Monday, June 7, 2010


The quiet in the house is deafening. When Cutie Pie came in the door from work today, he made the sound of crickets. We laughed, but was odd. My kids are off visiting family for a week. The first day of freedom brings an uneasy feeling. CP and I walk out of church and straight to our car without stopping to pick up Sunday School girls, without pausing to chat with other families, without passing Go. My mommy brain surveys the scene suspiciously and whispers, "Aren't you forgetting something?" We feel out of place, like a pair of single people being given a wide berth on our awkward first date. We wonder if we are allowed to go home together to an empty house. We do it anyway.

The next day is better. We go to work, and I hang around the library afterward browsing books of my choice, far away from the children's section. An hour slips away, and no one cares. I go to the grocery store without a list and remember everything I need to buy. I don't yell at anyone to stop running or to cease and desist punching their sibling. This makes me smile secretly to myself because I think how funny it would be if I actually did yell at a fellow shopper to stop running and threaten her with no free sugar cookies if she keeps behaving in such a manner. I relish the knowledge of my ability to embarrass total strangers as well as close family members. My grocery bill is $32.76. This is a small miracle, and it is enough to keep CP and I in food for a whole week. It's like fishes and loaves.

We make dinner at a leisurely pace. I don't have to refer to a recipe 90 times because I am distracted. I go with the flow and cook on a dime, the process feeling kind of organic and fun. I don't require alcohol to get through it. We eat grilled salmon, lemon parmesan risotto and a fresh cucumber and tomato salad. No one says ewwww. No one says what's this green stuff. No one says why don't you ever cook something that I like. No one begs for dessert or cries when they are told they aren't getting any. Life is good. But it's still quiet. And I still miss them.

What will I do when they leave me? What will I do when I can't hear their little voices and running footsteps filling all the rooms of my house? I guess I will be reduced to reprimanding strangers in the grocery store and remembering the unspeakable fullness of these days.