Hello! Remember me?
I’m the one who used to “entertain” you with pointless stories about my children, just to exercise my arguable talent for non-academic writing.
Since we (I) last spoke, I have finished my degree, secured myself (another) new job, and become the mother of a typically volatile pre-teen girl. I still also have the boy, who is also pre-teen-aged but is no more or less volatile than he ever was. His talent is identifying and exploiting those things which cause most of the volatility in the aforementioned pre-teen girl. Some things never change. I hooe he can use that for good and not evil, some day.
We had an interesting experience earlier this summer, my husband and I. For the first time in 12 years, we became childless for an extended period of time. Jack went off to camp, and Aimee went to Toronto with Gramma, and we were alone in the house for seven glorious, natter-free days.
We walked in the neighbourhood without worrying about babysitters or when we had to be home. We worked early and ate late and didn’t fuss about whether a hunger-induced temper tantrum was right around the corner. We went for a run at the same time – together – and then sat on our new patio and enjoyed the silence.
Some things I didn’t miss. Like the nearly constant bickering. The Lego that creeps out of the boy’s room. The balled-up dirty socks, everywhere. The kitchen computer, constantly logged in to Webkinz, whenever I wanted to use it. In fact, you may find it surprising to her that I did not mourn one second for sticky fingerprints on the keyboard.
But after a while, the house started feeling too quiet. We waited nearly a week and a half for a letter from Camp, which eventually came (“Dear Mom and Dad I’m having a
grate graet grate – I think I spelled that rong – time.”). Had occasional text messages from Aimee, but that one little letter was all we heard from Jack in 12 days. I kept hoping that no news meant good news.
Eventually, Jack came home tired, happy, sunburned, dirty and kind of snotty, planning his Camp adventure for next year. Aimee returned slightly taller, a touch more sophisticated but no less dramatic. Trevor and I reverted to our slightly more regimented schedules and child-friendly habits. And our house is once again full of noise, bickering, dirty socks, and Lego.
In the end, I admit I missed them. It was lovely spending uninterrupted time with my husband (it was, really. I do enjoy his company), but I think I could get used to childlessness, eventually, I just need a little more practice.
And now, I’m going to wash the keyboard again.