I AM ALL ALONE in my too-quiet house and it feels… wierd.
Summer, while it brings a welcome respite from the frantic pace of the school year, becomes for us a patchwork of camps, trips, and path-of-least-resistance parenting as we attempt to juggle boys with free time and our work schedules. When they were younger, my older boys eagerly went to camps. Now they'd rather hang out, visit friends, do whatever.
Now that Peezer is school-aged, he's enjoying day camp this year. But ten whole weeks of camp are expensive! And Peezer's main camp was closed last week for the July 4 holiday, and doesn't run the last two weeks of August. So there are holes in the coverage that need to be filled with trips or other elaborate arrangements.
Last week we vacationed at Dewey Beach. The end of next week we're taking a quick jaunt to South Carolina – I'll tell you about that one later. Otherwise, we do have to WORK and all, so we end up sending the kids elsewhere for short stretches to break up the daily monotony of sleeping in / non-stop XBox / TV / ramen noodle lunches.
Peezer and The Boss left Sunday for a week with family in PA, and I just put Seth and our niece (who is the same age as Seth) on a plane bound for Houston where they will hang out with cousins for a whole week!
(Dear Houston, please accept my apologies in advance for any bad behavior – I'm sure it was an accident! – and just send me a bill for the damage. Many Thanks!)
And not counting the dogs, who will need a walk soon, and work, which I must get back to in a moment, there is no one depending on me for anything. No lunches to pack, no sunscreen to apply, no fights to referee, messes to clean up, children to nag to bathe / clean up their socks / chip bags / cups / soda cans / popsicle sticks. No iCarly or Spongebob Squarepants to tune out. No wet towels to peel off the floor. No frantic drop-off or pick-up deadlines, no therapy appointments to hurry to, no one to remind to take their medicine, no playdates to arrange, no trips to the pool (well, maybe we'll go – that might be fun, to be there and not have to wonder if our kids are safely buoyant)…
I hear a lawn mower outside and have a fan blowing but otherwise?
Shhhh. It's veeerrrrrry quiet.
And right now, I like it.
It'll be this way until Saturday or Sunday, when the younger two return. The teenagers fly back next Tuesday.
Yet as much as I need this break, this reset, it feels rather strange. I'm feeling aimless. Marginal. Because this week? I can make some decisions without regard to how it impacts the kids.
Of course, there is the dog to consider.
Anyone want a dog? Because even though the kids are gone, I still have to combat the dog-hair tumbleweeds.
See? I'm not getting off entirely without obligations.
It's good for the kids to get away: Good for them and good for us. And as happy as I am to have a few selfish days to myself, I have to say, I'll be really happy to see them when they return.