The boys are with their grandparents for the week, watching the Dodgers on TV beneath the glow of Thomas Kinkade prints, and as such my wife and I have a renewed sense of freedom and purpose. For instance, just this evening we went to Target and hardly had to yell at anyone. It was like we were courting again.

It’s funny when the children are away, suddenly the kidless friends come out of the woodwork and want to grab dinners, drinks, and anything else that they, apparently, didn’t want to include the family in. It’s both warm and fuzzy.

I get it, they want a bit of the old me—the guy that went out drinking on a Tuesday and didn’t know any of the characters from the Backyardigans. I understand. I was a lot of fun to be around. Plus, I had better hair.

The thing is, I didn’t stop going out on a Tuesday because my kids were taking me away from it. I stopped going out on a Tuesday because it’s freaking Tuesday. I’ve got to get up in the morning. And you know what? Hanging with my boys is actually a lot more fun than any most bars I’ve been to (which, to be fair, is an impressive number).

I turned down one such invitation this evening. To be honest, it sounded kind of fun, and I know that it’s important to get out and have some adult time. I just didn’t feel like it. It’s lonely in a house suddenly quiet, and it is peaceful. There is infinite melancholy and ample time for napping. A cup of tea, a few fingers of whiskey, some Townes Van Zandt, and a dog-eared book make a good case against bumping bass and bottomless bar tabs.

The boys are with their grandparents for the week, but from this angle on the couch I can watch their bedroom door and pretend that they are home, tucked in bed on a Tuesday night, drifting happy and sound to sleep.

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