The house is quiet, save our poor dog who wanders occasionally from room to room looking for them, and the cat - whose face I woke up to this morning. And if there is anything creepier than opening your eyes to a feline face 2 inches from your own, I don't know what it is! Hope she wasn't trying to steal my breath or something...
I can't remember the last time I was alone overnight in our house. Sure, kids have come and gone on sleepovers here and there but there has always been another body here with me. Another soul. Another person. Usually one right next to me in my bed.
I'm never lonely in this house.
It's different now though.
For days, weeks, months, I'd reminisce about the times Brett would take the kids on little trips to visit his stepdad in Eastern Washington. This usually happened once or twice a year, giving me just enough days to clean the house from the baseboards to the ceilings, read a book or two, watch whatever channel I wanted on the TV, listen to MY music, take an uninterrupted bubble bath and regain my sanity before my people returned home.
A few years ago, Grandpa Buddy moved to Florida and then to Nevada...too far away to make impromptu weekend visits. Too far to roadtrip there and back in a few days. So those little trips with Dad stopped, taking with them my much needed alone time.
It sounds selfish. I know.
It IS selfish.
I've always craved, needed, REQUIRED a little alone time in order to function. It's been absent for a long time and I was practically giddy at the thought of an entire 24 hours in the house by myself. I would unplug my cell phone, I would watch romantic comedies, I would eat salad for dinner and forget to put on my lipstick. I would FINISH THE LAUNDRY. This, I decided, is living on the edge.
I had the salad for dinner, delicious caprese salad made with deep red tomatoes, fresh mozarella and basil picked from the live plant sitting on my kitchen windowsill. I couldn't find a romantic comedy to watch so I ended up browsing the Netflix queue until I settled on something appropriate; THE NIGHT OF THE COMET, which someone really needs to remake. I didn't put a lick of make up on my face. I finished the laundry (hallelujah!). I was naked (well, my face was) and alone and I was going to enjoy it goddammit. My neighbor/friend brought me a pint of Ben and Jerry's and I would be able to eat it out of the carton if I wanted, with nobody asking for bites!
Sidenote: ice cream with chocolate covered potato chips = WINNING.
Living the dream.
It's funny though, when you get what you think you need.
After my crazy night, when it was time to sleep, I felt unsettled. Like our herding dog Roy, I wandered from room to room, checking on things. I knew I'd locked the windows and the doors and I knew the kids weren't in their beds, but still I checked. I tried reading but the constant tinkling of the cats tags dangling from her collar and the forlorn sadness emanating from Roy (he missed his kids) was hard to ignore. Everyone (of the animals) had been fed. Everyone had fresh water. Everything was done. There was nothing else to do but sleep, unless I wanted to repaint the bathroom or dust the wood blinds, which I didn't. It was time to sleep and I couldn't.
I missed them.
Which was, I think, the whole point of their little adventure anyway.
Well played kids, well played.
And husband, thank you.