The hubs and I have a house of a really cute smallness, with blue shutters and a respectable side yard of space. There are three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, a living area, a big kitchen, and a clearance designated as a dining room that we call the “Art Room,” an open chamber specifically for Jrue and Jai’s art museum and cinema café and the family command center.
Usually in one of these suitable rooms is a baby girl who likes to play “Where’s the Baby?” She will crawl around while chanting “Dada Dada” colorfully while melding into the background; within seconds, she will be in one position; turn around and she’s crept on to another zone of the house. Also in a select space is a 3-year-old toddler sitting surrounded by any number of instruments of his brand of entertainment: his whole construction fleet, his toothbrush, a sippy cup of milk, a pack of crackers, a comforter from one of the beds, and one of Jai’s toys. When he moves, the items brought to that region do not move, but the baby does, scooting enthusiastically behind her big brother. In a span of one hour, I could have 31 miscellaneous items, and a baby, out of place all around my home.
I spend the bulk of my evenings after work picking up and resetting everything; ensuring that everyone eats; and watching the clock for bedtime: the magical time of night when the children are required to stay in the bedrooms we so meticulously decorated for them and are so meticulously paying for each month. Screeching, screaming, scrambling, sliding…all activities beginning with an S, and otherwise, end at bedtime.
In our home, the little ones do generally go down at their specific time, which is often determined through an ongoing review and a complete rerouting of the routine, followed by weeks of incorporation. The hubs and I revel in bedtime as yielding some of the greatest feelings. We like to equate the time span some 15 minutes after the kids are tucked into bed, when we know they will not cry from down the hall or escape the rooms for a cup of milk, to all “happy” adult accomplishments…like home ownership or a bonus at work or a really big trophy or a surprise birthday party or a charge card when one has the money to keep it.
A charge card like…a coveted platinum card…or a Black Card. Yes. Bedtime is like owning a Black Card. Light bulb.
Just before we pass out in bed, but after the children are assuredly asleep, we experience the certain high that I am confident Black Card owners are quite familiar with. The card itself is a symbol of freedom, of an achieved efficacy, an icon of an impactful dream state, much in the way of successfully putting active children to bed.
Elite invitation-only worthiness. One of the well-known qualifications to be invited as a Black Card owner is money expenditure and financial means. Usually, only the top richest are afforded the top-secret approval into the club, which gives the Black Card notoriety as the card of the exclusive and the powerful.
In comparison, our elitism exists in the mundane…our nightly routine follows a pattern that disburses the dividends we seek. Bedtime gives us a well-deserved lunch break in the career of parenthood. We do not take for granted the fact that the children go to bed on time on most nights. We do have those random bedtime shifts when teeth ache or one had just a bit too much nap during the day, but the hubs and I recognize that all scenarios still place us in a select affiliation, both in the fact that we have children who sleep and in the blessing of being parents in itself.
Unusual luxurious lifestyle perks. Though unconfirmed, it is presumed that the tangible benefits associated with the ownership of a Black Card span the likelihood of spa trips, private memberships, travel experiences, and the like, in addition to automatic entertainment and leisure upgrades and various distinguished loyalty and preferred pricing programs. Such prestigious services are, in no way, uncommon, from my understanding. Lodging refinements, airline tickets, cruising options, and rental incentives run the gamut; lifestyle experiences can include access to some of the biggest events in the world; private wine tastings; personal shoppers in top-tier boutiques; and upgrades and/or credits and gifts.
For us, bedtime becomes all about mom and dad as a couple, for just a little while, as it were before deciding on having our children. This is a gift we struggle to have time for daily; bedtime is the incentive. I often indulge in chocolate that I don’t have to share with the toddler or watch a show that we don’t have to remind Jrue not to repeat the words of. We can both get lost in our cell phones without being jolted from the reveries by a shrieking child somewhere in the house. The quiet moments bring rare and fleeting sparks of joy, our warm and comfortable perk of status.
Unlimited spending mileage. It is said that there is no credit limit on a Black Card…like most charge cards, the stipulation of a “limit” is literally how much a card owner can pay off in a given statement period. However, speculation indicates that a person may be invited to acquire the card if they spend upwards of hundreds of thousands per year in purchases and payoffs. The appeal of the card is not only in the members-only prestige, but the unimpeded capability to buy, buy, buy, as long as the bill is paid.
Comparatively, the short times we invest during nightly bedtime hours are what, I believe, continues to drive our companionship forward. We are human and cannot be limitless and unconditionally in assurance and love without spending time together. The “bill” must be paid. We can laugh about the difficulties of cleaning Jrue’s nose or laugh about that funny noise Jai likes to make. We can catch up on the day, the week sometimes, and show one another videos we had saved or give one another ideas to get through the busyness of the next afternoon. The quality time is a stress reliever and often dials back the mileage on our realistic uncertainties as parents.
As parents, the hubs and I try to maximize the minuscule as we indulge in our tiny piece of our Dream. Our Black Card charge benefits exist in the suspension of time around us as our children sleep to be able to begin the next day shimmying, skipping, skating, and all other activities beginning with an S…or otherwise.
Harkness, Brendan. “How to Get the American Express Centurion Black Card.” Credit Card Insider, 2016 Feb. 3, https://www.creditcardinsider.com/blog/the-american-express-centurion-black-card/. Accessed 1 Feb. 2017.
Knerl, Linsey. “How to Get a ‘Black Card’-American Express Requirements.” CardRates.com, 2016 Mar. 28, http://www.cardrates.com/advice/how-to-get-a-black-card/. Accessed 1 Feb. 2017.
Silbert, Sarah. “The Inside Scoop on the Amex Centurion (Black) Card.” The Points Guy, 2015 Oct. 14, http://thepointsguy.com/2015/10/amex-centurion-black-card/. Accessed 1 Feb. 2017.