Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Forward

The weather was gorgeous a few weeks ago.  Way warmer than it usually is in Philadelphia in mid-March.  Sort of like today.  It was St. Patrick's Day and I was off.  I decided to take Bo down into the city with my brother to meet up with (my sister who lives in town but I never see) Rose for lunch and then wander around my old neighborhood and soak up some sun.  Bo was fascinated by every stranger who walked by our table at lunch and could not get enough of staring at everyone around him. This in between yelling for more bread! and more fruit! and anything else from your plate you want to feed me!  After lunch we headed to Rittenhouse Square and Bo met the famous Frog and Goat and Lion (we learned we are not friends with the Lion) and I had an out of body experience a little.

A million times.  I walked through that park a million times, sidestepping toddlers and brushing past gossiping moms pushing babies in strollers; tapping away at my blackberry, earphones blaring.  Headed who knows where; dinner with my sister, drinks with friends, shopping for nothing in particular, the gym, anywhere and nowhere in particular.  And there I was, pushing my baby in a stroller, toddling my son around the goat, watching pretty young things walk by in their fiercely stylish outfits, tapping away on their phones, earphones blaring, headed who knows where.  I just smiled and kept walking with Bo, thinking I must look a hundred years old to those girls.

My time is over, I know that.  The days of knowing every doorman in the city, of bypassing lines of people waiting, of walking into a bar with my girls and owning the joint immediately; those days belong to someone else now.  There's a new crop of girls - fully ten years younger than me - running wild in this town, believing the whole place is theirs for the taking.  If I'm honest with myself, the nightlife part was over a long time ago for me.  I was tired of the scene and the noise and the crowds long before Bo came along.  But the other parts?  Sitting for hours at a sidewalk cafe talking about nothing on a warm spring night, waking up whenever on a Saturday to roll out to brunch (Bo didn't get his eating habits from the stork)?  I'm a little wistful for those days.

The boy is a year old so it's not like this is new information for me.  I guess in between missing spring last year completely - aside from what I could see from the living room window - and the hibernation inducing winter we had this year, I never got the full illustration of how much my life has changed until I watched younger versions of myself swing past that day.  I'm not saying I want that time in my life back.  It was fun while it lasted but I wouldn't trade the delicious boy and life that replaced those days for anything.  For the first time in seven years, my husband is home on the weekends and every night for dinner.  I'm good.

I just miss that girl sometimes, that girl I used to be.  She was a lot of fun.

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