Our friends Jef and Beata have a son, Julian, who was born 11 days after Jack. We arranged to trade babysitting with Jef and Beata: they took Jack tonight, and we'll take Julian tomorrow. This is what I call a win-win situation. This is also what I call our first night out since Jack was born. Visions of adult conversation that did not revolve around the topics of poop, pee, or spitup danced through my head. So, I wore a dress with a v-neck (a big mistake, I soon discovered, when one picks out the dress after baby nurses and continues to wear it hours -- and many ounces of milk produced -- later). Greg put on some fancy shoes. And we went to our favorite Italian restaurant: Skappo. It was momentous, let me tell you.
We settled in. We grinned some mischievous grins. We felt like we were getting away something. Silence fell over us as we grasped for words to relate to one another. And then Greg voiced exactly what I felt inside: "Doesn't it feel like something's missing?"
Something was missing. Jack was missing. We missed holding him and laughing together over his charming infant moves. We missed the structure that it brought to our interactions, and the closeness that it brought to our relationship. Greg and I had a lovely time, and it was wonderful to be together, just the two of us, for a romantic evening with delicious food (I recommend the caramelized figs with gorgonzola, for any of you fellow New Havenites. They were spectacular)... but we also felt Jack's absence. There were no acute pangs of longing... no, this was a gentle tug of something left behind but not forgotten.
So, several figs (and glasses of wine) later, we agreed that it had been a great night. We'll do it again some time. And then we drove the two miles to go pick up our little boy from Jef and Beata's house, and I hugged him close to me and smelled his sweet hair, and everything was full and complete.
I am glad for our date, but I do know this: Jack, you belong in our arms and nowhere else. I am happiest, by far, when we are a family, and that's the wonder of love.