At first I was disappointed.
A few weeks ago I realized I wouldn’t be able to join my husband and daughters when they planned a visit to our hometown. My husband had a weekend of golfing planned, and my daughters were going to spend a week at my parents’ home. Then, I started to think back to the last time I was at home by myself for more than an hour. I couldn’t think of a single time. I now had the opportunity to be home for an entire weekend! The excitement started to set in.
What would I do? I could clean and organize the whole house. I could rearrange furniture or paint a room. The whole weekend was open for working on projects. (I naturally assumed that is what I would do.) I could visit all the stores I love that are not kid-friendly. What would it be like to shop and try on clothes without my five-year-old giggling or my two-year-old trying to crawl under the dressing room door? But maybe… just maybe… I could do nothing.
I certainly have days of not feeling productive, but I rarely do nothing.
So, needless to say, I was beginning to look forward to my time alone.
As I spent the day packing suitcases, my daughters must have plotted to create as much chaos as possible so I would truly enjoy the weekend by myself. It’s summer vacation, and therefore, I expect the oldest two to get on each other’s nerves. But this was one of the only times that the ‘baby’ (2 years old) was the one causing problems. It was my first attempt at putting her in time-out, and we had to do it twice that day. Neither attempt was successful. I zipped their suitcases, made sure they each had their blankets and stuffed animals, and hugged them goodbye.
My Weekend Alone
- After my family drove away, I watching almost an entire episode of “Odd Squad” before I realized I was the only one in the house.
- I turned off “Odd Squad” and lasted about 5 minutes in the silence before I decided to get out of the house.
- I drove to Hy-Vee and I took my time wandering up and down each aisle. I’m a total sucker for specialty foods, interesting produce, endcap displays. Without three kids hanging on the cart and shouting, I just wandered around at my own pace. Not a care in the world. I wasn’t worried about getting home quickly to get everyone fed and ready for bed.
- I grabbed some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, basil, shallots, and french bread, among other groceries that I bought for no one other than myself. Back at home I made a giant serving of bruschetta and sat on the couch.
- I stayed up late as usual and worked on some orders, but this time I did it while watching a chick flick (The Holiday) and not worrying how loud the volume was on the TV. There was no need to worry about waking anyone up.
I went to bed without setting an alarm knowing that without kids to come wake me up, it was possible that I wouldn’t actually leave bed the next day.
- I actually debated seeing if Jimmy Johns would deliver directly to my room if I didn’t want to get up.
- To my surprise, I woke up and had to force myself to stay in bed as I watched a couple episodes of Saved by the Bell. (Zack pretends to be Slater for his West Point interview and AC ends up telling his dad he wants to go to Iowa for Wrestling.)
- I decided to go do something. Anything. So I got ready and did what every mom does when they don’t have kids – I emptied the diapers, wipes, snacks, and crumbs out of my purse, which left my wallet and a half dozen lip glosses sitting at the bottom of my now empty purse.
- Next up I drove to Newbo in Cedar Rapids. I was excited about walking around by myself, but I was the most excited about lunch. I was craving Maggie’s Farm-Wood Fired Pizza, and if you haven’t had it, you need to!
- Almost immediately I realized I’m not someone who enjoys eating by themselves. But, I was going to try to embrace it, so I placed my order for my margarita pizza with prosciutto. I grabbed a glass-bottled Coke (my favorite beverage) and took a seat while I watched my pizza being made.
- I listened as a father/son enjoyed their pizza next to me. The dad was giving a history lesson, and the son was hanging on his every word. Their love was obvious as they bonded and joked over a wonderful lunch. I missed my daughters in that moment, but I visualized the history lesson they were likely getting from Papa (my dad) at the same moment.
- I started to walk back to my car, realizing that once I got home I would likely not leave to do anything else. So, I stopped. I went and sat out on a bench and enjoyed the sunshine. I eventually decided to walk up and down the street, discovering some shops I never went in before.
- Finally, as I was walking back to my car, I realized how hot my leather seats were going to be. I needed something to keep cool. So I made a final stop into Great American Popcorn Company and got one of the best root beer floats I’ve ever tasted. The ice cream was perfect and they used Millstream Brewing Co. root beer. Just what I needed to keep myself cool while my car cooled down.
- From that point, I drove home and did nothing particularly productive the rest of the day. I relaxed, meaning: I sat. I sat and did nothing without the feeling of guilt that I should be doing something.
- On Sunday morning, I slept in late. Then I spent almost the entire day cleaning the kitchen and prepping dinner for when my husband came home. I also sat around
waiting patientlyimpatient for someone to share tacos and margaritas with me.
I added more to my ‘to-do’ list this weekend than I actually accomplished. But, I needed this weekend of quiet as a reminder to myself of just how much I don’t like to be alone in a quiet house. I thrive best in the chaos.
If you had a weekend alone, what would you do?