There’s something special about having the house to yourself when you’re a mom.
The silence is sacred, as is the solitude. Pieces of yourself that you thought no longer existed begin to reveal themselves.
You stand a little straighter. You breathe a little slower. The exhaustion begins to lift. You feel light. You realize just how much you’ve missed this, how much you’ve missed you.
You don’t have to hide in the closet to eat a piece of chocolate. In fact, you don’t have to hide in the closet at all. Because there is nothing to hide from. There is no bickering, or whining or crying. There is no nonsensical chatter. There is no begging for snacks and more snacks.
You eat whatever you want without fear of getting caught or having to share. You eat whenever you want, with no complaints of hunger alerting you to the time of day. While you sit down and enjoy breakfast, you are not questioned about what’s for dinner. You don’t abide by a schedule.
You clean the house, and it stays clean. Even while you’re in the shower. You sweep up the crumbs and more don’t immediately fall. You are assured that while you clean one room of the house another one isn’t being destroyed. There are no interruptions.
You don’t walk into the bathroom to find “surprises” in the toilet. Because your kids are leaving their surprises in someone else’s toilet. You pick up dirty socks and drop them in the hamper. You put away clean clothes in their designated spaces. And you know, at least for the time being, it will all stay put.
You gain sanity and find peace. And it feels good. Really good.
But you also realize just how much you miss them – how much you’d miss them if you could actually get away from them as much as you think you want to.
You miss their arms wrapping around you first thing in the morning. Their bleary eyes that seek refuge in yours after they’ve been alone in the dark for a time.
You miss the daily tokens of love that they leave on your nightstand. The rocks. The dandelions. The crumpled pieces of paper decorated with symbols of their adoration for you.
You miss the consistency of the I-love-you’s, even if they are sprinkled between complaints and arguments, tears and tantrums.
You miss the certainty of knowing that they are safe under the roof you’ve provided for them.
You miss the laughter. The tickles. The heads nuzzled against your shoulder. The goodnight kisses. You miss admiring their delicate features as they sleep soundly in the darkness.
You don’t miss the mess. You didn’t miss the mayhem. But you miss the magic.
You plan and prepare for your kids to leave for a bit.
But you realize that you are never actually prepared for them to be gone.