I was alone twice yesterday.
First I was alone for two hours in the afternoon after my mother had picked up the kids. It was glorious. For two hours I could do whatever I wanted. I did not have to do anything for anyone. Sure I could have done the dishes or the laundry but that would have defeated the purpose of being alone.
Instead I reveled in my aloneness (if that is even a word). I surfed the internet. I watched TV. I took a shower. A shower! It seems so trivial but it meant everything to me. I got to take a shower during the day not late at night before I tumble blearily into bed. I got to take a shower during the day when no one was breaking down the door, pulling open the curtain to ask for juice or to chuck random bath toys at me.
I barely remember when I was able to do that before. Before, that long ago time before children that I am not completely sure actually existed. But my alone time was short lived. I had to collect the children and resume my normal life.
The second time I was alone was after the kids went to bed. Frink was away for business and I was alone in the house. You would think I would love that type of aloneness too. I do and I don't. In 41 years, I only spent 9 months living alone. I don't do that type of alone well.
I always stay up late when he is gone hoping that I will be so tired I can drift off to sleep immediately. If I cannot then I begin to notice his absence. I double and triple check the door locks. I leave the closet light on with the door cracked. I pile pillows on his side of the bed in an attempt to feel not so alone.
When Frink is there in the bed beside me, I notice the snoring and the battle over the covers. I think how nice it would be to have the bed to myself. But when he is gone, the bed seems to big. I can't rollover to his side and slide my hand under the sleeve of his t-shirt to cup his shoulder. It's a little thing that calms me and allows me to sleep more soundly.
When he is gone, the dark seems darker. The noises seem louder and more ominous. I wonder if I should wander into Bunny's room to grab her large stuffed dog. I love to lay on it when we play in her room, maybe it would make me feel better. Or maybe I could bring one or both of the kids in bed with me. The warmth of their bodies, their weight next to me, the sound of their breathing would certainly calm me.
But I don't. I lay there alone, listening. My eyes strain to see in the dark. Was that a cat? Or was that the mouse? My brain turns on. It ramps up and the hamster wheel starts to spin. Alone with my thoughts in the dark is not where I want to be.
Suddenly I hear something. "Momma. Momma! Momma!!!" My heart leaps with joy. I run downstairs and scoop the little lion cub into my arms. I carry him to my bed and I soothe him back to sleep. Once I hear his even breathing again, my body relaxes and I am able to fall asleep, alone no longer.