Our boys are old enough for us to leave them on their own for a few hours. We make sure the ‘Burb has gas and Danny has the insurance card and Mike and I are good to go. But, we know they’re home. We know they are beating each other up and challenging one another to find ways to terrify Andy. It’s not really freedom. In fact, it’s just easier to stay home.
BUT … once a year, my mom comes and collects the kids. Every Christmas, they all get a bookstore gift card from my parents and, in the spring, spending the card (and the night with my parents) is THE event. I kept thinking the older boys would grow out of this tradition, but, truly, they were more excited than Andy. Sunday afternoon, my mom came and grabbed the boys. Not one of them seemed remotely sad to leave us (lol – this is fine as I was doing cheerleader jumps as my mom pulled away from our house).
Mike and I were really on our own. It’s been a year since this last happened. Scary territory. Mike napped for a while – yes, you read that right, Mike napped. I puttered around enjoying the fact that every time I picked something up from the floor it wasn’t replaced with new stuff. In fact, the house was pretty clean and shiny when Mike woke up AND I’d had my fill of random television “news”. I’m pathetic, cleaning AND news puts me in a really good mood.
We watched some bad television while Mike woke up and decided to go to Bahama Breeze to sit on the rainy porch in the unusually cool weather we’ve been having. We each got an Aruba Red beer and munched on appetizers at our leisure – normally, we have to scarf down what we want before the boys are spitting out broken china. We were able to talk about things without resorting to hiding in the driveway for privacy. It was fun. You know. Like a date, but your date doesn’t care that you’re wearing your teenage son’s stinky sweatshirt from the back of the tank you drive because you’re freezing and don’t want to go inside. That kind of date. The good kind.
This morning, I slept in – WAY in. I love to sleep in, but usually it’s more of me hiding under the covers than it is sleeping. The only time I REALLY sleep in is when Mike is here and when I know exactly where the kids are. This morning was HEAVEN.
Mike, early bird that he is, got up, cooked himself a great breakfast (if the dishes were any indication) and had himself a TiVo fest! He watched all the stuff he’d been saving today. When I finally started moving, he was happily curled up on the couch watching LaCrosse and half-reading his book. Mike NEVER does this. EVER. The only thing that might have made him happier was an ice cream cone. This was a seriously happy man. I walked through, waved, got my Diet Coke and went back to read in our room. It was strange. This house is small and while we love and enjoy our kids, simply sitting and doing nothing is a RARE, RARE thing in our house. To sit alone and do whatever – PRICELESS!
Did we give a thought to my parents? Ummm …. not until about 3 pm today. We headed over to there, torn between the silence and talking about things you can’t talk about with kids in the car. Silence mostly won. It’s really such a good thing.
As we peeked into my parents house we saw my dad, Danny and Andy huddled over something in the dining room. When we came in we saw they were doing one of those impossible jigsaw puzzles. Tim and Ian were taking refuge with my mom in the kitchen. No one seemed to have missed us. But, we didn’t really miss them either, so I guess it’s fair.
We spent a lot of time talking about books – each boy had his own haul to talk about. We had an awesome dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob, potato salad (I just finished the last of that particular leftover), salad with tomatoes from our garden and strawberry shortcakes.
In the end, we were forced (my parents turned out all the lights and locked up the house) to take the boys home again. They must have been really well-behaved with my folks – they were beating each other up by the first stop sign and it continued for the entire ride home (about 30 minutes). Gah! But, it’s a small price to pay if they’re human “on the outside” world, right?