I woke up this morning and as I gradually woke up, my heart did a little jump when I realized today is THE DAY I have been looking forward to. Yesterday, was one of those days, but that was okay because I kept thinking, “Tomorrow night I will be ALONE for almost three HOURS!” For those of you who don’t know, I homeschool our four children. They are in 2nd, 6th, 8th and 9th grade now, so these days are a little more smooth than the earlier years, but the kids go to bed later and are starting to spread their wings a bit and do more outside of the home. For this reason, I have found I have very little time to myself. Even the coveted bedtime has been switched to the older ones now tucking us in bed. Anyway, the awesome thing about homeschooling is that your kids are always with you. The hard part about homeschooling is that your kids are always with you. Some days I just need a little space, which is why my husband came up with the brilliant plan that I would stay home on Wednesday nights since he heads up the boys’ program at church and the kids all have something they’re involved in at church on Wednesdays. I thought about it for exactly two seconds before I readily agreed that this was one of the best ideas I had ever heard. This little oasis is exactly what I began focusing on yesterday. I thought that possibly running away into the mountains wasn’t necessary because I would get my THREE HOURS. You see, yesterday was one of those days where I considered for longer than a minute, moving to a remote cabin in the mountains and returning in approximately eleven years. (In case you’re wondering, our youngest is seven – do the math and it won’t be a mystery to you on why I chose eleven years) Thankfully, today was nothing like yesterday and most of our days aren’t like that.
All day, I was looking at the clock and counting down the hours. I know that sounds pathetic, but at 2:30 when I looked at the clock I thought, “It’s like I will be alone from now until 5:30! That’s a LONG time!! That’s two whole movies or six Veggie Tales. We used to calculate time with our kids based on the length of Veggie Tales. They understood it took the time of five Veggie Tales episodes to get to Kearney to visit the in-laws. Anyway, all day I glanced longingly at my favorite chair and my stack of books and journal on the table. Four hours, three hours, two hours…
At 4:45 I got everyone dinner so that they’d be ready to leave at 5:30 sharp. And then it happened. I looked at Drew’s little face and his eyes looked slightly watery. He asked for medicine. His head hurt. I slowly realized that my dream of three hours was fading away. I felt a little like Scrat with the acorn in the movie, Ice Age. I asked him if he wanted to stay home or go to church. After much debate, he decided he wanted to stay home and watch a movie. Actually, I decided for him.
“Great!” I thought, “I’ll just stick a movie in and we’ll be good.” The movie was all set to go and the DVD player jammed. It’s never.never.never. done this. NEVER! I said, “Okay, let’s watch a show.” Nope. That didn’t work either because there was nothing on. “Alright then, let’s rent something on Amazon.” Nope. I don’t know the passwords I need for all of the millions of TV screens I have to jump through. Did I mention that I never watch TV because I seriously hate watching TV? I don’t have any moral objection or anything, I just don’t like it all and I realized tonight I can’t figure it out even if I try. Believe me I tried. We got the TV a year and a half ago and know how to turn it on – that’s it. Well, apparently I also know how to mess up some settings. First order of business tomorrow – have the older kids teach me to use the TV.
I don’t get my three hours of solitude tonight, but that’s okay becaue I get to spend it with this guy.
I mean, this is kind of where the rubber meets the road right? A few weeks ago, I wrote about how usually our inconveniences are the purpose of our day. Well, at first this felt like a pretty big inconvenience – the kind that can make a grown woman get misty eyed and not with sentimental fedfelings, mind you. HE’S not an inconvenience, but the kid loves Wednesday nights and out of all the days of the week, he had to be sick tonight? Really? He was more than happy to go to church and see his friends, so he was a little sad too. He was really sad because he wanted to watch Narnia and then the DVD jammed. His night wasn’t going as he planned either. I didn’t get my night of solitude, but I got to hold him for about an hour while he watched a couple of episodes of Wild Krats. After that, we played Sorry! and then ate ice cream.
Looking back at my day, I think the most important part of my day was just being with him. These extended moments with just him where we have nothing else to do are few and far between. We talked and laughed and I listened to cousin stories. I got to hear the antics that he and the cousins carry out when no adults are around. A night of solitude – amazing. A night alone with my seven year old? – priceless.