Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last(ing) impressions

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Perfectly timed with my unspoken threat to run away with the circus, my biggest sister stepped in and swept my children away from me, all the way to Massachusetts, overnight for two nights.

They've been away for less than 24 hours,  and I am beside myself with the strangest mix of apprehension, giddiness, liberation, and the most profound sense that something, something essential to my identity, something etched into my bones and sewn into my soft tissue, is missing. There are ghosts in this house.

Madness, I tell you. It's madness.

And would it shock you to hear that the first instinct I had upon their departure, strapped in and grinning in my sister's car with nary a regret, was to lie down and go to sleep until morning.

How funny life is when the most exciting part of being apart from your kids is the ability to completely disregard pedestrian schedules.

Of course there are a million things I could be doing to take advantage of the fact that no one, no one, needs me right now--okay the dog keeps barking to go out, then come in, then go out again, but I can handle that--and I am practically paralyzed by choice.

I'm also haunted by the imprint my kids have left in my mind and on this house.

Like the memory of Isla, enjoying her new room. Her own space.


 And the serenity that comes with playing on the floor.

And the joy of making a pair of dress-up falsies, or "implants" as Essie calls them.

Or the two of them running down the hill to the library the other day. Honestly, can we get any closer to Walnut Grove?

And this, for which I have no explanation, but which I woke up to this morning.

And the seal of approval which comes with the decision to get back in bed in the morning.

 Unless, of course, you didn't stay in your bed all night.

And the perfection of a late afternoon bath.

With the little Mermaid in bondage.

Or one of our final summer days at the lake.

With actual time to read

a good book.


mooserbeans said...

Oh my goodness!! Dress up falsies? I wish I lived close to your house, your dress up is right up my daughter's alley:) Enjoy the time. My advice is to do what you want and don't feel guilty about whatever it is. I used my time off from the kids to watch crime dramas.

Tina G said...

Your world looks idyllic....lovely pictures....sleep and enjoy it!

Betsy said...

Mooserbeans: Yes. The falsies are a hoot. And they look fantastic on Isla. And the giggling they induce is better than Prozac.

Betsy said...

Tina G: I'm on my second night without kids. The first night was better than the last. How cruel for insomnia to strike at a time like this. ...

Megan said...

"I am practically paralyzed by choice.

I'm also haunted by the imprint my kids have left in my mind and on this house."


Motherhood is such a curious ride, and our children are very much the drivers. Sometimes, instead of, say, tidying up that Barbie in bondage, I'll find myself doing something like grabbing a giant crocodile and placing him at her feet with his jaws wide open. Or snipping a branch from my fern to add to the horse silhouettes.

The creativity they bring to every nook and cranny of our lives is priceless.
... and your kiddos are just too much! Falsies?! Your girls are awesome.

Seamingly Sarah said...

Why do we miss them so much the moment they leave? I alternate between frantically running around getting things done and just taking a nap. I'm sad to say the nap doesn't happen all that often.

Emma said...

oooh you lucky thing! It's nice to have some time away from the kids- as much as we adore them, everyone needs some time to recharge and just sit without being asked to get anything, wipe anyone's bottom, open jars and packets, find lost things and be a referee in disputes. And besides, how lovely is it to have that anticipation that your darlings will be home soon, and to have them fling themselves into your arms. Btw- Ruby dressed up as Laura Ingalls for school Book Week parade this week, your Walnut Grove comment reminds me to post a pic on my blog.

Candy said...

After reading this post, I realized I read your post about this on Babycenter the other day and I think it stuck in my subconscious and influenced my recent blog post... The pictures are beautiful - what a lovely place to live. (OH, and thanks for visiting my blog.:))

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