This weekend will be the first time the boys spend two days with their dad at his new apartment.
Though I’ve been slowly preparing them each day (today we talked about picking out a new, special toothbrush that will be at Daddy’s always so they never have to worry about forgetting something as important as dental hygiene), my own reality of two days alone snuck up on me, and I forgot to write out all my lists of how I’ll fill my time while the boys are away. For the first time. Two whole days. Not at a conference, not working 7am-7pm at a cafe so they can have time with their dad in my house. Alone, in my own space, full of hope and potential and projects. And guilt.
Here are my tentative plans.
Cry, eat popcorn, and watch an old John Hughes movie. I’m guessing Pretty in Pink but don’t be surprised if I report back that it was Some Kind of Wonderful.
Sleep the sleep of a mom who hasn’t slept a full night in her own house in 9 years without waking to the sound of a child crying, vomiting, seeking affection, or sleeptalking.
Wake in a panic that the kids aren’t home. Cry while making tea, then go for a run.
Cry. Or read a book without interruption. Or both. Resist urge to text boys’ dad, repeating mantra “He will text if something is wrong. Everything is fine.”
Make feeble attempt to declutter. Find something delicious that doesn’t need to be cooked. Eat it. Shake head ruefully while walking back and forth between the rooms of the house, daunted by all the cleaning and decluttering that really should happen. Debate crying again, but calculate the ratio of tears to popcorn and reconsider.
Do one million pushups and sit-ups to make up for ten years of forgetting. Or have more popcorn, maybe, while building a better Netflix queue.
Bounce between reading, pacing, and playing mind games to keep myself from texting.
Sleep, full of guilt that I’m enjoying uninterrupted sleep.
Wake, convinced there will be a reassuring text. Feel disappointed, then angry, then sad that there isn’t. Cry while making tea, then go for a run.
Plan to cook the week’s meals but forget while binge watching Orange is the New Black. Or Parks and Rec. Or Dr. Who. Definitely not season one of Glee. Again.
Freak out that I’ve wasted the weekend on trivial things, resolve to put together dozens of pinterest-inspired kids’ crafts projects to welcome the boys with full attention and adoration. Get caught up surfing and reading about Pluto and patient parenting and domestic hate-crime mass murders. Bounce predictably between buoyant and depressed.
Open the door to tired, happy, filthy, hungry children who don’t particularly want to hear my stories about the fall of civilization and former planets, and who wonder why the place looks exactly the same as it did when they left.
Feed, bathe, read to, and adore the children.
Make plans to use my time wisely in two weeks when they go again. Then cry that they’re fine, I’m a wreck, and there aren’t enough hours left to watch The Breakfast Club.