Saturday, November 05, 2005

An Odd Sort of Loneliness

Without ever thinking about it, I always felt like being partnered meant always having someone to do things with. I don't mean date nights and parties, I mean the smaller, less planned things. Seeing a beacon in the night sky and following it. Hanging out for hours at a bookstore. Getting restless late at night and going for a long walk or drive and ending up having small adventures and private memories.

It's different with a child. When Ellie was very small, we could plop her in the sling for a walk, in the car seat for a drive, and postpone Borders for a few years. But now there are set mealtimes and bedtimes. After 7:00 one of us has to be at home. You can't hire a sitter on the off chance that you'll suddenly have the urge to go out exploring. You can't both sit up all night long eating pizza and playing video games; at least one must be ready to get up at 6:00 the next morning.

Perhaps this is what people mean when they talk about relationships changing after you have children. It used to be a partnership. Then it was a partnership with a goal, the care and comfort of an exciting new creature. And now it's a family. All of us have our own wants, needs, and preferences.

I wouldn't give up what we have for the world, but in choosing this path I incurred some losses too. And they're not all as trivial as they might sound.


Jessica said...

What an insightful and honest post, Sarahlynn. I can empathize.

Krupskaya said...

I know Exactly. What. You. Mean. And I totally agree. I wouldn't change, but I miss it.

And for some reason, I couldn't post on your last entry so I'll post it here -- I want to tickle Ellie! She is BEAUTIFUL.

ccw said...

Very true!

I was just mentioning this to my single, child-less friend about never leaving the house after 7:00. Even if we keep the baby up late, we still have to be home to ensure that Kid L gets enough sleep before school.

I also don't want it any other way, but there are moments when I would love to jump in the car and be spontaneous.

Krupskaya said...

It's the same way I "miss" being single. I'm happy with my partner, but I *loved* living alone and I miss it. And while I can't exactly say I miss my dating days, I kinda miss who I thought I was then. If that makes sense. Which it might not.

Sarahlynn said...

When I'm thinking thoughts like these I begin to think that maybe there are some advantages to communal living. But then I remember how little I like to be around other people and how much I love to be alone, alone, blessedly alone.