. And I remembered names. And I wasn’t worried about getting enough sleep – I remember the idea of being awoken up at 6am by a 35-pound body slam would seem utterly alien to this strange, forgotten me.
A social life after baby drop is kind of like that lady who had a bunch of spider eggs hatch in her hair. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody it happened to, but there is very little first-hand evidence.
It’s possible, sure, and arguably necessary for a mama and a papa to get out once in a while. But it’s not the same thing it was. Not nearly.
But it would be wrong to say having a kid cuts you off. It sounds odd at first, but being a father turned me into a celebrity. Well, maybe that guy who’s always taking a celebrity places. In a moby wrap.
In those early days, Little Man and myself would go for a walk at least twice a day. I’d tuck him into 9 feet of fabric wrapped around my torso and away we’d go. The Gentleman’s Constitutional, we called it.
Well, I called it that. I took his silence as assent.
But we’d walk around the lake, to the coffee shop, to the grocery store, if it was above 20 degrees we’d go anywhere within a 2 mile radius. The baristas would fuss over him, the ladies at the checkout would fuss over him, we’d run into other parents and trade sleepy greetings.
Once we went into a restaurant in the neighborhood and the maitre’d recognized us.
No we can’t go anywhere. “Where’s the Little Man?” “How’s that little man doing?” He’s even got his own nicknames in some places. It’s like I don’t even exist to these people except in terms of my son.
Well. At least we’re all on the same page.