The Real Life Baby Book, Part 2

I dropped the kids at the movies last Thursday night.  Monsters, Inc. in 3-D at the Star Southfield. 7:20 show.

No big deal, right?

But it felt like a big deal.

Because it was dark.

And because the youngest is eight.

And because sometimes the boys can’t help themselves, and fight in the most inappropriate places over the oddest annoyances.

But mostly because I’m an inveterate worrier.

Fortunately, the loveliness of my three children finding something they could enjoy together won out. So I told the monkey brain to shut up, handed them tickets and candy money, and left for the grocery store. Where I shopped … V…  E…  R…  Y…     S…  L…  O…  W…  L…  Y…

I am a speed shopper, always on my way to the next dentist appointment or play date pickup. What could I possibly do for two hours, already exhausted, with a short grocery list?

I could have stopped for tea or found a yoga class instead. I could have brought a notebook or gone home briefly. Maybe next time. On this particular evening, the grocery store beckoned, and so I went.

The funny thing is that none of this seemed like a big deal until we were on our way to the theater. Until then, it had just been a logistical puzzle: How to get home after a hectic afternoon, feed everyone, find a suitable showtime and make it to the movie. And then we were driving, and I had a chance to pause.

I have these moments sometimes, where I jot things down in my mental baby book, the one where I record the milestones that really matter. It’s not like they haven’t gone to the movies together. Alone or with friends, even. But never the three of them together, as an outing in the dark.

I’ve written about the real life baby book before, and as my two oldest dig into adolescence, I find that I want to add more:

  • First debit card.
  • First trip to the Secretary of State for an official document (driver’s permit, anyone?)
  • First unsolicited apology to a parent, even if you still think that parent is an unreasonable fool.
  • First solo air travel. Two points if that trip involves a layover in Denver.

First date, first kiss … none of my business. But the rest of it, I want a record, even if it’s only in my mind.

First trip to the movies together at night seems like a worthy addition.

What would you include?


5 thoughts on “The Real Life Baby Book, Part 2

  1. Hi Susan,

    Oh what a poignant post. I can’t even begin to list other firsts that I have breached as my kids have grown. Our newest one, and hopefully a first and LAST — our son is engaged. To a lovely young woman. Someone said to me recently. When children are young they sit on your lap. When they are older they sit upon your heart.

    I remember being terrified the first time Elliot went to the men’s room by himself. He was 6 or seven and I stood outside the door memorizing the faces of every man who went in and timing how long he was in there.

    Wishing you a wonderful new year, much professional success and many joys with your family.


    Debra Darvick

    Click for this week’s blog post.


    1. First of all, mazal tov on the wonderful news. So exciting.

      The men’s room! Ah, yes! On the way to the movie, I ran down the list for my youngest: “Don’t go anywhere alone, not even to the bathroom; listen to your sister,” etc. Big sister, almost 15 chimed in “and the emergency evacuation kit is under your seat…”


  2. Love this post! Just wait for the first all-three-kids trip anywhere with your eldest child driving….. BTW, aforementioned eldest child’s above “evacuation kit” comment is quite cute – I can totally hear her saying that).


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