The kids are off to Tahoe with their Dads, so I have ten days to myself. The house will stay clean. The dishes in the sink will all be mine. Those are the bright-side thoughts I injected into the sadness I was feeling eariler this afternoon. These days are hard for me, mostly because I love having my children around. I live for time with them. I went to a movie with them after work this week from 11 p.m. untial 1 a.m. because I wanted to make some memories with them before they left for this trip. We had a blast and it was money and time very well spent. I strive, work hard, and stretch because I cherish and adore them and I want our life together to be a beautiful one. That's not based in any 'thing' or 'place'; in my mind that's a feeling. But here, in our home, we are creating that and I'm grateful.
My middle three are teens now, with one on the farside and one on the preside of adolescence. It ain't no picnic and it's not something I'd recommend to anyone who likes peace, ...or quiet. Lots of disagreement between them about which loud music is acceptable. The current rivalry is between child 3 and child 4... they despise each other, which makes the beautiful life scenario harder to achieve sometimes. I spend a substantial amount of time pleading with them to recognize that whether or not they see the innate value in their sibling, I do. I see their immeasurable value and I love them with everything I am... I love each of them with everything I am. It's not a divided love, it's an 'all' for 'each'. It makes for some tense times, their rivalry... but having survived one round of He-is-the-vilest-human-being-in-all-creation, I know that eventually there will be some understanding and most likely, friendship. I know we will survive. It's worth the effort, tears and struggle.
I love being their mother, and I miss them horribly when they are away from home, especially for long periods and to distant places, ...without me. I don't mind their dishes in the sink, or their towels in the bathroom. When my oldest comes home for the night, I'm grateful to make up the bed and make him comfortable. They are amazing people, they help each other and they help me. Before the trip, my oldest checked all the fluid levels in my car and the others did a few chores around the house. Most of the time, they work well together. They prepare meals when I'm at work. They clean bathrooms, take out garbage and mow the lawn. They work hard in school and in life. We have a lot of fun. I'm a lucky mom.
While they are gone though, I'm going to take advantage. I'm going to work the next five days straight. I realize that most people have five day work weeks, but that's at least a 60 hour week for me which feels like a lot because I'm getting old. (Thank heaven I'm paid hourly.) I'm not making plans for much else during that time... except for sleep. And maybe some lawn watering and organizing. I have a few projects on my mind. The house provides a never-ending supply of improvement options. It's very satisfying to me, making our home lovely and functional. Today for example, I slept well after my night shift, cleaned, and read my book; order to chaos. It's not like there was really so much to do, just some obvious areas I could put some effort into. Those are my favorite kinds of jobs; small effort, big pay-off. Like the kids' bathroom downstairs which will stay spotless for ten days, totally worth the effort.
When they get home, I'll have three days with them before they go back to their Dad's for another weekend. I'm planning now to make those days count. I'm sure there are some ways I could really surprise them and make those days very special, beyond just 'being at home.' I'd like that, and I'm sure they would too. I don't want to waste any time on wishing we had 'more' of it to spend together. I mean, I do feel those things, I have just learned to acknowledge them and let them go... and then find something to do....