9.3.07: When absence makes the heart grow fonder
For the first time in more than three years, I am spending a weekend by myself. No kids. No work. No responsibilities. For two whole days.
Will took Julia and Charlie to visit Grandpa and Bubbe, and I stayed home alone. Blissfully alone, with two whole days to doÂ whatever.
The minute my family hit the road, I stood in our front doorway literally paralyzed by the possibilities. Here was my chanceÂ my chance to finally do all the things I've been aching to do, if only I had the time.
My longstanding To-Do list came to mind first—all the things I haven't been able to do with my two little "assistants" onhand: I could finally clean out our overflowing closets. I could file the tower of papers in the "vertical file" in my office. I could put our photos in albums, write in Julia's and Charlie's baby books, finish making that Christmas gift that I started putting together for Will...three Christmases ago.
Better yet, I could catch up with friends. I could take a nap. I could get my hair done. I could get a massage. Go for a walk. Read the newspaper. Read a book. I could go to the beach carrying nothing more than a towel and a bottle of water, and I could actually relax without having to contend with sand in someone's eye, sand in someone's mouth, sand in someone's sandwich, sand in someone's diaper. Just sand between my toes.
Or, I could do nothing. I could sack out on the couch with the remote control and stay there for two days. I could take a nap. I could sit in perfect, peaceful silence and stare into space. I could leave the house with nothing more than my car keys and my purse. No diaper bag. No stroller. No snacks or toys or sweaters or pacifiers or sunhats or sippy cups. I could run errands effortlessly. I could listen to my own radio stations in the car the entire way, actually able to hear them. I could go to sleep when I'm tired; wake up when IÂm rested. No middle-of-the-night wake-up calls, no 5 a.m. nursing calls—just deep, uninterrupted sleep. I could eat whatever I want. I could have two entire days when I wouldnÂt have to wipe a single spill off the floor, deal with a tantrum, change a diaper, cook, or do laundry. I could shower in the morning. I could use the bathroom, when I need to, in complete and utter privacy. I could clean the house, and by the time I finished the last room, the first room would still be clean.
So how did I spend my two days?
I missed my family. But, I caught up with friends. I finished that last, nagging bit of painting that needed to be done in our dining room. I painted my toenails. I had a massage. I put photos in albums. I played the piano. I read the newspaper. I took a long, hot bath. I cleaned out some closets. I watched a movie. I watched the sun set. I went to the beach. I put my feet up. I had a couple nice meals, and ate chocolate, and drank wine, and ate Kraft Mac 'n Cheese right out of the pot.
It sounds so boring, I'm kind of embarrassed. And yet, it was so thrilling.
And so needed.
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Read the next entry: 9.10.07: Nine Months On, Nine Months Off