Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Listen. Do you hear that? Me neither. My house is silent. With the exception of the distant mumble of my husband upstairs in his office and the click-click of the dog's nails on the wood floor, my house is as quiet as a tomb.

My noisemakers children, you see, are not here. They have all hit the magic number this year--the magic number being 5. Here's the deal: My parents have offered to take the grandchildren for a week during VBS at their church, but the grandchildren must have reached the ripe old age of 5 before being allowed to come stay sans parents. Last year Mary missed the cutoff by a couple of weeks. This year, however, all of my children are either attending VBS or working at VBS and staying at my folks' house. This year, my husband and I have a week alone without all of the children. It's the first time in nearly 14 years that we've been alone for this long without at least one of our children making an appearance at some point. It's a little weird. Thus the sort of unsettling silence in my own house.

Last year at this time I had a million and one things planned for when the kids were gone. My big project was painting the laundry room. Project-wise, this year is no exception. This year's list looks a little like this:
Have the carpet guy come and reinstall the carpet (that I have been tripping over for 6 months) in what was once the loft and will now be Mary's room.
Have an adult beverage.
Go to a nice restaurant and have dinner with my beloved.
Move all of Mary's furniture and crap toys and books and clothes from her old room into her new room.
Go for a run without worrying if WWIII started in my absence.
Have an adult beverage.
Go to a nice restaurant and have dinner with my beloved and some of his customers.
Wait for my husband to paint the ceiling in Mary's old room/James' new room.
Have an adult beverage.
Do some laundry.
Take a drive in my beloved's fun little race car that I haven't been in since approximately 2002.
See a movie.
Paint James' new room.
Go for a run without anyone asking how long I'll be.
Have an adult beverage.
Clean the house.
Revel in the fact that once I clean something it will stay clean for longer that 7 minutes.
Celebrate by having another adult beverage.
Move James' furniture and crapbooks, clothes and toys from his and Sean's room into his new room.
Settle down on the couch and read the last of the four books I checked out from the library a week ago.
Plant some irises.
Have an adult beverage.
Wander to the pantry just to look at the food.
Go back to the couch and watch any channel that doesn't have M at the beginning or Jr. at the end.
Head back to the pantry and realize that all of that food that I'm looking at has been there for over 24 hours.
Celebrate the fact that I won't have to go to the grocery store for DAYS by having an adult beverage.
Head to the laundry room and laugh at the paltry amount of laundry to be done.
Ponder where to have dinner.
Peek into the mudroom and consider getting it cleaned up and organized.
Decide that this task can wait until I have children home to help me.
Laugh hysterically at the thought that my children will voluntarily help me clean and organize the mudroom.
Take a shower uninterrupted.
Talk on the phone uninterrupted.
Read on the patio uninterrupted.
Use the computer as much as I wish.
Go to a nice restaurant--one without a kiddie menu--with my beloved.
Enjoy both an adult beverage AND dessert while there.
Sit downstairs at night without having to a. make several trips upstairs to break up fights/parties, b. threaten children that if they don't go to bed, I will dip them in salsa and eat them, c. yell "GO TO BED!!!" 742 times.
Wander into my kids' bedrooms and miss them.

I know, I know. It's an ambitious list. I'm fairly certain that I won't get everything accomplished. You can bet that I'm going to work extra hard to see if I can, though.

I've talked to a couple of the kids and they seem to be having a great time. I don't think they are missing me at all, which is good I suppose. They don't seem to be anxious to return home anyway.

Of course, that could be because Patrick and I have told them that we'll be making out in every room of the house while they are gone. Too bad I'll have used up all the money from their therapy jars on adult beverages and nice restaurants. Guess they'll just have to be scarred for life.

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