This Wine Is For Parents’ Night Out

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6:30pm: Entertain your child with the contents of the tupperware drawer as you switch out those yoga pants for a dress and heels.

6:45pm: Put on eyeliner for the first time in longer than you care to admit.

7pm: Hand your child to the sitter as you walk out the door.  Resist the urge to run.

7:15pm: Enjoy a pair of crisp gin and tonics as you compliment one another on looking so fly.

7:30pm: A waiter seats you for dinner — and it’s not in your living room, and it’s not on your couch, and it’s not leftovers.

8pm: Boldly accept the suggestion of an overpriced bottle of red, because this is the one bottle all year that you haven’t bought at Harris Teeter.

8:45pm: Regale one another with memories of previous nights out.  Reassure one another that you’ve still got it.

9:15pm: After-dinner liqueurs?  Don’t mind if you do!

9:30pm: This midlife suburban crowd just isn’t cutting it.  Remember that cool place you went to that one time, three years ago?

9:40pm:  Applaud yourself for responsibly checking in with the sitter on your way uptown.

10pm: High-five the bouncer as he laughingly waves you in.

10:01pm: Realize you are the only ones there.

10:02pm: Undeterred, check in on social media so the world knows you mean business.

10:03pm: Convince your partner that a shot is the best idea that either of you have ever had.

10:05pm: Reenact the closing scene of Dirty Dancing, on an empty dance floor, to a Drake song you have never heard.  Extra points for the lift.

10:30pm: Hover over your phone, nostalgically scrolling through images of your child since birth.

10:40pm: Back in the cab, negotiate shrewdly as to who pays the sitter.

11pm: Hand over an indiscriminate wad of cash as your partner slouches anonymously down the hall.

6:30am: A bleating child and pounding head serve as painful reminders of how far you have come, and how far you have yet to go.

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This Wine Is For The Best Damn Shrimp And Grits

family at bball game

First thing’s first: there is no recipe.  Just let destiny take the lead.

Step One

Make a few good Southern friends.  Become intrigued by their welcoming nature, their monogrammed chevron makeup bags, their Kendra Scott jewelry and their prevalent use of polka dots.  Surprise yourself with a little positivity.  Replace (almost) all the black in your wardrobe with confident, colorful prints.  Get to a point where you convince yourself that you could join a bible study.  Because all of a sudden, you want to be as grounded as they have been their whole lives.

Step Two

Move to North Carolina.  Be overwhelmed by the abundant sunshine.  Buy a house with your husband after eight years of renting.  Watch proudly as he assembles the crib.  Order a mounted polka dot giraffe for the nursery.  Realize that life is brimming with possibility.

Step Three

Later on, some day, when you have a free moment, swing by your local Harris Teeter for some shrimp.  Cook it up with red bell peppers, fresh spinach, some garlic, pepper, and lemon juice.  Accompany this happy medley with stoneground grits, a sliver of Kerrygold and a healthy serving of Irish cheddar.

Step Four

Pour out the dregs of your discounted blend and savor that best damn moment — when not everything is gravy, but you think it could be soon; when your stomach is empty, but your heart is full.

This Wine Is For Failing At Music Together

Me and Hen

We arrive on time – that much is true,

And Henry is all smiles for class.

The teacher lets him strum her guitar

While I prepare to feel like an ass.

The music starts and everyone sings,

And everyone else knows the tune,

But Henry’s Mommy hasn’t been there in weeks

So she hums awkwardly like a buffoon.

The gestures – oh, the gestures! –

The entire room knows what to do;

Hands up high, hands down low,

I am able to anticipate a few.

It’s not just that I can’t always make it.

(Trying to get over this guilt about working);

It’s the judgment I feel from not following along,

The pity glances and the side smirking.

And maybe I’m imagining some of that –

And truly, I don’t really care,

Because five minutes in, my baby reminds me

The real reason we take him there:

He wanders the circle, patting kids’ heads

Or dances off to the mirror all alone;

The music fills up that sweet little heart

And he is free to make it his own.

So sorry, honey – Mommy’s never been good

At getting her homework done.

So we’ll be the ones who don’t know the words,

But we’ll be the ones having the most fun.

Friendship: A Board Book

me and la 3Once upon a time, two girls lived in the great big city of Chicago.

Every day they worked side by side and every night they dreamed. Their dream was to open a wine bar in a pretty part of town, work side by side, and live happily ever after.

Times change, and so do lives. One girl moved away to begin a new adventure in our nation’s capital. Soon, the other girl left, too.  This girl went way down south to a land of seersucker, and barbecue, and bless her heart, and y’all.

A few days ago, the two girls sat their babies side by side on a blanket in the sunshine.

They sipped their wine and watched those babies live happily ever after.

babies in the sunshine