I’d forgotten what silence sounds like. My husband took my son to meet up with some other guys with babies at a pub, leaving me in a dreadfully empty house.
When my husband first asked if it would be okay for him to have some guy time this Sunday, I pouted a bit (I’m usually with my son non-stop Friday afternoon through Monday morning trying to store up his sweetness for the week), but then started thinking of all the things I could do with some uninterrupted “me time.” There’s the obvious – call back friends whose voicemails have been on my phone an embarrassingly long time, iron suits for the coming week, or take a long bubble bath (just me, some aromatherapy, and The Economist) – or something more fun – I could wrangle a few girlfriends for a frozen yogurt date, finish the teddy bear I started knitting before my son was born, or go for a run. So I agreed.
As it happened, when the boys were getting ready to leave, I felt really left out. It made me sad to see how efficient my husband was at getting our baby dressed, packing the diaper bag, and whisking the stroller out the door. I know he does it every day, but when I’m around, he generally preserves the pretense of needing my help.
To ease the separation anxiety (mine!), I left the house a few minutes before my boys and jogged to an adult ballet class. I hadn’t been in more than a year, and it seriously kicked my butt. I enjoyed it, and pondered the possibility of making the class a regular Sunday thing, but deep down I know I’m not ready to give up time with my family. Not yet.
Walking in to the empty apartment felt very strange. Our cat met me at the door, but returned to her perch on my favorite chair when she saw that it wasn’t supper time yet. I made myself a decadent lunch (eggs benedict and a fresh mango smoothie) and considered treating myself to a long shower, but decided I’d better wait since I am likely to be assaulted with drool, spit-up, and sweet potatoes before the day is through.
I puttered around for a bit before sitting down to write this post. I always say that if I had more quiet time I would write more, but now it’s too quiet. The buzz of the air conditioner, the bubbling of the fish tank, the distant sound of traffic, and the occasional cat noise are distracting in that they call attention to the lack of babbling and squeals from my son, text message chimes from my husband’s cell, the squeak of baby toys, the rumbling of the tea kettle, and the other things that make this house my home.
The boys have just returned, and they are both very happy to see me. I am secretly pleased that my husband forgot to pack a bottle – proof that I am still needed in this family. My son is moving from fussy to frustrated to frantic with hunger, but his grumbles are music to my ears.