thanks and misgivings ~ 11/28/2010

Following a long holiday weekend filled with food, drink, and family, I have once again realized how very fortunate I am. My world, while complicated at times due to the attempt to write and publish fiction, is more often than not one of simple pleasures.

Case in point: my husband and son were home with me this past week. Nine days. Now, I must offer a full confession that when they are off school/work for multiple days rather than the standard weekend, my blood pressure raises a few notches, and I consume more wine than usual. You see for this stay-at-home mom, the traditional “day off” no longer exists. Unless I am physically away from this house, I don’t truly experience “time off”. In my hub and kid’s eyes, however, it’s a fantastically relaxing time; one where alarms and schedules are replaced with pajamas and television. To me, it’s just more of the same. There are still meals to plan and prepare, chores and projects to complete, errands to run, and something else I know I’m forgetting that also must be done. Add the fact that they are here the entire time – 24/7 – and it quadruples all of the above.

Yet still, if there is anything to be gained from their eternal presence, incessant noise, and never-ending messes, it would be this: I do experience a quasi-version of “time off”. The absence of routine means I, too, can stay in pajamas, make meals of questionable nutrition, play spontaneous games, and snuggle longer on the couch with my little boy. For they force me, indirectly, to veer away from my usual tasks and join in the fun. It’s hard to concentrate on major projects when I hear laughter from the other room. There’s little reason to keep the house picked up when I know it will be cluttered again in 10 minutes. So I don’t bother, opting instead to go with the flow, all the while reminding myself how lucky I am to have them home for these periods of time. We’re blessed to have such an opportunity to bond as a family unit and in turn, eventually  become tired of one another.

I joke about how I can’t wait for peace and quiet to return come the next Monday, and while I do mean it to some degree, I also miss them and the cheerful spontaneity of our days. So this Sunday evening, we’ll snuggle a bit longer in front of the fire. And when my son chatters non-stop and my husband loudly shushes him and no one hears or watches the movie I’ve waited all week to watch, I’ll silently remind myself that life is as it should be – for now, and time will once again be mine – tomorrow… 

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