Last night as I was driving home at 10:00 p.m. with my drowsy kid in the backseat, I realized that in order for me, as a single mom, to have a social life and get things done, my kid has to go with me on occasion. Sometimes, this means that he’ll be awake two hours past bedtime.
I have criticized my mom in the past for letting me be such a night owl as a small child. I didn’t have a bedtime really, so I stayed up until 10:00 p.m. every night when I was small. I often would fall asleep on my dad while we watched the 10:00 news. I don’t remember what time I had to get up every morning in order for me and my parents to get to wherever we had to be on time. I can tell you that it was TOO DAMN EARLY!
Since having a child of my own and seeing the difference in behavior after a good night’s rest versus keeping him up late, I have convinced myself that I would have been more cheerful in the morning had a I either a) gone to bed earlier or b) gotten to wake up when I was ready. Unfortunately for everyone involved in my life before 10:00 a.m. from childhood through my mid-twenties, it took a while for me to come around and act awake enough to function and be nice.
So, here’s the pickle. Some nights I choose to have a life and go on dates with Boyfriend and my child, such as on Thursday. Boyfriend’s idea, not mine. Boyfriend’s pretty cool and gets extra points for that one. Last night, I also chose to keep us out late in order to see Guy Roomie play guitar at a local bar’s Family Night instead of doing paperwork. Paperwork never goes away. Guy Roomie won’t be with us much longer. I couldn’t be Responsible Jenniphur last night. I needed to be Appreciating Life Jenniphur. So, we stayed out late (9 p.m.) and then ran an errand.
Most nights, I choose to stay in and let us get the rest we need. As a single mom, I have to wonder how my decisions will affect Little Guy later in life. I hope he appreciates what we do together, no matter what time we get to bed. I also hope he appreciates how much I enjoy his company and spending time with him. I want him to value the time he has with the ones he loves and the ones who love him.