I’m surfacing, taking a deep breath, and slowly peering out from the fog.
It seems like we’ve been sick for months, stuck in doors, endless days of fussiness and fevers. I haven’t slept. I haven’t cooked. I haven’t written anything. We have been surviving. I’ve felt pulled in different directions like there wasn’t enough of me for all of them. There were tears (mostly the kids), shared sighs of desperation (the adults), and tempers erupted (all of us).
Over the weekend, my husband and I went out for a date night. A cool night, we stood at a roof top bar that looked out over the Denver skyline. My hand tucked in the back pocket of his jeans, starving because our reservation was at 7:30pm and we normally eat at 5pm. A middle-aged man tapped me on the shoulder, “You two are a really cute couple,” he said, “I mean your hand in his pocket,” embarrassed he blushed, trying to explain himself.
“Thank-you,” I smiled. Happy, I felt like a cute couple. We are good, I’m impressed with us, after nine-years of marriage, three kids, and the ups and downs of work, marriage, and life. We’ve come a long way, but it all still feels the same. Fifteen years later, he is still the gorgeous boy at the bar and I’m still the girl peeling the labels from my beer, except Saturday we ordered our drinks and the bartender asked for my ID.
“I forgot my ID,” I whined.
“I can’t serve you,” he barked.
“I’m obviously older than 21.” I responded. “Please, I have three kids. We never go out.”
“It doesn’t matter. I card everyone under 50, and you are not 50. Sting operations happen here every weekend. NO ONE WILL SERVE YOU.”
So really, nights out as a 20-years-old with a tattered fake ID and date nights at 35-years-old, I’m still begging the bartender to make an exception with the same cute boy standing by my side. Everything changes and nothing changes at all.