Gus had his first sleepover at a friends last night, and Josh and I had our first date night in as long as I can remember. Gus and his friend, Lena, are two-years-old, and they have been in each other’s lives since they were babies.

I’m thrilled to be going out on a Friday night, and I don’t feel worried about leaving Gus under the care of Matt and Liz. They are our old neighbors and our friends. Becoming parents brought our families together. Liz and I met at a new moms’ group, and we quickly put it together that we lived in the same Chicago neighborhood. Even luckier, we discovered on the same street, the same block, and just a few houses away. Since then, our lives have been woven together by our growing children and shared experiences of parenthood.

Several times over, Josh and I explained to Gus that we will be dropping him off at Lena’s to go to sleep, and that mommy and daddy will not stay. He and Lena spent most of the day together at our apartment and are now having fun riding in the backseat of our car. It was a day chock-full of activity, and I anticipate that they will fall asleep the minute they reach their beds.

Josh turns to me and says, “This is a taste of what it would be like to have another child.” I look behind me at Gus and Lena. They’re bundled up in their winter coats, strapped into their carseats, and holding similar stuffed froggies. I take both of their sweet, tired faces in. It does feel nice to have two kids in the backseat.

We pull onto our old street and Josh announces that we’re almost there.

This grabs Gus’s attention. “I want my Mommy and Daddy to come, too,” he says quietly.

I spend our last minute in the car reassuring him and going over the plan.

The night air is frigid when I pull Gus from his carseat. Liz and Matt are there to greet us on the sidewalk. Liz opens her arms for Gus. I give him several squeezes and kisses. “It’s time to go, and I love you.” He lets go and reaches for Liz.

Josh and I walk back to our car, and I think, we were brave back there, all of us.

9 thoughts on “Brave”

  1. That is SO BIG! Such a big moment. You all were super brave. My 8 year old has been afraid of going home with friends, had no playdates, and only did one drop-off birthday party in his 8 1/2 years. But then, last month, he told me, “I’m ready.” And he did his first play date. In second grade. He was so proud of himself for taking that step, and my smile was as big as his.

    (Hope you and your husband had a wonderful evening!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a neighbor like that too – except she had twin girls – harder to exchange the date nights but we did it. Our girls are still best friends 30 years later and I treasure my friendship with their mom. You are lucky – and brave!

    Liked by 1 person

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