I told my husband this very seductive story last night.
It was about a time when, on the weekends, we will have nothing to do. How we will wonder what should we do to fill the day.
He interrupted my tale at once and said he didn't believe me.
"No, it is true! We will turn to Chronicle for ideas about where to go. We will stay at bed-and-breakfasts just to get out of the house...."
"You are making this up!" he said as he wiped the guts of a pumpkin from his hands so he could start carving.
"I mean it. You'll see!" I replied, itching my nose with my wrist, my hands sudsy from scrubbing a cheese grater, and getting splashed by the new dishes the sugared-up kids were throwing in the sink. "For reals!"
"We will never not have to do something." He was adamant.
"That is what all parents think and then suddenly we won't be needed."
On a Sunday night after a busy weekend, my words were a comfort to our weary selves.
As I woke to a quiet house, pre-dawn, my thinking about it has taken a well-rested turn in direction.
I will miss these weekends.
I will miss being needed.
With three kids, the being needed will wean out, thankfully, but it will happen. I am not sure how much longer I will hear "One more hug and kiss!" while I am trying to leave their bedroom at night. Sometimes? I drag my feet going back in to give it to them. I self talk- "they need this, they are asking for this, make sure they feel this love to send them to sleep." I could feel bad about the dragging feet, but I know I am not a bad parent for being done by 9pm. Days can be exhausting.
I am on the cusp of the possibility that my oldest will withdraw from me for a while. I can see the balancing act of it. When to return her hug fiercely, when to grab her for one on one. When to add the humor and when to remove it from a situation. When to let the slamming of a door go and when to march up there, young lady, and let her know what is what. Soon, that door will be open and the room quiet because she will be away in school or in her apartment, or in her house that I will hope hope hope is in my town or near by.
I remember when I lived in PA my mom told me I lived far away in the boonies. When I finally made it back to MA to live, my mom told me I lived too far away from the Cape. Now, 50 mins from her apartment in Boston, my mom took my hand and said "I wish you lived closer." And on quiet mornings like this, I know what she means. Me, too, mom.
Someday, my husband and I will have nothing to do. And those first few weekends, we are going to relish it. We are going to spin in it, and take road trips, and sit and read, and grocery shop together (my fantasy) and sleep in (his fantasy) and eat dinner at 9pm like we did when first married, and maybe move back to NYC. Or maybe he can convert my porch into an all season one and we'll just stay here forever where our kids have space to return. And we will count the days until they do. And we will keep busy getting their favorite foods and planning a winning outing we can all do together, and hope they have allotted us some time during their visit to hang out with us. We will be pretty bored by then I am sure.
And I hope they live closer.