Emmeline is on "fall break" this week--I guess all of the elementary schoolers needed a break, after having gone through six whole weeks of school--and I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the silence.
Yes, silence--because I met my mother in Slidell yesterday morning before heading back to the city to work, and tonight is my second full night of childlessness. I'll be getting E back tomorrow afternoon and she'll be spending the day with me at work on Thursday before heading off on round two of the great grandparents tour of 2011, when I'll drop her off at my mother-in-law's house on Friday for two more child-free nights at home. But those two child-free nights will involve a birthday party, a wedding, and a dinner at my husband's Mardi Gras club, so time will fly by like nothing.
But these two days have involved sheer nothingness, other than work and daily life.
Am I enjoying this adult time? God, yes. Does that make me a bad mother? I don't think so, although some might disagree. I love my daughter fiercely, but that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes long for time away from her. Not from her per se, but from the chaos and harriedness that seem to accompany motherhood.
I got to stay up until eleven (eleven, I tell you!) last night and plan to do so again tonight. I got to sleep until seven this morning and still make it to work by eight, because there was no one to take care of and hussle out the door but me. Kenny and I met at 45 Tchoup tonight and had two beers before driving home, because we could. (Although happy hour is not the same in my 40s as it was in my 20s and 30s--for starters, the music's too damn loud now, even when they were playing 80s artists like Tears for Fears.) When we got home at 7:00, we still had time to sit on the porch and listen to the oldies show on WWOZ while grilling chicken. I even watched a full hour of television after dinner, did the dishes, vacuumed, and ran a load of laundry, and it's just now 10:20.
Can you hear me marvelling at the sheer amount of time we've had for the past two days? I've enjoyed this little brief respite from parenthood. As I told Kenny tonight, "oh, I remember--this is what it felt like before we had Emmeline."
I will welcome the chaos and harriedness that will come back into my life tomorrow. I will even be happy to have it back. But I can't tell you much I've enjoyed this brief little vacation in everyday life, made even more magical, I think, by the fact that it's taken place on a Monday and Tuesday, when real life continues as normal.