My husband is leaving Thursday morning for a three day business trip. The very thought of his absence feels like someone has swallowed the key, locking me in here forever. The reality of being home with my kids (and random neighborhood kids) through the weekend is not horrible. I can sort of sleep in on Saturday (minus the twenty-minute check-ins from my daughter–it’s like the warden is legally obligated to make sure I’m still alive). I can drive in my mini-van wherever I want, as long as I have it full of underage passengers. I can cook whatever suits my fancy.
But I cannot be alone. And being alone is what I crave, even more than Diet Coke with Lime.
Furthermore, I am faced with a stretch of days with no solitude in sight, for when Saturday ends, the hustle-bustle of another week begins . . . and the following Saturday I have a social obligation . . . and the following Saturday, I have another social obligation. Then it will be December.
I am in uncharted territory, this vast land of childhood where sippy cups are no longer required and children can buckle and unbuckle their seatbelts with no help from me. My youngest child refuses to hold my hand in parking lots, reminding me, “I am a big girl now.” I peer ahead and see signs: “Driving Permits Here” and “College Applications Here” and the very idea offers simultaneous hope and terror.
I wonder if my parents were as freaked out by the uncertain future as I am? Did they worry? Or did they focus all their worry on my other siblings since I was so responsible?
I’d ponder more, but my son needs help with algebra now and I hear the distinct sound of trouble in their room.