I’ve only spent the night away from Jermaine once. He was about 6 months old and I pumped my heart out making sure he would be take care of for 24 hours. I left a ridiculous amount of sticky notes for Jacob, on top of a endless “what to do if ” list on the dry erase board. The first trip I took away from Jermaine I had one of my best friends ride along with me to make sure I wouldn’t cry every five minutes. I had a great time celebrating my birthday but was ready to come home. I’m so thankful for friends inviting me and getting me out of my bubble of motherhood. I don’t see many moms talking about leaving their “day job” for a day. I always got the impression you wouldn’t worry or look at the time to think about what your baby would be doing.
I got to experience a night away from my little family again. This time, I left my 20 month old toddler for around 36 hours getting a chance to scream at the top of my lungs with my person, then driving an extra hour to see my forever roomie. A year later, still struggling to leave my son, I somehow managed to have a good time with two of my favorite people.
In case you did not already know, I am a planner. Some people think it is a little excessive, others understand my struggle. Lists are my best friends, and somehow I can never plan enough. My friend Kristine and I have been planning this trip since May. She kindly invited me to see one of her all time favorite singers Harry Styles in concert. Although I’m not obsessed with him, I can still listen to his album and enjoy the kindness he brings into this crazy world. Since his first single came out earlier this year, I have been hooked. I even have Jacob singing to a few of his songs. As the months turned into weeks before the concert, I began creating a “to-do” list, and a “what to bring” list. The list mostly consisted of the basics: food, pump, clean, and manage to find an outfit that doesn’t scream “mom”. Weeks turning into days and the list getting done, I thought that this time would be easier to leave Jermaine. How hard could 36 hours be?
The morning of me leaving, Jermaine decided to sleep in past 8 am. Usually he is up and running around by 7:15-7:30. I stayed a little later than planned because I wanted to nurse him one last time before I left. After he woke up, I could not help but to play and laugh with him a little before going. After about thirty minutes of nursing, I thought I was ready to hit the road. Jacob and Jermaine walking me out and helping me load the car, made the goodbye a little easier. As I gave Jermaine a little more loving than normal and hugged Jacob a little tighter than usual, I got into the car and cried about 15-20 minutes. I’d like to think that it will get easier with time. Maybe with it being a year since I’ve had to say goodbye.. made this time just as hard, if not harder than the first. As I got on the main highway for a straight shot to the city of Austin, I looked down at the passanger seat and realized for the first time in a really long time that I did not have a diaper bag. I had a purse not filled with diapers, snacks, or wipes. I had a fairly empty purse, because I had forgotten what went into just a purse.
As I make it to Austin, I got there a little bit earlier than Kristine. So I decided to stop at one of my favorite shops, Free People. I realize, as I am about to walk in, a feeling like I am missing something or maybe even a sense of sadness. I call back home and quickly feel the comfort that this is “my time” to enjoy. I began to have a positive mindset and a great start to this trip. Shortly after, I met up with Kristine and I couldn’t help having the biggest smile on my face. Even though she was worried whether or not we would miss something or have a forgetful mind, I was just happy to be with my person. We ran a couple of errands and headed back to the room to get ready. As I laid out my outfit for the night, I felt like a different person but still the same. I kept reminding myself that it was okay to be happy. Once I saw everything together, I was feeling eager for the night.
Does anyone else feel complete when you are able to get ready with a best friend? It’s like the ultimate girl time! That’s probably one of our favorite parts when making these trips. Hair done, full face of make up, tons of laughs, and a glass of wine later, we managed to look somewhat presentable for Harry Styles.
I also enjoy Uber for the first time while in Austin. That was very interesting.. not all Uber drives are 100% professional. Once we got to the venue we were able to purchase some merch. Since Kristine just graduated and got her BSN, I got her a few goodies and wanted to get her a Harry Styles shirt to add on! We got matching “Treat Others With Kindness” shirts and she got the custom ATX Harry Styles tour shirt. We then headed to the back of the line and little did I know, it was going to be one heck of a wait. With our bracelets on to mark our place in line, the wait began!
Not eating much the morning of and skipping lunch for errands, might have been a bad idea. There were a few moments that I questioned if I fit in, or if I belonged in that line. Not becauase of rude people or anything like that, but because I felt like a mother was a little out of place. Thankful for FaceTime, I got to see and talk to my big boy a few times. Feeling reassured of it being okay for me to have a good time again, I began feeling more comfortable in the environment. A couple of hours later with no food or water, the line started moving and happiness does not begin to describe my emotion. Once we got into the venue and were seated, I was finally able to chug two bottles of water. Muna opened and they were really good. Being honest, I had never heard of them before that night, but they were the perfect band to open for Harry Styles. As we were preparing for him to come on, Kristine and I snapped a couple photos.
Once Harry Styles came on, so much happiness overwhelmed my soul. Looking to my right and seeing all that joy on Kristine’s face was worth every moment I felt uncomfortable, out of place, or even had self-doubt. For the first time of the night, I felt like I was completely at peace in where I was at. I’m not sure if it was the music, being with my best friend, or singing at the top of my lungs, but in that moment I was truly happy.
Harry Styles gives one heck of a live performance! The whole time I was on my feet and singing to every song I knew and some I didn’t know. The love spread by that man is amazing! I fell in love with his music so much more that night. Here are some of my favorite photos of him in his great performance.
One of my favorite memories from that night is when we snuck in confetti and threw it during Kiwi. Hands down the highlight of my night. Although, it did end kind of abruptly when a security guard came down and yelled at Kristine. Everyone in our section loved it! Plus it made for some awesome videos and pictures.
Our faces after the yelling security guard incident.
I felt like the concert ended way too soon. That hour was purely magical. All different kinds of age, race, and sexuality in one room brought together by one thing. Music, such a beautiful thing it is.
After the concert ended and my feet were barking, we took an Uber ride home which was a million times better than the ride there. We ordered a pizza, and we went through our photos and videos. We didn’t stay up much longer but as I went to sleep, I felt like I reunited with my person. From laughing about silly things to sitting in complete silence, I realized something important. How grateful I was to be able to enjoy the little things.
The next morning we went to a place we had never gone before, Voodoo Donuts. We decided to walk because, why not? We were in downtown Austin after all. It was the perfect way to start our morning together and the perfect ending to this trip.
Saying goodbye to Kristine is never easy. To be honest I think it is getting harder the older we get, and the more we see each other. She’s the type of person where you could be around her all day and it still wouldn’t be enough time with her. She listens too, when I need someone to hear about my hardships. She understands the way my mind works even when I do not. She laughs with me at situations most won’t find funny. But most importantly, she respects the love I have for my son. She knows where my heart, mind, and soul are at all times. For that and many other reasons explains why, she is my person. Thank you Kristine for inviting me on a trip I would not have gone on for anyone else but you. I love you dearly, my sweet friend.