It was lovely and weird. Not cleaning messes, wiping asses and refereeing epic sibling battles felt foreign and, as odd as it may sound, bordered on uncomfortable. On more than one occasion, we looked at each other and asked “Should we be DOING something?”.
I was able to read almost an entire book in less than 2 years. I took my time making lunch and dinner. One night, I knowingly left dishes in the kitchen sink. I didn’t set an alarm to wake me either morning and I didn’t remind anyone to finish their eggs at breakfast. I took a long, hot bubble bath and no one knocked on the door- not once. I didn’t have to tune out a single cartoon or obnoxious app. I had only myself to dress. There were no arguments, negotiations or time outs. Garrett was very well-behaved.
All of it was awesome and, somehow, a little agitating. By the time I’d (nearly) convinced myself not to feel guilty or that I was being utterly lazy, it was time to head back home.
The kids were happy to see us but gave us no reprieve.
Within minutes of walking into our home, I was loading the dishwasher and cleaning an unknown substance from the carpet. There was laundry to tackle and crusts to cut off of sandwiches. Norah had a poop.
While tucking Leo into bed that night, he asked “Where did you and Daddy go?”
Me: “We went went out of town for a couple of days.”
Leo: “Why didn’t you take us?”
Me: “It was just a Mom and Dad trip this time, buddy.”
Leo: “Did you have fun?”
Me: “We did, yeah.”
Leo: “Did you go to a fair or something?”
Me: “No, we went to the lake.”
Leo: “What did you do there?”
Me: “Not much. We just hung out with each other.”
Leo: “That’s it? That sounds boring.”
Me: “It was- it was awesome. I missed you guys, though.”
Leo: “What do you mean it was ‘awesome’? You didn’t even DO anything.”
Me: “Exactly. We’re usually doing everything so it was nice to just do nothing for a couple of days.”
Leo: “I don’t even know what you’re talking about. Your life makes me sad. I never want to grow up and not be able to play games and have fun and stuff.”
Me: “We had fun- it’s just a different kind of fun when you grow up.”
Leo: “Did you play games? Like, Twister or something?”
Me: “We totally played Twister! How did you know?”
Leo: “I just know stuff…and that’s the dumbest game in the world so I figured that’s what you played.”
Yeah, kid? It’s not so dumb when it’s Naked Twister, you don’t have to worry about locking a door behind you and then you can take a damn nap afterwards.
That’s not sad- that’s grown- up fun. It is badass, deserving of fireworks and a marching band and incredibly infrequent.