I've never been much of an addict (as long as you omit Diet Coke from that statement, we're good).
Not for lack of trying, mind you, but certain "addictive" things just never really stick with me.
That being said, I am familiar with the pain of withdrawal. I know that a person going through withdrawal sometimes suffers depression, anxiety, mood swings, cravings, neurotic behavior, sleeplessness and loss of impulse control. Withdrawal can be tough, brutal and hard.
Every mother I know has muttered the words, "I just need a little alone time," to me at least once. Every single one of them, even the happiest of the happy ones. It doesn't matter if you're a mom who goes to work every day, one who works part time, or one who stays at home (the most work of all). The need for a little space from the wee masters of our universe from time to time seems to be one that we all share. Every single one of us.
I remember the days when the boys were both in preschool, and I'd get the opportunity to go grocery shopping all by myself. I'd wander, listless (as in, I didn't even bring a list), from aisle to aisle, the piped elevator music lulling me into a trance as I mindlessly picked up boxes of this and bags of that off the shelves. Eventually, I'd find myself at the check-out line, $100 worth of groceries (they were a lot cheaper in those days) for the week and not the vaguest recollection of how I'd passed the prior hour.
Not a clue.
It was my "break."
It seems that lately, I've been lacking in the "break" department so when I turned the calendar over from January to February and realized that 2 weeks in, the kids would have a four-day weekend, I began to think of a way to get them out of the house...without me.
Okay, call me selfish. But have you ever tried to clean an oven with 2 boys who think they are in training for the WWF and a 5 year old girl who wants to be by your side (bless her ever-lovin' heart) every single second of every single day?
My oven really needed to be cleaned.
I spent the night before their departure in a frenzy. I washed and packed all their necessary items for their trip to see Grandpa Buddy at his cabin. I baked cookies for the road, loading each of them up with their own bag complete with a little note from me. I made sure their Nintendo DS's were charged and ready and I dug the portable DVD player out from under a pile of things I hadn't put away from Christmas that were gathering dust in my bedroom for the 5 hour drive.
I didn't need to mention that part about the clutter in my bedroom, did I?
I went to bed exhausted that night, dreaming of their departure the next morning.
Funny how things work sometimes. Funny how when the one thing you think you need happens, you discover that you really didn't need it after all. Or maybe you didn't need as much of it as you thought.
My house is empty, save the dog, the fish, me and 2 stick bugs. I've talked to my kids on the phone, told them I miss and love them and I've been able to sleep as long as I want without anyone asking me to make them waffles at 7 am. I can watch whatever I want on TV. I can eat whatever I want for dinner. I can clean my oven until I am blue in the face. Or, I can do nothing at all.
To be honest, perfectly, utterly, completely honest, the first 12 hours were divine.
But now, three days later...
I'm having serious withdrawal.
I miss my kids. I miss the chaos and the noise and the constant constantness of them.
I miss the dirty socks that didn't find their way to the hamper, the granola bar wrappers that fell out of someone's pocket and the reminding to brush one's teeth before bed.
I miss the eye rolling and the protesting and the squabbling.
I miss the smiles, the "I love you moms," and the hugs for no reason. I miss the toothpaste in the sink.
I miss the full feeling when I turn out the light at night, knowing that in each of their rooms lie each of my children and if I want to check on them or just simply listen to them breathe, I can. Because they are mine, and they are there.
So yes, it's safe to say that I'm experiencing withdrawal from my children.
And if I'm going to be addicted to something (besides Diet Coke), isn't it wonderful to be addicted to them?
Please come home. Mama misses you.