It seems that mostly my After Hours life starts at 9:00am three days a week when my daughter is in preschool. This is just how it has to work for a mom like me. But I can still make it cool. I can still make it selfish time. Sure I might have to replace hefeweisen with a vanilla chai, when I’m feeling really adventurous. And I might partake in an hour of hot yoga, which is the equivalent of being stuffed in a crowded bar on Friday Karaoke nights, only with a little more flexibility. And instead of a barstool perhaps I’m mostly sitting on my designated Ikea writing chair where I edit risqué romance/suspense novels for a client, or I write my own stuff that involves sex and Carnies–often mutually exclusive. And instead of being spotlighted by the flashing neon bar sign, I am situated at the window where I look at the sunrays slashing through the large Sugar Pine in the front yard.
Sometimes my week is filled with bandit lunches with Todd Cirillo, where I abandon my domestic duties of grocery shopping and laundry. Little does Todd know that these lunches are the pinnacle of my After Hours existence. This is when we can freely chart our next entertaining undertaking, and brainstorm about all matters of the seven deadly sins. This is the underbelly of my creativity, to tell you the truth. Todd has the uncanny ability to convince me I belong here, doing this very thing. I can be a stable, happily-married mom all I want, in Todd’s presence, or not, and still I come up smelling like last night’s beer with cigarette smoke in my hair.
And the cool thing? My husband lets me live in that world. As long as I devote my attention and love to my family during non-After Hours times. We eat dinner at the dinner table—a dinner that consists of only one of three items out of a box that I cook myself. I tuck my daughter into bed every night after reading one or two books. My After-Hours twist: her bedtime music every single night is the Rock-A-Bye Baby CDs of The Cure, Radiohead and The Pixies.
Even now, on a Tuesday, my little girl is watching Alvin and the Chipmunks and playing with her Little Pet Shop car. I am in the next room with the chatter of the little chipmunks that amazingly never annoys me, busily typing this and my daughter is content, making car noises, knowing that I am doing something that makes me happy. And now we will be off on our own adventure together, buying a Christmas present for dadda. What more could I want? I have everything I want. At this hour—all hours.