My DMs are blowing up. Birthday parties, festivals, concerts – every weekend there’s something super fun to do and lots of people to do it with. No, I’m not a 25-year-old that just arrived in Los Angeles, but I feel like I’m new in town.
I moved to LA 14 years ago with a newborn and a toddler and, other than my husband, I only knew one person. Since then I’ve made wonderful friends – all of them through a connection to my kids or from being a mom blogger. Everything I did for so long was about momming.
As a family, we went to neighborhood potlucks, camping trips and even vacations with our new friends, and kids were always at the center, “Mom, Mommy, Mom, Mama, momomomommmmmm.” And as a blogger, I went to every museum, every festival and countless family-centric events all over Los Angeles with my kids.
Whenever an older woman would stop me on the street when my boys were freaking out (or doing something adorable) and say that I should cherish this time because it goes by so fast, I would scoff. I was young, my kids were babies and I had plenty of time.
But then when I wasn’t paying attention, it happened just like the ladies said; time passed more quickly than I ever thought it could.
My boys are teenagers now and they have their own lives. They don’t want to hang out with their mom. When we do the neighborhood potluck thing, the parents have to coax the kids to come out of whatever cave they’re playing video games in or text them wherever they are to come and get something to eat. If we’re lucky, they might stop to talk to us for a few minutes.
Sometimes I wonder if I will look back on those years when my boys were little and think that those were the best of times…
But there’s no use in dwelling on that (as a I brush the tears off my keyboard) because not doing as many things with my kids has freed up a lot of time. I’m finding that there’s a whole other Los Angeles to explore and it starts after 6 pm.
I was thinking about this recently while I looked for last-minute tickets to see Lizzo. Why? Because I love Lizzo so much and my kids had plans and it didn’t want to miss out.
Back in 2011, Prince played 12 shows at the Forum and it only cost $25! Did I go? No, because I am an idiot. I mentioned that to a friend recently who had no kids at the time and had gone to several of the shows. She asked the obvious question, “What the hell else were you doing that was better than that?”
Nothing. I wasn’t doing anything that was remotely better than that. I have a husband who was perfectly capable of taking care of our kids so I could go out, but I just couldn’t get my mind around it at that point in my momming career. Plus, I was just too tired to go out. Working and having small kids is exhausting. And we did so much together as a family. There wasn’t time left for me.
Well, now it’s all about me because my kids don’t want it to be all about them anymore. So I’m experiencing LA like I’m new in town because I can’t sit at home crying about how I can’t turn back time.
So on nights when my kids are out with their friends, I’m going out, too. My husband and I get cheap, last-minute tickets to shows. I spontaneously meet people for dinner at new and interesting restaurants. And I go to the movies with a group of ladies on a weeknight ($5 Tuesdays at AMC) without worrying about getting kids to bed because now they can do that their own selves.
So whoever wants to join me, I’m researching all the fun things to do in LA for ladies of a certain age. If anyone knows a fun place to go dancing where you don’t have to arrive after 9 pm, let me know!
It’s possible that I’m having a midlife crisis or I’m worried that I’ll soon be an empty-nester, but I can’t think about that right now because I’m late for happy hour.