The term Mom's Night Out only became part of my lexicon only since I became a Mom. I do not recall any Mothers doing this when I was growing up, even the more risqué Mothers (you know the ones you wished you had then and are glad you did not now) went out drinking but usually not with other Moms. These days even a quick search on Facebook results in many MNO (it has become an acronym) groups all over the U.S.
For those men out there reading this, sorry to disappoint but there will be no Da Vinci code revelation here. No secret passwords, chants or burnings in effigy occur. Nor do we put on white tee shirts and pillow fight, guess I killed every fantasy out there. These events, which in our group, are very much looked forward to and held almost as sacred time. We try to do them every 2 months, on a weeknight and we do our best to support the local economy. Dori is our dedicated organizer. Her invitations are as funny and as anticipated as the actual events. She has been so good at doing this that the rest of us have abdicated all responsibilities for the planning and replaced with it lavish, heartfelt praise for her skills. She has told us that she may retire from this function but we all hope she reconsiders, her wit and 7 degrees of separation from each attendee will be impossible to replace. The group started out with about 5 moms and has grown to over 12, that number keeps increasing. We don't talk much about husbands, except at the beginning of the night, when we swap stories of how we had to prepare everything before our departures and how across ethnicities and ages all of our husbands seem to think we have the magic formula that makes things that we use daily appear (their questions similar; what do our kids eat, what am I having for dinner? and our answers No dear there is no Maxwell Smart type hideaway for our sundries). This usually leads to the "but we love them because after all they are home watching the kids" while we are out together agreement. We do talk about our kids but not as the sole topic of discussion. The talk ranges from deeply emotional, political, how to navigate schools and religious instruction (most of us less inclined to believe in organized religions, most of us couples of mixed faiths, all of us believers in the power of being good to one another). There is a lot of laughter. The strength of these nights is in the female bonds that are created which are called upon when we need a shoulder, a recipe, advice, or just to vent on the non-MNO nights.
Tonight is Mom's Night Out and I cannot wait. I have met some incredibly intelligent, beautiful and overwhelmingly generous women and my life is better for it. These nights are not soul nurturing for the fact that we get some time where we do not need to be anything to someone else but because after them we are recharged to be the best anything someone else needs.