Friday, July 22, 2011

When They're Gone

My alarm shatters the relative peace of a 90 degree night in July.  Its 4:45 AM, and that's my wake up call.  I shift the downy head of little Peter from the crook of my arm where he's lain, nestled and nursing, since bedtime last night.  I grab t shirt and yoga pants up off the floor and tiptoe past the air mattress on the floor where the four big kids have drifted, one after another, attempting to beat the heat.  At the doorway I pause and look back, the 6 people I love the best all in one room, dreaming separate dreams together.

Downstairs I gather up 4 pair of shoes and get that last load out of the dryer before heading back upstairs and waking them, one at a time.  They rub sleep filled eyes and look blankly up at me as I whisper "its time!  Time to go to the beach!"  Grandma and Grandpa, taking them for an overnight, leaving while it is still dark.  One by one they sneak down the stairs and soon my kitchen is filled with little voices chattering all in excitement.  We look out the back window to see if the light is on in Grandma's kitchen.  It is.

All too soon, they are buckled into car seats and I kiss them one last time, remind them to be good.  All too soon, our minivan pulls away and I wave goodbye.  Dawn begins breaking as I head back to bed.

When they're gone, I get more sleep.  A nice long shower, too.  A breakfast date with my husband.

When they're gone, the house stays clean.  There are no crumbs on the floor, no toothpaste in the sinks, no toys to trip over.

When they're gone, the house is quiet;  baby can nap without interruption.  I have time to do whatever it is I want to do, alone.  No one asks me what's for lunch or needs me to break up a quarrel.

But when they're gone, so is the laughter.  So are their little voices.  Little bodies that snuggle close, too.  There is no one to read to, no one to tickle, no one coming up to me to kiss me and tell me "I love you, Mama."

I'll admit, I like this brief break, but I am looking forward to my messy, loud, giggly, needy kids coming home tomorrow.  Even if that means no shower for me.

This time of life, when the children are little?  I know I'll be looking back on the moments with them as some of the happiest of my life.
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  1. I also welcome the break, but quickly miss them when they are gone! :)
    Enjoy your time!! :)

  2. Yes, it is so nice to have a wee break, but it is so wonderful that they aren't gone for good!! It is so good to remember that this time is fleeting, isn't it?!
    Thanks for the great post and reminder!

  3. I always think I want time alone and then when I get it all I want to is to be with my babies again.

  4. tears... bunches and bunches of tears! :-)

  5. So Lydia, I love love love reading your blog. I hardly comment due to lack of time of chasing a little one, but figured it was time I left you some love!

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  9. Hi Lydia, I'm your newest follower! I am enjoying your writing tremendously! You sure can paint a picture with words! It's lovely stuff!!!

  10. I'd like the chance to miss just doesn't ever come. LOL but my husband says he only enjoys the quiet for about 2 days when I take them alone to grandma and grandpa's. Funny that he never volunteers to do the solo outing then, eh?

  11. My kids are 9, 9, 7, and 4...and showers are still over-rated! :)


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