Monday, July 23, 2012

The latest chapter of be careful what you wish for

I recently got back from a nice trip to Michigan.  I went out to visit with my parents and see my brother and my niece, and I had an amazing but all too short dinner out with my friends.  I loved it all and wasn't ready to come home.

My kids and my husband are still out at my parents', but with a business to run and teaching obligations to fulfill I had to come back early.  So I have the house to myself.  And it's weird.  I don't think I've ever been alone in my own house overnight since we've had kids.  I've been away from them before, but I can't think of another time when everyone was away from me.

How many times have I wished wished wished that I could have a vacation in my own house?  Where everyone would leave for a while and not undo all the cleaning as I'm doing it?  Or that there was no one to cook for but myself and I'd be free from the tyranny of meals for other people?  To do what I please without interruption?  To have it be quiet?

Well, it's quiet.

I'm starting to see that there is such a thing as too quiet.  And too clean.  And too simple.  

I straightened up the stray toys in the living room last night, and now the room looks less inviting.  There's no evidence of my kids' happy play and creative games.  I like things to be clean because it sets the stage for something fun.  But there is no one here to then step on that stage, and all that clean space just looks lifeless.

I'm being silly, right?  I'm being silly.  I'm probably just having trouble adjusting and by the time I'm used to it and it feels like a good thing it will be over.  But I miss the hugs and snuggles and the cute things my kids say and do.  I miss my family.  My days never feel complete when I don't have my husband to tell them all to, and any day that I don't see my kids I know I'm missing something.  All of that is worth more than a clean living room.  And it's lonely here.

Luckily, I have the dog.

Chipper on Aden, whom he misses very much
The dog, who was being cared for by a neighbor for a few days (that in dog time probably felt like weeks), and who greeted me upon my return by practically levitating with happiness.  It's nice to have somebody be glad when I get home from work, and I appreciate his company as he follows at my heels from room to room.

I think I'd be enjoying this more if I weren't stressed out about teaching at string camp (it's my twelfth year doing it and the first few days are always hard because it's impossible to imagine the kids will pull it together and be ready to perform in only a week's time, but they always do) and if I weren't drowning in work at the violin store.  It's harder for me to wind down when I have so much going on, so I'm not using this time the way I probably should.

Maybe tonight I'll do something insane, like read.  With the dog at my feet.  While blasting the soundtrack to The Book of Mormon, which I certainly can't do with the kids around.  (I am trying to think of anything wild I could be doing to add to this list, but I am duller than I realized.  I don't even drink so it's not like I can toss a glass of wine to this picture.  Sheesh.)

Anyway, I'm at least trying to file this away in my mind for the next time the house full of kids is driving me up a wall.  Because that wish for an empty house?  Emptied it of feeling like a home.


  1. Reading sounds fantastic. I'm trying to steal every second to read Shadow of Night.

    I am guilty of this same behavior. I miss the boys but then complain about not having enough time to 'relax'. Maybe I'm just terrible at managing my time?

  2. I can tell you it felt very odd to be left in the house with only Ellie when Brien and Lily went on an overnight trip. I thought it would be wonderful. Instead I found myself rather like you found yourself.

    I hope they're home soon. :o)

  3. I was going to add in the glass of wine, but since that's nixed...a pint of your favorite flavor of ice cream that you don't have to share with anybody?

    This fall, I'll be flying out to friend's wedding without my husband and baby. I can't wait, on one level, to be traveling solo again. And yet I'm sure I'll shed tears at some point too.

    DH has been traveling a lot lately, but luckily I have Game of Thrones Book Two for company after the baby goes to bed (and I can't go anywhere, which drives me a little bonkers!).

  4. I gotta laugh, because "Book of Mormon" is something that I listen to also when the kid is out!

  5. I don't have any kids quite yet, but does it count when I feel that way when my puppy is at daycare and my husband is on a trip? Haha.


  6. So, I'm willing to admit that it'd get old quick, but I would be happy to have a few days by myself ;)