tonight we went to dinner with a few college friends and after a day of only a 45 minute nap, holden managed to stay entertained and content until 8 pm. i always love meeting up with old friends, but i find it hard to be myself when i'm out with them these days and i wonder where the old me went. i find it hard to concentrate on the conversation, hard to give 100 percent of myself, hard to be the old me pre-baby, because my focus is always holden. i attempt to participate, i try to focus on what everyone is saying, i aim to show that i'm interested, but as holden reaches for the wine glass and knife on the table, wriggles and squirms out of my arms to get down on the ground to escape, or plants wet, sloppy kisses on my cheek while babbling in my ear, i find it impossible to hear a word anyone is saying, impossible to really be there enjoying the company that i'm in. maybe it would be different if i was out sans holden, if he was tucked in bed under the watch of my mama, freeing me from the responsibility of caring for him for a few short hours, but i wouldn't know because although holden is nearly 11 months old, i have yet to spend a night out with friends without holden by my side. up to now, i haven't been ready to leave him yet, but maybe in the future i will be and i'll be able to give myself fully to the company and the conversation.