Our wonderful children stayed with their even-more-wonderful "auntie" last night, and Matt and I had our first night alone in our home in 2-3 years. We had arrived late for our evening Easter dinner and by the time the kids were even close to settling, it was already well into the evening we had imagined for ourselves, but there was still something oddly "light" about walking out to a car without kids and carry-alls. We barely spoke on the ride home--Matt's style, but not typically mine--and I think we were both just stunned by the silence. No "But I'm not tired!" or "Lucas is kicking me!" We returned to the house at around 10:30pm. Did we rush to the movies? Order late-night pizza? Snuggle in alone on the couch? Nope--in part because we're pretty good about doing these when the kids are around. Instead we folded and put away laundry, without "help" and without worry about waking one child or another. There is almost always a half-full basket of laundry in our room, waiting for someone to be awake or out of their room or ready to help. Last night we went to bed with empty laundry baskets and it was pure bliss.
The challenges of being alone? Hearing the rumble of the train in the night without the kids' CDs and noisemakers to drown it out....Waking at all the usual "Lucas is up--can you get him?" times because my body is conditioned for that....and one of the oddest, proving the power of behavioral condition, leaving the gate at the top of our steep staircase unlatched because there was no child here to inadvertently tumble their way into an ER visit. How did we indulge in our morning? We stayed in bed until 7:50am (unheard of!), and again, changed the laundry. Ah....who knew the freedom of movement we've been missing these last five years? The clothes we could have washed and put away!
I'm bound for auntie's house now and looking forward to the smiles, hugs and voices so missing from our house this morning....but I'll take another night like this when I get it!