Friday, June 19, 2015

Quiet Time.


The house is very quiet. Which is not unusual for midday on a Friday. But come 5 o'clock, it's still going to be that quiet. Unusually quiet. Blissfully quiet. Yesterday afternoon, suitcases, snacks and yard games were loaded into Mario's car. There were goodbye hugs all around and waving until they turned the corner and out sight. It's just me and our Little Lion Man for the duration.

I've been looking forward to having our own separate plans for the first part of this summer. If I'm honest, a couple times I've anxiously awaited the solitude, wholeheartedly embracing the idea of a break from the needs of others, but now that it's here I find myself missing their faces. Not in a sad way, but in a gosh, I really, really like those stinkers kind of way. 

I think most moms wish for an extended break now and again. Being a mom is hard, yo. I think I'm pretty forthcoming with my feelings, but even I have trouble admitting I sometimes fantasize about being unattached. Like maybe I'll be judged (or judge myself) for wanting something other than what I have. Oh no, what if my sensitivity chip is broken! The fact is, dreaming of a life outside of the home in no way indicates a lack of gratitude. It's okay to admit that one does not always derive personal fulfillment from being a wife and mother. Self-imposed expectations + society can do a number on us, and certain things become harder to express than they should be. (The Mommy Blog culture doesn't help much, either. But that's a post in and of itself.) I wish that weren't true.

Fortunately, I'm not a person who craves the company of others very often. (Having the boys in my life is a happy bonus; they are certainly the exception.) I don't mind going to the movies or eating out on my own. Although I will have moments of loneliness over the next five weeks, I'm sure, this hiatus from motherhood and wifehood is really healthy for me. 

It's also the perfect time to start my new job: by the time they come back I will be well into my training and have a clearer picture of what my days + shifts will be like. Adapting to life back at work in their absence will mean less of an adjustment period upon their return. Instead of arranging activities to fill his days while I'm at work, Kiddo will have acres and acres of ranch land as his playground (plus cows to feed, dogs to run around with, and grandparents to spoil him rotten). Grandpa will continue to teach him the ways of a manual transmission and the complex world of crop irrigation. Grandma will spend hours swimming with him in the lake. He and Mario will have some rare and beautiful father-son time while connecting with nature. I'm so excited for them. 

We are all where we need to be, doing what we need to be doing right now. Which means we can't all be together this summer. And that's okay. Experiencing the joys of life in the absence of each other only serves to make us closer: it gives us the perspective necessary to appreciate those amazing qualities we each possess as individuals, outside the collective Us. Those qualities that drew us to each other and contribute to the family unit in unique and wonderful ways. I can't wait to hear all about their adventures, and to tell them mine.

At home we often fall into the 
How was your day? 
Good. 
Yours?
Good.
routine.   

It will be nice to shake things up in the way long-distance relationships force you to do. You must communicate and share and show each other how much you care using words. You don't tend to take their presence in your life for granted when you are no longer sharing a bedroom or driving them to school each morning. Those stolen little moments are often the most magical. Dare I say, I may start to actually miss those things I used to perceive as a drag...inconveniences of marriage and motherhood which, deep down, I am quite fond of after all.

Twenty-four hours in and I've become quite nostalgic, no? But I'm also excited as can be.

I can eat whatever I want, when I want to. (Cheese and crackers for dinner at 9p and no one to stop me!)

I can do whatever I want on the weekends because I don't have to consider anyone else's input. (I can visit every store with succulents and garden gnomes in the greater Portland area!)

I can work nights and weekends and not suffer from Mom Guilt (such a terrible, heart-wrenching affliction!).

I can stay at a coffee shop until closing time because no one is waiting for a ride, there is no homework, and dinner doesn't have to be made (see above). Alternately, I can stay at home all day in my pajamas and binge-watch House of Cards on Netflix without feeling like a lazy slob. (I doubt the latter will happen, but I'm liberated just knowing it can.)

I can stay up until midnight devouring a book without worrying I'll keep Mario up all night with my reading lamp or feeling sleep-deprived come 5:45a when the school day alarm goes off. (I can burn the candle at both ends, dang it! Though I'll quickly learn I'm no longer in my twenties, I'm sure.)

I can pee with the door open! (Nah.)

I know I'm missing five million other things that a responsible domestic goddess cannot do with abandon in real life. 

Feel free to contribute to the list.


4 comments:

  1. 1. take a bath for as long as you like and then finish it off with a shower to wash your hair and and no one is there to say how crazy that is.
    2. stay up till 1am watching bravo tv with not one ounce of guilt.
    3. cook spaghetti from the kraft box at 9 or 10 at night
    4. wake up at 8 or 8:30 am and CONTINUE to lie in bed checking email on phone and then just continuing to lie in bed thinking about yesterday or today.
    5. sitting on front porch or back porch, dreaming, while looking at stars at 11pm
    6. going to pick up takeout Chinese at 9 pm
    7. reading....on the couch.....for HOURS at a time. And then taking a nap!
    And I am not lying when I say I could go on forever with this list. I think I've figured out my obsession with being in my house alone. I married right outa college. Never had that true independence that I wanted. Began having children 2 yrs later. Raised my kids, wife, taught high school and all the other stuff that goes along with that. Finally they are all in college and I'm without the kids and have retired from the job BUT I still have that husband that, for some reason, even as much as I love him.....38 yrs next week....drives me ABSOLUTELY BONKERS!!
    I continue to live in that rut of marriage where the independence never entered my front door. Even tho, I know that if I wanted to ... I could have that independence with no qualms and never look back.....but I don't.
    So............when I have the opportunity to be alone, as in two days this week I went home to our real house just to get away.....I cherish the time. To do all things I mentioned above. I didn't hear an ounce of news like I do when the hubs is around....or college baseball tournament....or cook one meal....or get up in morning to drink coffee with him.....Oh man................I was in heaven. I love that man to death but there are times I just HAVE to get away, by myself, to dream. To reminisce. Or to not even think at all.............
    Girl......I SO understand where you are right now. Big Time!!!!
    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh.....and guess what? remember I told you I was going to glacier national park for a wedding? well, after wedding is over and my whole family flies home....I'm renting a car and driving over to Spokane to stay with my best friend for a week!!!!!!!! ROAD TRIP!!!! hmmmmmmmmmm....will I go thru Portland to get there?? I haven't a clue cuz I cannot do directions AT ALL......hahahahahahah....gonna be a hoot!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just found your blog and really enjoyed. This post reminded me of my "nothing day" blog at http://cindymarie-emptynest-challenge.blogspot.com/2014/07/day-17-nothing.html I started a blog after my son went to college and it now about trying new things. Hope you like it

    ReplyDelete

Comments make my heart go pitter-patter. Make sure you are not a no-reply blogger!