A strange thing happened this evening: I found myself alone. It’s Hubby’s family reunion this weekend and he took the girls and headed for Minnesota…without me.
As far as I can remember, this has never happened before. I’ve gone away for this or that and my family of three has stayed home. I’ve taken the girls down to my sister’s house for a night or two and Hubby has stayed home. Hubby and I have gotten away, once or twice, without the girls. I can think of twice where the girls have gone somewhere overnight, Hubby and I were left at home. This particular arrangement though, where I, alone, have been the one left has never happened before. And for some reason: I worried that I’d blow it.
One of my girlfriends, who found herself in the same scenario tonight, and I were going to take on the town: sing, dance, drink, and relive our youth. A funny thing happened though: the moment I saw the Jeep hit the dirt road carrying my family away from me, I just wanted to take a nap. I texted my friend-she felt the same way. This ended up with some jokes about how lame we are and the decision that sweatpants and silence sounded like a better option For the evening.
I told myself I couldn’t “waste” my night of freedom. I had to do SOMETHING with it! I briefly thought of deodorizing my rugs and cleaning the house in a way I don’t usually get to do with all of our daily chaos. No-that idea sucks Kelli. I thought about jumping into my car and driving to Minnesota, where my family is, and staying there tonight, was the top runner for most of the early evening. But it would be late and I’d probably just cause more of an issue for the kids trying to sleep in a strange place. I called my sister and chatted with her distraction-free for a few minutes, I texted my other sister, who I haven’t gotten to spend time with for awhile: out of town. I agonized over what to do.
This is what I did:
I drove to Buffalo. There was a car show tonight, so I saw some of my other favorite relatives who I don’t get to see often. We chatted for about an hour, without interruption, because I didn’t have anyone else to watch, consider or worry about. I ordered a cheeseburger from the bar. I’ve been eating healthy all week. I’ve lost a few pounds and a burger from the bar, where Hubby and I used to eat so many times in the beginning of our marriage, sounded amazing…and it was. I walked around the block and looked at our old house, our first house. I looked at how big the trees have grown, the ones Hubby and I planted when we moved in. I smiled that the chimney Hubby installed still slanted ever-so-slightly to the south, I remembered bringing both our children home from the hospital to that big old, drafty, beautiful house, I saw that the window sash that I had neglected to paint when we painted the exterior-still hasn’t been painted. My old curtains were open, and I thought-for a moment-that I’d see my old furniture through the window. The mailbox that we pounded into the ground still stands. I watched, looked, and appreciated(then I realized if the current owners were home, I probably looked like a creep), so I went and picked up my burger, ate it in the car, and left Buffalo. I allowed myself to reminisce, I stopped on the road and watched a deer, I didn’t rush, I didn’t have to-no one was depending on me tonight. I thought about how far Hubby and I have come, I arrived home to my personless house and I welled up. I’m not a crier. In fact I’m pretty sure this was the first time tears have crossed my eyes this year. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t overly happy. I just felt…all of the things that I always stay too busy to to let myself stop and feel. I miss my family, but I miss me too, and tonight I took a trip down memory lane that was far overdue.
If you realize you’ve been too busy to feel, I hope you(or your overly perceptive Hubby) realize it’s time for you to take a moment for yourself and just be. It’s amazing what a moment can do.