I took off a few days last week to drive to Des Moines for a much-needed visit with Emily and Dennis. All by myself. For four days. I don't think I've done anything like that in the 26+years I've been married, in the almost 23 years I've been a Mom.
Usually, if I'm going to be out of the house for a day, or perhaps even overnight, I leave a long list of marching orders for the kids at home. School assignments, chore lists, menu plans - everything I think they'll need to keep them busy, productive, and fed until I get back. But not this time. I'd been trying to plan a visit for months, and I was beginning to realize that, if I didn't just leave, I was never going to get away. So this time, I just got in the car and drove.
One of the reasons I am not particularly fond of even short "holidays" away from home is that I dread the mountain of work that awaits me upon my return. Coming back into the nest, road weary and descending from a festival mood, it is so difficult to walk back into the house. Of course, everyone will be fine and things will have motored along alright without me - but without Mom in the harness for a few days, there will definitely be some catch up work. I have a hard enough time staying on top of household chores, etc., when I am rested and in my normal routine. After a break, when I'm off my sleep and have been imbibing a great deal of personal liberty, I have to admit I'm not always excited about stepping back into such a heavy harness!
But here is what greeted me when I pulled into the driveway Saturday evening, my bones buzzing from a 10-hour drive....
Martha was cooking dinner. Martha had made out menus and a shopping list, and she and Grammy ran to the grocery store during my absence (not only had I not made out menus, I hadn't even stocked the pantry). I unpacked my suitcase, then sat down to a hot meal of porkchops, peas, rice, and fried apples. Yum!
Without any schoolwork assigned for the four days, my kids found other ways to entertain themselves. They washed all the windows. They washed woodwork. They did laundry, dusted the house, and mopped the floors. They picked up the yard, weed-eated (is that a word?), hauled wood, and got a head-start on preparations for this week's bonfire - more on that event in a later post!
And they doled out copious smiles and hugs, along with excited chatter about the week's news and activities.
All to say, this re-entry was way easier than anticipated! And now, I am back in the harness, grateful to my six youngers for giving me a real holiday.
3 weeks ago