Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Beer and Nachos for Dinner

I thought I was ready for this little mini vacation in my house--just the little dog, my husband and me. Our kids off for a few days at Korean Identity Development Society camp (KIDS Camp) because even though they were not adopted from Korea, my husband was, it's good for them to go. And this year they were all old enough to go to the sleep-over teen camp.

Ha! Four days in my own house with no responsibilities beyond work and the little dog.

I waited until they all boarded the big orange school bus for Whidbey Island. I waved good-bye. The dog waved good-bye. My husband waved good-bye. One of our sons waved back. And we drove home.

My husband had a lunch meeting with a colleague so while he headed out, I realized I was tired. I mean really tired. My bones ached. How could I even stand up for another second? So I curled up on the couch, and my husband nestled the little dog in with me and we slept for a good long time, that dreamless, knocked out sleep that hits hard. I finally wrenched myself off the couch and tucked a blanket around the little curl of a dog to go get some work done. Church work never ends. But I was still weary. I wondered if my blood cells had forgotten how to do the whole oxygen thing, and I wondered if you really can have a caffeine IV. After two cups of coffee I was at least functioning again. But what was going on? I wasn't sick, hadn't missed much sleep, what was going on?

I think it was a first since that night in 1991. We left our apartment in the middle of the night in full-on labor to go to the hospital for Michael to be born. This was the first time since that night that I had no children to fret about. They were at camp, together, with people we trust, surely having a great time. I was off duty for real.

Releasing that intense attention was exhausting.

My husband came home. I hadn't washed one dish or touched an ounce of laundry. Every cabinet and door I had opened I'd left open. My shoes tumbled over each other in the living room, sweaters strewn across the coffee table. I've learned something; without my children watching I am a complete slob. We decided to go to the local pub for happy hour. A slacker-slob.

We had nachos and beer for dinner. We rented "Little Miss Sunshine" which we've never seen because it's rated R and we still have a 12-year-old. We came home and I slipped into something a little more comfortable--you know, my old yoga pants and a ratty sweatshirt. (Come on, it's a family blog! ) We had a great evening. We laughed out loud at the movie. I poked around the internet to see if other people think "Little Miss Sunshine" is a remake of the "Grapes of Wrath" (they do).

And then our youngest called to "say good night". Something was clearly up. He was not happy. Yes, his brothers had been mean to him just as he knew they would be. Yes the other kids were nice, yes his friend, a local minister's son was hanging out with him. Yes, he was OK. Good night. Then he called again, "I just don't like sleeping away from home". One disadvantage to being long time family friends with all of his mates' families---whenever he spends the night with a friend, he's always known the family for years and years, almost like staying in your own house.

We came up with a plan, "drink of water, put on your ipod and listen to Harry Potter, you can do hard things--I believe in you", and the mom connection snapped right back in. We sent threatening text messages to the big brothers "help your little brother!!! be nice!" and this morning all appeared well, at least if I'm interpreting the texting shorthand correctly.

I'm moving through the days like a mom again. The kitchen is tidy. I cleaned up after the turtle we're babysitting and the bird who is usually cared for by the children--even made special snacks for both critters. And all those random bits left behind yesterday are back in place. Back to normal.

Who knew letting go for just a little would be so exhausting? This really is one wild life.

1 comment:

plaidshoes said...

I really liked this post. I feel the same way when the kids are gone - completely exhausted. I have tried to explain it to my husband, but he doesn't quite get it ;-) Your evening sounds great and I hope camp continues to go well!