Friday, October 24, 2008

the joy of being home alone

At this time last year, I was 8 months pregnant, still new to daily life in America. Mark was working long hours then and I was spending long, lonely days and nights at home. I could never imagine that one year later I would long for those quiet hours that flowed slowly from one into another.

Today Mirena’s mom had an important event to attend for work and needed more than our standard afternoon hours of childcare. So our babysitter went over to Mirena’s place and River went over there too. For seven hours.

I had seven glorious hours to myself at home. Only when I had the time did I realize how infrequently it happens. I had thoughts of great productivity. Not only was I going to get a lot of work done, I was going to cook dinner, make pesto, go out for lunch and send some long-overdue thank you notes. Maybe I’d even pick up a bit.

I didn’t manage all of the above. But I did get some work done, I did pop a ready-to-cook stuffed chicken into the oven, I actually did make and freeze arugula pesto. But I didn’t go out for lunch. No way was I going to leave during my quiet, peaceful time.

I’ve always liked it that River is at home with the babysitter and I can see him throughout the day. I like to be able to pop into his activities, to give him a quick hug, to breastfeed him when needed. But when he was gone for such a long time, I surprisingly found it a relief. A vast calmness settled over me. I had no one and nothing to step over, but could move freely through our small space.

When he came home, I showed him with hugs and kisses. I breastfed him. I talked to him. I took him on a long walk with a friend. But I really enjoyed that quiet time with only my own tasks to focus on and plenty of space to work on them. If Mirena’s family wants the childcare to take place in their home sometimes, I will not object.

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