Thursday, June 27, 2013

When the Children are Away....

My children are out of town.

That's right, for six days and five nights my husband and I are officially child free! On Saturday we will fly to Texas to reunite with all three of them but for now I'm alllllll allloooooooneee.

And I'll tell you what -- IT'S FANTASTIC.

Going from having three very young children to having no children for the week is kind of like how it feels when the power goes out. The enormity of the role that electricity has been playing in your life is overwhelming and you struggle to remember how to do the most basic things. You know how during a blackout you keep going to turn on the microwave and then you think, "Oh, that's right that's electric too!" and then two minutes later you find yourself thinking, "Maybe I can just look up how to deal with a blackout on the internet?"

That's exactly how I feel with my kids away.

My husband and I woke up that first morning and had FORTY-FIVE MINUTES during which we had absolutely NOTHING we needed to do. There are no pancakes to make, no diapers to change, and no buses bearing down the street demanding fully-dressed students to be waiting and ready at the curb.

Which means that it was time to make conversation. 

" how are you?"
"I'm good. Did you sleep well?"
"Yes, I didn't make any mistakes at all."
"Heh. [LONG PAUSE] Heh."

What can I say? It's been a LONG time since we've had to do this.

After a while David headed off to work and I found myself just kind of wandering around. The very first thing I did was to clean the whole house. I mean, I cleaned the nooks and crannies of the stove, I cleaned behind the washing machine -- I CLEANED THIS HOUSE.

And it was incredibly satisfying, because I knew it would still be clean 20 minutes later.

Sometimes the little things mean a lot.

After cleaning I was back to my wandering. I'd see a squirrel in the backyard and then I would run to get the kids to come see it only to remember, "Oh right, no kids."

That whole first day was pretty much defined by how much there were no kids in my house.

On Day Two I kind of stopped with the wandering and decided to optimize the days I had left by putting my mind to enjoying my momentarily single existence:

  • I went shopping -- just wandering the aisles of stores, looking at stuff, and then even trying things on. I didn't buy a single thing but it was really enjoyable.
  • I imagined that I'd listen to lots of curse-laden pop tunes or Satanic speed metal or other such kid-free selections, but what I found myself craving in the car was TOTAL SILENCE. I would just drive around going nowhere and just enjoy the sensation of no one saying "MOOOOOOMMMMM!" at all. HEAVEN.
  •  I went and got a two-hour massage with a gift certificate someone had given me in 2008.
  •  My husband and I started remembering how to talk about things other than bowel movements, and we stayed up past our bedtimes watching multi-hour 'Mad Men' marathons and heading out to fancy grown-up dates before which I both brushed my hair AND shaved my legs.
  • Also, for the record, I'm still looking for my $(%*ing keys...

I'll be glad to have my kiddos back on Saturday but until then I'm committed to making the most of our time away -- laundry free, stress free, and CHILD-FREE!