I'm writing this from my living room couch. Surrounding me is a plate of cold pizza, an empty Diet Dr. Pepper, newspapers, notebooks, regular books, a pen, a bottle of nail polish, and the cordless phone. The thought that occurs to me is, "So this is what my life would look like if I lived alone."
The family is scattered around Utah this weekend. Ryan took Noah and Zack down to St. George to attend a couple of Star Wars events. Brad is at Conclave, a Boy Scout Order of the Arrow campout. Except they aren't camping, they're staying in a building (or, if they're lucky, a teepee) so I don't know what to call it. A retreat sounds too girly considering one of the classes being offered is "Brain Tanning" - how to tan hides with animal brains. I didn't even know that was legal.
Which leaves me and Darcey, the last remaining settlers at Fort Simmons. And I have to say, it has been delightful. Once I realized Darcey can change videos in the VCR, my weekend was set. No, no, just kidding. Even without the tv, Darcey is fairly low-maintenance. We went to the park today and spent time in the front yard playing with friends. She was great to run some errands with me (it was her that chose the pizza - I was aiming for a mexican drive-thru, the only drive-thru in town that sells fried ice cream.) Plus, she goes to bed nice and early. I've been able to get a ton of writing done while she played. It's been delightful.
The best part about this is the complete and total lack of guilt. While I firmly believe that mothers especially need to get some alone time on a regular basis, I will be the first to admit that the alone-ness comes with a price. Either I feel like I'm neglecting my kids or I'm neglecting my husband, or I'm neglecting my kids while burdening my husband (a double-whammy). Even when Ryan is completely supportive (i.e. handing me my keys and my shoes and gently, but lovingly, pushing me out the door before I lose my mind altogether) I feel bad. It doesn't stop me from going out, because I do need it. But it's always there, tainting my solitude. Well, not this time. This whole weekend was Ryan's idea, so I am off scot-free in the guilt department.
I've made my weekend a combination of productive and relaxing. While at the park, I gave Darcey her first lesson in swing-pumping. She needs to learn this one early - her two little girlfriends are both potty-trained and Darcey still has no concept of what I am expecting her to put in the potty every time she sits on it. I figure if we can get swinging down first, then it'll balance things out. I'm totally not one of those mothers who compares her child against other children, as long as Darcey is ahead.
So there you have it. The perfect recipe for a relaxing mom-weekend at home - one low-maintenance kid, beautiful weather, stuff to do (but not too much), and no guilt at all. Ahhhhhh....life is good. And don't worry, I'll clean all this up before you get home, Ryan.