i love my son. i honestly do. i would lay down my life for him in an instant if i had to. but this evening when i went into starbucks to pick up the long-missed white chocolate mocha, i noticed the slightly warm air. the people sitting out on the patio laughing- that used to be me. about 3 or 4 years ago pre-baby and pre-deen, i used to be a regular at the magic johnson starbucks on cascade road in atlanta. i went there to study. i was especially partial to the area because that was one of the areas in atlanta where many of the wealthy black elite lived. i used to bask in their glow and see many of the political bigwigs meeting to discuss real estate deals and whatnot. i saw mayor shirley franklin walk in there one day. i met one of my best friends, leo, while hanging out there. there was a crew of older men in their 60's through their 80's and they sat in there talking shit and playing the dozens. some of those older cats had marched with many of atlanta's civil rights era royalty- lewis, abernathy, hosea williams, dr. king. that was my second home. i honestly logged about 20 hours a week there, if not more. the second i got out of school, i'd go straight there. i'd stay until they closed. i knew the regulars and staff of that starbucks by name. i rarely even paid for drinks so my caffeine addiction was never even an financial issue. today i went to a strange starbucks, not the one on cascade. something about this night reminded me of what my life used to be. i used to stay at starbucks reading book after book and writing. i can't do starbucks with a 16-month-old child. that boy wouldn't sit still and be quiet if my life depended on it.
not only starbucks do i miss. i miss my favorite pizza joint, fellini's. fellini's closes at 2 a.m. (one of the very few places in atlanta that's open late). i remember laughing with friends eating on the patio until 2:30 when they started pulling in the umbrellas at night. i miss the night life. i miss dancing at mjq concourse until the lights came on. i miss wearing short skirts that showed off my long sexy legs. i refuse to be one of those moms that dresses like a slut while my child is with me (but i have no problem dressing like one while he's gone). i love my baby, but i miss the old me and i miss my freedom. i miss late nights out partying. i miss being able to drive to tennesee or alabama whenever i needed to drive to clear my head. i miss being able to walk through centennial olympic park in the middle of the night when i wanted to get away from the craziness of my existence. i miss meeting men and not having to explain my "situation" about living with my son's father in an open relationship. i miss being able to go shopping for a new outfit whenever there was a party to attend. i haven't gotten my locs professionally twisted in over a year. now my days are spent chasing down my son and planning for his future-private school. i change diapers all day. i make sure he's fed. i can't just up and go to pilates classes if i don't have someone to watch him. i can't even just enjoy walking through the neighborhood with him in a stroller because there are no sidewalks in some parts so the stroller would be a bitch to navigate. my only salvation will be the eliptical exercise machine that i'm about to buy. so i can stay home and exercise while continuing to watch my son.
i love my son and i have no regrets about him being here, but damn. i miss my freedom.