I wish there was a word for this: you know that feeling of accomplishment you get when you discover a shortcut home from work that saves you ten minutes on your commute? Or the amazement you felt when you realized you could shave 20 minutes of prep time off of your lasagna by using the no-boil noodles? I'm looking for a word that describes the wonderful feeling you get when you realize something, some known fact, that makes your life just that much better.
The French probably have a word for that feeling - they have a word for everything. Like l'esprit de l'escalier. That's a fantastic phrase. But I digress.
I had this moment the other day. In my pre-mom days, other moms would go out of their way to tell me that I wouldn't be able to do all the things I love to do once the baby was born. That really irritated me. Why couldn't I go to restaurants? Or go shopping? Babies are portable. So I've always made an effort to make sure that we still do those things, the three of us, as a family. So far so good. In fact, Jack is such a regular with us at one diner that when we enter he's greeted by the waitresses with a chorus of "Jack!" a la Cheers.
But I did have one thing that I could never quite figure out: how do you take a baby to a movie? Movies are noisy, so hoping for him to nap through a whole show would be too optimistic. The seating isn't very conducive to all of the gear that you have to cart with you when you have a baby in tow. And honestly, I'm just not great at being "that mom" with the crying baby who disturbs people around her.
Well, a little light came on in my head a few weeks back, and I totally solved the "how does a mom see a movie" conundrum.
We go to the drive in. At a drive in, if Jack gets fussy, we can sit in the car with the windows rolled up tight and we won't disturb a single soul. I can fill the entire Jeep with his gear. I felt like the Smartest Person in the Universe when I thought of that.
Yeah, I know: all you veteran moms had this answer for years. But it was new to me. I thought of it all myself. And I was darn proud - the kind of pride that requires that special word we don't yet have in English.
While drive-ins are largely a thing of the past, we are fortunate enough to have two very popular ones within an hour of our house. We packed up our camp chairs and went to see Shrek 3. It was fantastic, wonderful, fabulous to see a movie after all this time.
And what did Jack think? He didn't wake up until the closing credits rolled.
I can't wait to see our next movie. What are we seeing? I don't care. It doesn't matter. We're going to see a movie with a baby.