Sunday, December 6, 2009

With Child and Without

We went to a birthday party last night for one of my husbands friends. It was a very nice party for a very nice man. The atmosphere was great, they'd obviously put a lot of work into the organization of the event. They had the appetizers catered and they were serving nice wine.

About a year ago my husband and I had a beautiful baby girl. She has been a wonderful baby and she has changed our lives quick drastically. Many of my husbands friends have decided for one reason or another not to have children. To each their own, one choice is not better than another. So needless to say we have not seen most of these people since we had the baby.

When the invitation came for the party my husband was very excited to attend, not having seen many of these people for over a year now, he was looking forward to reconnecting. I knew that it was going to be an adult party, mind you none of these people have children. We debated about bringing our bundle of joy? After all none of these people have seen our beautiful creation. After a bit of conversation we decided that we'd like to bring our spectacular off spring.

The party started at 7pm. This is the time that we normally put her down to sleep, so I knew it was going to be interesting. We dressed her in a very cute ensemble and off we went to this adult party with a child. The invitation was the new norm for invitations an evite. Evites, while quick and easy do frequently lack the standard elements of an invitation, elements like who they are addressed to. If we'd received a written invitation addressed to family, or just the couple it would have been much easier to ascertain to whom the invitation was intended. On the way to the party I commented that if our child got out of control, I would leave and my husband could stay and catch a ride home with a friend. I also through in a fleeting hoping that perhaps we could just put her to sleep in one of the bedrooms.

As we entered the house I knew this had been a mistake. The party was much more formal than I'd imagined it would be. I had asked my husband if I could read the evite prior to our leaving. Men with all good intentions can misinterpret things. My husband had gotten from the invitation that we were to dress up in 1950's garb. When I read the invitation it said "party like it's 1950," not dress up like it is 1950. My husband had asked me a couple of times throughout the week if I were going to dress up in the poodle skirt. Thank God, I do not have a poodle skirt and thank God I read the invitation. Can you imagine showing up to the party, kid in tow dawned in poodle skirt? We would have surely not been able to live that down.

The party went well, but there was not another child in attendance. My hope of putting her to sleep in a bedroom was just that a hope. They had the bedrooms full of activities. Thank goodness they had their patio area opened up with heating, we escaped to that less crowded area. She was quite something at the party though, she waved Hi to everyone. She was so enamored by all of the new faces and new surroundings. Children are so different from adults, they caring no inhibitions. She walked right up to everyone. She grabbed hold a one women's mink coat. The women commented that she was going to have to really work hard if she wanted a mink coat. Isn't that the truth. The people at the party were very pleasant; they all acknowledged her, but there is just such a difference in the people with and without children.

I realized last night at the party, that we are different. I have an older son from a prior marriage when I was young, and when I was young with a baby no one had children either, but it was somehow different. It was different because there was the thought, perhaps even the expectation that someday those that I associated with would have children of their own. Someday, they too would be in this situation. However, as we enter the midpoint of life or shall I say has some of our friends enter the midpoint of their lives, I still have a good ten to fifteen years until I'm there, that expectation is gone. None of these people will have children. They have either chosen not to have children or they were unable to have children. Our lives are different. As I chased my adorable fourteen month old daughter through a maze of appetizer eating, wine drinking conversationalists I wasn't sure how to feel. Happy that I had this beautiful creation that I would help mold and shape to be a contributor to a better world, or saddened that I was unable to get dressed up, eat fine food, drink fine wine and have great conversations with adults. The divide is interesting. Life is different when you have a child, but I wouldn't give it up for the world. That being said a do love adult parties. I'll have to remember that next time.

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