Childless (this week)

DON’T GET ME WRONG: I love my boys. More than words can say. With every fiber of my being; to the very depths of my core. Even the fleeting thought of something bad happening to one of them causes my heart to quicken, my respirations to increase, and a huge lump in my throat. Each of my boys is unique in his own way. They’re precious gifts, blessings from God, and we are thankful every day for them.

But this week? They’re four hours away, frolicking with their grandparents and their cousins, and I couldn’t be happier.

Parents of school-age children know that the school week is a grind. There is homework to be kept track of, schedules to mind. There are children to be nagged reminded to do their chores / homework / get off the XBox already / go to bed / when was the last time you showered, stinky??

Summer camps are little relief. First of all, they’re expensive! Second of all, it’s a whole new routine you have to learn. The regular camp day is usually not as long as a regular school day, and it’s likely you’ll be dropping off and picking up your kid at some location that is less convenient than their school. Plus, there are lunches to pack and sunscreen to be applied and electronic gadgets to be left at home, lest they be lifted by some random camper.

So yesterday, we rendezvoused with Curt’s parents at a McDonalds parking lot in south-central PA. We handed them the key to the ‘Burb, with all of its precious cargo. They handed us the key to their sleek, crumb-free German sedan. We shed tears waved goodbye, then watched them head north while we giggled pointed their car south.

Ott House Pub, Emmitsburg MD First stop? The Ott House Pub in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Located near the National Fire Training Academy, this bar draws trainees and other public servants from all over. They leave their patches, which get placed under the bar and tacked on the wall. Curt enjoyed the wings and we drank drafts and played pool and pinball and fed money into the electronic jukebox. For, like, a few hours. Which is not something you do when you’ve a five year old in tow… or, for that matter, an impatient teenager.

Then, we meandered our way south, avoiding Route 15 because the back roads are always more fun. (It’s all about the journey.) We decided to stop at The Cracked Claw – someplace we’ve been by many times but haven’t yet visited. Our bartender was great and the beer was cold, and I bet the food is good (we didn’t have dinner) … but the decor inside looks like it hasn’t been updated since the first Bush administration. This site also boasts an Off-Track Betting facility, but by the time we got there it was closed. Because it was Sunday night and what are you doing haunting the bars, anyway? Shouldn’t you be at home with your family??

*crickets chirping*

Soooo… we headed home and watched a baseball game on the big HDTV in the family room, which is usually showing some drivel from the Nickelodeon family of channels.  I made a pizza, but I could just as easily have eaten a bowl of cereal. We stayed up too late. We cursed like sailors, really loud. We did not have to clean up anyone’s spills or dishes or wrappers. We did not have to force anyone to shower or go to bed or shush anyone whose late-night plans featured loud video games in the bedroom across from ours. It was… quiet. And relaxed. And quiet, did I say it was quiet? Because it was. Shhhhh.

And? We have the added bonus of knowing that our children are having some quality bonding time with their grandparents! They’ll be breathing in the fresh country air, visiting cousins, and also? Shooting things!

Two years ago, when Seth was confirmed into the church, his grandparents commemorated this religious milestone by giving him a gun. Because nothing says “Praise Jesus!” like the gift of firearms. But it was OK – the gun stays at the grandparents’ house and is only used under the close supervision of an exceedingly well-qualified Pappy.  Well, this year, The Boss was confirmed, and this year he gets his gun.  Which he will love because the kid likes to shoot. He just spent a bunch of money on a new airsoft gun.

As I write this, it’s 7:00 a.m. I’m not frantically trying to finish because I have to get the Peezer up and around and drop him off and still make it to work on time. Curt is long gone. It’s… quiet. Today, I like it. By the end of the week, I’ll miss the mayhem. I won’t miss the crumbs or sticky spills or the clutter, but I will miss the mayhem, and I will miss the kids.

But that’s five whole days from now.

8 thoughts on “Childless (this week)

  1. Oh, life is good. You know, time with the grandparents away from home is worth way more than any camp. The schedules are so ridiculously harried during the year that some down time doing nothing is definitely in order.
    For the kids too.

  2. Enjoy that precious quiet time! Little T just got back from a long week end with his Auntie. He brought me gifts. He loves me too.

  3. Enjoy your week. I’m sure Curt’s parents and boys are. We had so much fun with you and the boys at the beach.
    We are going to the George Mason next Thursday for a quick picnic supper with Sandy. It shouldn’t get too late so we might stop by for a few minutes on our way back to the cabin.

  4. As children can be the ultimate form of birth control, you and Curt better watch out this week that you don’t make another one.
    Wouldn’t that be ironic don’t you think? :)

  5. Thinking of you doing the “Risky Business” sock slide through every room in your house. And now I need to go wash my brain to get rid of the Tom Cruise image, BLERGH.

  6. Foolery, if I did that, I’d end up with some very dirty socks, so filthy are my floors!
    JD, ironic yes, but not physically possible. Eli will always be the youngest of the McCormick offspring – we took medical steps to ensure that.
    Thanks, all, for your comments! It’s been a great week so far.

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