There is not much keeping us in Nashville. We could move closer to family. We have decided to stay in Nashville for now for a variety of reasons. Wendy has a great job at USN, and we will not take a supportive workplace for granted. We have good friends here. We both like Nashville. One of the biggest reasons we stayed in Nashville is because so many of our friends were having kids around the same time we were. I realize we could find families with kids in any city, but it’s nice to have the connection.
A couple of weeks ago, many of us went to the Vanderbilt soccer game. Before we had kids, we would sit at the top of the stadium in the sun, watch the game, and talk mostly about the game and soccer, in general. The temperature was in the 90’s that day. Here are a few examples of how much things have changed. Most families only came for one half of the game. The former Vanderbilt coach herself left at halftime, because it was her son’s nap time. We never made it above the first row of the stadium. Some never made it into the grandstands. The interim Vandy coach’s wife, who usually cheers a lot, was trying not to yell too much, because it was making Hope cry. It was hard to find shade, so in the 2nd half, 5 families ended up in a shady corner of the field. We talked about dance class, shoe size, hair, bug spray, etc. I definitely didn’t watch much of the 2nd half. This was very different for me.
Tonight was an even bigger example of our new priorities. It’s the first Saturday of the college football season, and a group of us met at a friends’ house to watch the games. The best games both started at 7:00. We probably ate dinner between 6:00 and 6:30. One by one a child would get fussy, and a family would leave. Two families left before the game even started. Hope was the 3rd to get fussy. I think the LSU/Oregon game had started. I’m not sure, because I was keeping an eye on Hope, not watching the games much. By the time we left, there were 3 couples remaining. Two did not have children, and the other had a 3 year old.
As we were driving home, we were laughing about how lame we are at socializing and how the party dwindled one child at a time. We also imagined what the remaining party people were saying about those who picked up and left before the games even got started. Eventually, Hope will be old enough that she doesn’t need constant attention and she will know how to behave, and we will have more social time. Right now she requires more of our attention at a host’s house than she does in our own home which is stocked with all her baby playthings.
A few years ago, watching people leave a party early with their kids was a good form of birth control for me. Obviously, two lesbians already have the most effective form of birth control, but that’s not what I’m talking about. There was a fear of change. I enjoy our get togethers. I enjoy sports. I enjoy eating and drinking at a get together with sports!!! That was, and still is, a great source of entertainment and friendship for me. Hope is a source of joy and love that I have never known. While I still enjoy spending time with friends, watching sports, and sharing conversations over adult beverages, the sacrifice is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.
Are Wendy and I better people for being parents? Yes, we are. Are we better than other couples who do not have children? No, we’re not. It takes some work, but I enjoy blending Hope into our lives. We have things we enjoy doing, and we’re not going to stop doing them because we have a baby. We’re just going to do them a little differently. This Labor Day weekend has been a good example of that.