Monday, February 7, 2011

The Wild Life

Every once in awhile I get a few hours to myself on a weeknight, a few hours when no one else is home, when no one needs to be picked up within 20 minutes of my arrival home from work, a few hours when even the pets are resting and don't need my attention. Today isn't exactly one of those days; my daughter needed to stay home from school as she isn't feeling well; but it's pretty close. The two of us got the pets fed and they are now resting. My daughter is watching a marathon of her favorite tv show and I have snuck away into the back room where it's warm and quiet and dark. I figure I have about an hour before I have to pick up her brother and sister from their ski program. I have about an hour to rest and to write.

Every stage of my children's lives has brought new schedules and new demands. When they were babies, I'd rest when they rested, enjoying a little solitude in between diaper changes, feedings, and general playtime. When they were toddlers, we'd arrive home together after a day of work or childcare and we'd fix supper together and take time to snuggle. When they started school, we'd shop for school supplies for their newest project and we'd empty lunch boxes together. I'd sign off on their daily homework and we'd often take time to play a board game or to make a puzzle. And now that my children are quite independent with their school responsibilities, my afternoons after work are usually spent taxiing them to their activities and back home again. I still prep dinner and help with the shopping of school supplies, but an important focus of the pre-teen and teen years is carving out time to talk, or rather time to listen, to "check in" with each child before he or she slips out again to the next activity.

I sometimes think about my colleagues at work who do not go home to children at the end of a long school day. I know that I too will experience that "wildlife" some day and I have big plans. I'll come home and read, paint, do more house projects, and perhaps even volunteer more. I'll schedule more massages, go shopping, go out for dinner with friends, and maybe even take a few naps. It all seems luxurious...

But for now I'll savor today's hour in the comfort of my family room at the back of the house. Sure, I can hear my daughter's tv show playing and I know I need to start thinking about what to feed everyone for dinner, and I now have only about 30 minutes before I have to go pick up the skiers. It's a different wild life I lead being the mom around here, but those massages and books can wait awhile longer. I'm living the good life.


  1. You go Mama Tiger....grrrrrr

  2. Yep, I know what you mean. My plans for the future are ever-changing, but I never stop dreaming about the possibilities.