Originally featured on Elephant Journal May 12, 2019
“Has that guy been there the whole time? Just watching us?” I asked my husband, while glancing nervously through the windshield of my Subaru.
We were sitting in a Target parking lot, making out in the front seat of my car like desperate teenagers.
“I don’t know. I didn’t notice him before,” my husband said as we looked sheepishly across the parking space. What have we become?
Parents. That’s what. Sleep-deprived, unkempt, slightly smelly, stressed out, parents.
On those highly prized rare nights when parents have a break from parenting pint-sized tyrants, we revert back to teenagerdom.
Seriously. Consider: What do we do when we’re suddenly without our sweet little monsters? Sleep. Eat popcorn and pie for dinner. Watch loads of television. Wear pajamas all day. Catch up and call friends. Dress up for no reason. Put on make up then wipe half of it off because we look like clowns. Take really, really long showers.
And apparently make out in Target parking lots while waiting to pick up takeout.
This night happened on one of those special “Grandparents’ Nights.” Before our second child was born, my mom had our toddler son while we went to a movie and then decided to pick up dinner on our way home. We had time to kill, but not enough to do much. So here we found ourselves, reverting back to our baser natures.
Parenting is a marathon. An endurance test. Maybe we’ll fall down. Maybe somebody will cheer for us. Maybe someone will throw water at us. Maybe we’ll cry. Maybe we’ll hit that runner’s high. Maybe we’ll do something embarrassing. Maybe we’ll find a buddy to commiserate with. Maybe we’ll inhale a packet of gummies without breaking stride. Maybe we’ll learn something about our grit, our fears, our hopes, our strength. Maybe we’ll learn how to ask for help.
And maybe we’ll make out in Target parking lots in front of strangers in vans.
I mean, the world really is our oyster.
Read the full article here.