While I really miss the energy of having kids around, I have quickly adapted to the quiet and solitude of a childless home. It has been 21 years since I've known it and I have to admit, I kinda like it. A few observations about life with just us:
- One of the unexpected pleasures I've discovered is coming home to a house that was very much the same as I left it. No backpacks laying around, no food containers or dishes on the banister pillar and no coming and going at any hour of the day or night.
- At the same time, the other day it was so beautiful out I thought, "I should get Ben out for some golf this weekend." Oh, wait. Those are the moments Ben, Sarah and I have been joking about for years when we said, "Cats in the cradle..." We have nothing to be sorry for as far as doing things together as a family, because we've done a ton of things. But because time does fly so fast, we will always have regrets about the things we could have done if we'd made more of an effort.
- Donna pulled into the driveway the other day after work and saw the Santa Fe and immediately thought, "Oh, Ben must be home from school/work." Oh, wait.
- Our mornings are downright subdued and calm nowadays. No more shouting up the stairs for either of them to get up and get to school. I'd like to say I miss this, but I really don't. It makes for a much calmer morning.
- One or other of the cars is always home. After about a 6 year period of practically having to ask permission or make reservations to use my own car, I finally have full and complete custody again...for the next 9 months, anyway. Excluding holidays, of course.
- I do miss having deep conversations about the world with my kids. It is always refreshing to get a young person's perspective on things, and my kids were great at it.
- I do not miss, however, my son jumping out from behind doors and scaring the bejeebers out of me. This was a source of great amusement for him and there were times it brought me to my knees in fear.
- I must say I also miss hearing their laughter from upstairs as they laugh at the latest dumb YouTube video, meme or online game they are playing. There is a joy in hearing other people's laughter, for sure.
- I also miss having them around the dinner table. For the past 10 years or so it has pretty much been the only meal we've been able to get together around. It was always our chance to touch base before evening and there were always some good laughs too. When they are home for break, we make an attempt to eat together as much as possible. It is precious time.
So that is the view from one week out. Some good, some bad. The good is growing on me and I hope to get over the bad eventually and move on with our life of two. We both have to examine and fall back on the reasons we fell in love together - it wasn't the kids back then, it was us. And this time alone will be a time of rediscovering who we are and where we've been.
And that part is exciting.
Because, in my opinion, we've made a beautiful story.