Last night I found myself off balance. My children were invited to a sleepover and that left the evening free for my husband me to go on a date. My days are quite noisy. I work in a school full of wonderful, energetic, smart, and noisy students. I have grown quite tolerable of the noise level that a school brings, though I find myself longing for quiet every now and then. Yesterday afternoon my children came to bring me their backpacks and school treasures and exchange them for their sleepover bags. They were so excited as they skipped along with their friends for their evening of fun. I went back to my classroom and cleaned up from the chaos of the day, did a few things that needed attending to prior to the weekend and week ahead, and then gathered my bags and coat to head home. My husband was going to try and come home early because he had been in meetings all day every day this past week and was quite tired. As I walked to the car, I stopped. I looked to see that I had all my bags, coat, keys, computer, the cord---which I often forget, and then started toward the car again. What did I forget? I walked slowly to the car because I knew I was going to remember and turn around and have to go back. As I reached the car and began to load my items in the back it dawned on me what my problem was. My children were missing! The constant babble and chatter, the tons of book bags, lunchboxes, violin, music books and coats weren't there to load. It felt very odd. Almost unsettling. I drove home in silence. That in and of itself is a beautiful thing on any given day, yet specifically on a Friday afternoon after a week of school it was so strange. I arrived home to find my cat sitting at her food bowl giving me "what for" about it being empty. She weighs less than 6 pounds soaking wet and yet she gets very feisty when her bowl is empty. I fixed her some supper and then my husband came in. He had a little bit of work to finish upstairs on the computer so I went downstairs to catch my breath. I sat on the sofa and closed my eyes for a minute. After sitting there for a few minutes I heard the strangest sound. I sat their trying to figure it out. Was it dripping? Was it tapping? After several minutes of pondering what this unusual sound was, I figured it out. It was the paws of my cat walking across the floor!!!! The house was so quiet I could hear the cat walking across the floor. My husband finished his work about an hour later and we went to dinner. We had the best time. We walked right into P.F. Chang's. That was a first. Tables for two are easier to come by, I suppose. We talked and had the most tasty dinner. Afterwards we went to REI to find me some snow boots. Everyone is sold out of snow boots. I neglected to get myself some when they first came out. So we ordered them at the store to be shipped to the house.....for the next time it snows. (Now that I have boots, it won't snow!) After that we did a bit more looking around and then we headed home. We got in our warm p.j.'s and settled in for some TV. We had a very nice evening and enjoyed each other's company so much. It was very restful.
I still missed my children. I told my husband that I really like the feeling of everyone under my roof and that I feel strange when the kids are gone. I asked him if he felt "lost" as well. He said, "no...it must be a mother thing." haha Don't get me wrong, he loves his girls! I do, however think that it is "a mother thing" as he put it.
I went to bed and slept until 8:00! We had coffee and breakfast together before he set out to pick up the girls and the three of them took our dear 14 year old friend, Lucy to the vet. She weighs 5 lbs 13 oz...same as last year. She eats. She is playful. She is cuddly. She's just very very small. Even her "meow" is small.
So thankful for a restful night with my husband. It was quiet. It was needed. It was strange. It was a glimpse into the future when we are "empty-nesters". I am so glad I am married to my best friend.
I am glad my children are home. I am also glad they have sweet friends to spend the night with.
I know that others are experiencing the incredible emptiness of children growing up and moving away. I know that I have more years to look forward to. I plan to cherish this time.
One is playing. One is asleep. Husband is studying. Washing machine is humming. All is well. All is well.