I'm all alone.
Yesterday I dropped the twins off at the 3 day long sleepover camp offered by their big sister's camp - and for the first time in 10 years, I am alone.
Sure I've had a night or two off here and there. I've had some great overnights with girlfriends, a spa weekend here and there and I even had a few days last fall when I went to NYC on business by myself. But I never really felt alone. I could always call, they were with our babysitter and hence under my care. They were within reach. Not like now.
They're at camp now and for three days I don't get to speak with them, have input in their activities, or be a primary part of their lives.
My boyfriend is back in LA, working. My Ex is off "stretching" or doing something else athletic with his incredibly fit girlfriend. I am here in Woodstock, by myself.
And the first thing I did was cry.
Well first I went shopping. After all their camp is near Woodbury Commons and well, I couldn't let an opportunity for some quality outlet shopping go by. The opportunity to walk into a store sans child was a great way to celebrate my freedom.
I could browse, I could savor, I could focus on the task at hand. Hmm...do I like the blue or the green better on me. I could hold the shirts up in front of the mirror and truly contemplate this dilemma without children breathing on the glass, drawing smiley faces in the condensation. I could try on a few different things without a kid melting against the wall, sinking, saying "I'm Booooooooord!" I could hit "just one more shop" before I left without paying for it in whining and tears. It was so liberating.
They weren't hiding in the racks, terrorizing other shoppers, and just plain making shopping an unpleasant experience.
I didn't even buy much. Just a little See by Chloe sun dress and a pair of short black Jimmy Choo boots for like 85% off (they're FABULOUS!).
But then I got back to the house in Woodstock.
I walked into the house I'd been sharing with my twins since we dropped their sister at camp and it was empty. Empty in the way that something can be it's emptiest. Abandoned, rumpled bedsheets, broken art projects, stray silly bandz, half used bottles of kids' shampoo, and open boxes of pop-tarts that will never be finished. All of these things were reminders of what was supposed to be there, what had been there, what was no longer there...and what wouldn't be there again because I would be packing up the house alone and leaving before I saw them again.
The spacious, quiet air rushed through me as I breathed, leaving my soul with the taste of emptiness.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those mom's who always wants to be with her kids. In fact, if you follow Mommy Lite, you know - I'm one of those moms that complains I'm always with my kids. I can't get 5 minutes alone on the toilet to pee and it drives me insane. So you can imagine my shock when I stepped into my rental house, ready to embrace the peace and quiet and solitude and instead felt only a wave of nausea.
It wasn't right. The house wasn't right.
I went for a walk. I tried to savor being alone. I kept telling myself how great it was to have a little time to myself. How HAPPY I should be. I had been WAITING for this! WAITING for the first week of my life in TEN YEARS without children! Waiting to live like the prechild carefree soul I had been. Free of worry, free of responsibility, able to focus on a single task without having to wipe someone's butt, pour some milk, or break up a fight. I should have been ecstatic to be in this gorgeous place so far from Los Angeles, so different, so beautiful, so peaceful. But it wasn't right. Not without them.
And that's when I cried.
At the top of the mountain at the top of my street, looking back down the darkening road I had just climbed, knowing when I got back to the house that had been FILLED with love, laughter and yes...lots of screaming and tears...it would be empty.
I've heard it said that wherever you are with your family is home. Well right now. At this moment...oh, soooo desperately...I want to be home.