Katie was gone, as in actually away from home without any of her family members, on a playdate when the boys asked if I would take them swimming at the grandparent's house after dinner. Pondering a) the fact that it was so close to the end of the school year and they'd been pretty good this week, and b) taking the boys swimming at night without their sister may actually be relaxing, I quickly made my decision.
"Yes! Grab your suits and your towels and I'll meet you in the car." I said, shovelling the last bite of a most delicious shrimp tostada that my husband had made for dinner into my mouth.
And off we went.
The whole mile to my parent's house.
I pulled up my mom's chaise lounge, grabbed a few magazines and a glass of water and positioned myself in full view of the mayhem the boys were causing in the water, which was minimal, to my delight. I didn't even have to apply sunscreen, as it was near 7 o'clock in the evening and the sun was just about finished casting damaging rays down on fair-skinned bodies for the day.
My only responsibility?
Make sure the boys didn't drown and hand out an occasional pat on the head to my parent's affectionate golden retriever.
Life was rough.
Thirty minutes into their evening swim, the boys got a little rambunctious, throwing handfuls of lake bottom at each other and tackling one another in shallow water.
"Settle down or we're going home." I offered and immediately they obliged, not wanting to lose their precious lake time.
This is way too easy, I thought to myself as I thumbed through the "50 Best Places to Camp in the Northwest" article in a Sunset magazine.
Ever have that feeling when, say, your family has left for the day or perhaps longer and beforehand you have had all these grand plans of how wonderful it will be to have the house to yourself, free to do whatever you want, eat whatever you want, sleep whenever you want and not have any little people (or big ones for that matter) asking you to do things for them?
You know the feeling, right? It is fun for the first few hours, but then you miss them. You miss the tugs on your shirt for a snack, the rough housing that the older kids engage in, the whining of the dog, and the pleas from your husband to rub his shoulders for just five minutes...please?
That feeling, the one that something (or someone) was missing, came creeping in slowly but undeniably as the evening wore on. And I realized that although it is fun to take the boys places sans little sister once in awhile (and certainly to take each child alone from time to time) I kind of miss that little stinker when she isn't with us.