This weekend I ran away from home.
Okay, I’m way too responsible and uptight to run away from home, but I negotiated a LOT of free time so Spouse could hang out with the boys. (See how I am now choosing to see that? Good for me! Good for them! Bonding time, not escaping time. Win-win-win-win.)
I got up before dawn with my little tornadoes, frolicked, cooked, attended, and mediated battles big and small for a couple of hours until Spouse tumbled out of bed. Then I left. I walked, I wrote, I surfed the Internet, and I had grownup food.
I came home after four hours alone and had a date with almost-six-year-old Peanut while Spouse and almost-two-year-old Butter slept. My sweet, highly spirited boy and I did some science, some art, some reading, and some side-by-side napping. More importantly, we smiled, we laughed, we cuddled.
When the little guy woke up from his nap I heard him, but Spouse played with him for almost an hour before they discovered us. Eight hours after I kissed them goodbye.
Eight hours. I was so giddy with freedom I danced and skipped (yes, literally) through dinner and bathtime.
(NB: I observed that no amount of battery recharge can make dinnertime with my particular small children easy. Nice to know it’s not the end of my patience-reserves that makes dinner so vision-dimmingly fraught. Quite simply, the nightly, two-hour adrenaline-pumping-fest that is dinner, bath, and bed, is spread heavily across the fragile skeleton of their utterly depleted, frenetic little bodies. So: witching hour is their fault. I did not know that before. I had continually criticized myself for not finding joy in hours 11-13 of my all-child-all-the-time days. Now I’m just going to drink through them, since I’m not the problem.)
(No, I’m totally not kidding.)
But back to my colossal Saturday of Joy break…
Oh, Interwebz, how I love operating at my own speed, to my rhythms, in whatever directions I want to go. Good Gravy, freedom feels like warm salted caramel sauce on chocolate and marshmallow ice cream. Why did I not know this? Why have I not worked harder to get this? Is the sweetness relative to the preceeding batshit insane-iness?
And how delightful, delicious, and delectable my adorable and silly children are when I am not running on fumes. My, but I enjoyed my time with Peanut, my reunion with Butter, my gratitude toward Spouse. Amazing, yummy creatures, my guys are.
I hope all parents, working inside and outside the home, get a chance to experience the glory that is solitude. After we get running water to all the world and health care to everyone and stability to the world’s violent regions and food and safety to children and adults alike, maybe we could get all humankind some breathing room and a vegan reuben.
This day has been a long time coming. And I so enjoyed the peace, quiet, and space to complete my own thoughts while doing a novel thing called blinking, that I am willing to proclaim my Saturday break intoxicating.
Drunk on mental health day awesomeness! Woo-hoo! Get yourself some of this!