“Can we get dressed?” Quinn peeked over the edge of our farmhouse bed, his Mohawk preceding him like a rooster’s crest.
“Fifteen more minutes,” I groaned, pulling the pilled light blue blanket Matt and I have used for fourteen years over my head to block the brisk breeze and bright sunlight streaming in the open window. The weather, my children, and the dog at the bottom of the stairs conspired to convince me that 6:45 a.m. was time to rise and shine.
A little bit of a hangover turned my stomach and coated my teeth, reminders of a fun three-family barbeque last night. Matt was gone, already at work. Breakfast, clean up, a morning to fill, lunch–it all stared me down.
I lay there and longed for a quiet morning. To stretch, roll over, and drift back to sleep. To drink coffee, read, and clean the kitchen knowing that it will stay clean for the entire day. The thing I crave more than any other luxury lost with the birth of our children is time in my house completely alone. That’s my nirvana.
I’m not the mom who can’t bear to send her kids to camp. (This summer they did their first week long day camp and I couldn’t wait for them to leave.) I would happily turn them over to Grandma and Grandpa for a week (or more) if we lived in the same state. I love September and back to school. Friends tell me solitude wouldn’t be the blissful experience I think I will be, that I would miss my kids and be lonely. I think they underestimate my capacity for coffee and quiet.
I deeply, deeply miss being alone.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t know I will miss this too. My quiet, sunlit house is right around the next bend. I can see the outline of the children who won’t need their mother to start their day in the shadows around my babies’ eyes.
I’ll miss the constant babble of voices around me and the way we start each day like we’ve been shot from a cannon. I’ll miss sticky little hands wrapped around my fingers. I’ll miss the forty minute process to get four children buckled into the car. I’ll miss school supply shopping–but not packing lunches. I will NEVER miss packing lunches.
I’ll miss it all. Maybe even as much as I miss days of uninterrupted alone time right now.
The grass is always greener on the other side. That’s what they say. I suppose the key is to focus on how beautiful the grass under your feet is, rather than the fact that it’s making your ankles itch.
“I’m hungry,” Quinn pleaded. “Can’t we get up now? The sun’s out. It’s time.” I swung my feet to the floor. It’s time and it won’t be the time for this forever.