August 22, 2011

Home Alone

It’s 10 A.M. and the house is so quiet. I’m sitting on my bed, in my very own room, surrounded by my notebooks and random scribbled index cards. I spend almost no time in this room, though it is arguably the nicest in the house— peacefully painted a barely-there blue, just enough light from the windows and somehow remains cool even in the middle of the afternoon.

And it’s so quiet.

Today is the first day of school. We were up by 6 in the pre-dawn, out the door by 7. The girls were eager to get going, hair for once smoothly brushed (I pulled out the hairspray, ever hopeful to fend off the Bam-Bam chic they usually sport). Anna’s school was all a-bubble with students and parents waiting outside for those doors to first open. I made Anna lead the way in through the masses even though she kept trying to hide behind me. We got her settled in her class, name tag on and teacher calmly saying hello as if she and Anna were old friends.

Anna clung to me a bit as I left, but never left her seat and didn’t shed a tear. As for me… well. No tears were actually shed, but I won’t deny a misty sheen to my vision as we walked to the car.

Silvia was much harder. Jack and I walked her in. I helped her pick out a cubby, hang up her Very Own Special backpack (a big deal, indeed), said hello to the teacher and then settled her down at a table to color a picture while we waited for some more kids to arrive.

She wouldn’t color. She wouldn’t face the table, instead turning sideways in her chair and trying to lean into my arms. I waited a few more moments then kissed her pale, scared face, pulled her tight arms from my neck and left. When I glanced back, she was standing by her chair, facing the door, arms crossed in front of her. Watching me.

This time, the misty sheen over my sight was accompanied by a tight jaw and focused breathing. Damn. That was hard.

Instead of working out as I had planned, I took Jack home and we played quietly for an hour or so.

Quietly. No screaming, no thunder-booms of laughter and toys hitting the ground, no pounding feet echoing across hardwood floors. Just me, a baby and some little cars rolling back and forth, their wheels creating a subtle humm-humm between us.

Jack just went down for a nap and here I am— ensconced on my bed, writing on my own time, listening to nothing but the sound of the fan overhead. I haven’t had a full-day away from the girls since the last week in May, when school finished and we decided to keep them out of summer camp to spend their last weeks in Colorado free.

Strangely, I just don’t know what to do with myself. Chores? Sure, but that feels a little like a waste of quiet and solitude. I could watch TV (and by that I mean NOT Sprout or Nick Jr. or the Disney Channel), but again… precious silence too fragile yet to break.

This is so WEIRD.

And the weirdest thing? I miss my girls, big time. After all the stress and irritation of being home with them, locked inside because of the heat, you'd think I'd be doing a tippy-toe happy dance around the house (so as not the wake the baby). I'm surprised at myself, too. By Friday I'll probably have my dance moves perfected. Today though, I really want to call the schools and ask someone to go check on them, make sure they’re not huddled in a corner crying. I won’t, of course. I did that when Anna first started preschool, but I have three kids now. I’m a big, tough experienced mom, thick skinned and blasé about such things. What-EV-ah, they're fine, who cares. Time to LIVE IT UP.

(I’m gonna go hide the phone now, before I crack and get myself officially labeled as “THAT” mom.)

1 comment:

jenny said...

you did good, mom. the girls are in great hands and i have full confidence that you will find good use for this new "time". I am good friends with one of Sylvia's teachers, Kari Buckhold, and you'll all love her.