Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Austin on a Saturday night

Sixth Street, Austin, Texas

After 18 months of servitude to an infant-turned-toddler, Erin and I were freed from the shackles of parenthood. Together. For an entire weekend.

Free to sleep past 8.
Free from changing diapers.

Free from schedules.
Free from having to find a babysitter.
Free to wake up late, run late and stay out late.
Free to go where we wanted, when we wanted.
We were free, free, free.

It was a moment we'd long been dreaming about. And yet, we couldn't stop thinking about the reality back home -- our lives filled with giggles, cries and dirty diapers -- from which we temporarily escaped. Leaving Jacob for the weekend was a difficult decision, but ultimately it was one we were happy we made.

* * *

We traveled to Austin, Texas, this past weekend to help celebrate our good buddies from college FINALLY tying the knot. My parents and sister came up from Atlanta to watch Jacob and Dolly.

It was a great weekend to catch up with friends who we hadn't seen since our May trip to Kansas City, hang out with the in-laws and party on Sixth Street til 3 a.m.

The Kansas crew at Mike and Paula's wedding

And of course everyone was eager to see Jacob, too. This was one of a couple reasons that made it difficult to leave him behind. Plus, we had yet to be away from him for an entire weekend.

On the one hand we were excited to show everyone all the new tricks he's learned since the last time they saw him. For some, this would've been the first time to meet him.

But on the other hand, their attention to Jacob would've lasted for maybe 5 minutes here and there, leaving us to plan the remaining 23 hours and 55 minutes around his needs.

And as the following sequence of events unfolded, Erin and I guiltlessly admitted we made the right decision:

12:30 p.m. -- Our plane lands, already past lunchtime.
12:50 p.m. -- Our friends pick us up. Our suitcases, along with their tuxes, barely fit in the trunk. Where would we have put the stroller and pack 'n play?
1 p.m. -- We arrive at our hotel to check in. We can't. Not until 3. Where would Jacob have napped?
1:30 p.m. -- We arrive at Salt Lick for lunch (incredible barbecue, by the way).
3 p.m. -- We leave Salt Lick. Jacob probably would've made it through lunch without a nap, but he would've been absolutely miserable at the rehearsal dinner. Our night would've been cut short.

Some people may view our decision-making as loaded with selfish intentions -- that Jacob is part of our lives and we just can't dump him off whenever we want to have a good time.

That is far from the truth.

For a year and a half, we have waited hand and foot to meet Jacob's endless needs. And we did so without the help of a nanny or grandparents, who live too far away to relieve us at any given notice.

We've been able to stay out late with friends only a handful of times since April 2009. Twice were on separate occasions when one of us stayed home with Jacob.

Wherever we go, our son is right there with us.

That being said, we earned this vacation ... we
needed this vacation.

* * *

Meanwhile, back in Music City, Jacob was having a great time playing with two dogs, his mimi, grandpa and Aunt Heather. They went to the zoo, visited a battlefield in Murfreesboro and came home with some Elmo bath toys from Toys R Us.

He slept well, ate well and minded well. He's such a good boy.

Over and over Erin and I reassured each other he was having much more enjoyable time at home than he would have had during a hectic wedding weekend in Austin. My dad e-mailed us photos throughout the weekend. Here are a few:

Train wreck

"Howdy, y'all"

"Was that your horn I heard on Yom Kippur?"

Smashin' taters with Mimi

Bath time with lots of "Memos"

Reading with Grandpa

Partners in crime

Crossing the bridge with Aunt Heather

"Take that, you damn Yankees!"

"What you lookin' at?"

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