It's summer vacation!!! FREEEEEDDDOOM! Yeah, no, not really. I never escape. I've only left once and not felt extreme mother's guilt. You know mother's guilt surely? That is where you leave your precocious children with their father or some other safe person that isn't you. As you close the door you take a deep breath and relax for a millisecond....then the guilt hits.
At first I always believed it to be because I could hear a child saying bye bye mama and felt I was shirking my motherly duty of being their everything. (chauffeur, cook, nurse, teacher, maid, slave, etc) Now I know the truth...the guilt is because I'm happy to have a moment to myself. Now don't get me wrong. I cherish my children. I just want to hug them, and squeeze them, and call them George. Sometimes I want to squeeze the orneriness out of them but hey who doesn't.
The point is in over eleven years I've nurtured them to be these amazing and independent individuals and still feel like I'm doing something wrong by not being there when they need to come running to me. For goodness sakes I might be picking out a cantaloupe when they have an epiphany on dark matter. Their attention spans being equivalent to a guppy's the whole world could blame me for years to come when they find out it took them years to grasp the concept again. Our time machines will be twenty years later than they should have been. And it will be all my fault for leaving to go grocery shopping in peace.
As the years have gone by the guilt has eased. When Degan came along was the first time I was so selfish as to dare leave them behind to go grocery shopping. I managed to do two weeks of shopping in twenty minutes. Elbows flying, cart wheels screeching around corners, I probably looked like a crazy woman putting my arm out and just shoving a whole row of cans into the basket as I zoomed down the aisle veering out of the path of some coupon queen. (The air horn was probably a little much but it was effective for getting people out of the way.) I sped back to the house and ran inside the words of "Mommy's back." died on my lips as I saw they were all exactly where I had left them. Honeybear came and kissed me asking if I'd forgotten something. I just shook my head as I watched him deftly change a diaper and grab the next one as she crawled past.The next time I left the air horn at home.
Last week the glory that is guiltless happened. I had been up to my eyeballs in kids for a few days. Friends of the kids were in and out. I had not been able to even go to the bathroom without someone rattling the knob needing a bandaid, more koolaid, an argument settled. (Trust me I kept trying to escape from the mob and that door at least has a lock.) So finally I walked out looked at Honeybear and said, "Honey I'm going to run over to Britty Bacon's for a bit." He spared me a glance, "Okay."
I stopped in the middle of my hunt for my other shoe and looked at him. "No really. I might not even come back."
Not even looking at me, "See ya in an hour tops. But if you do make it to her house, have fun."
I stopped searching completely at this. "You don't want me to go, do you?"
He sighed and looked at me then, "I wish you would go. And stay away for a bit. They're old enough and I'm here. Go have fun...if you remember what that is without kids."
Right then I spotted my elusive shoe and gingerly wiggled into it without looking at him. Grabbed my keys, walked over to him, kissed him while searching his face. "I'm leaving now."
I walked out to the car, looked back at the house waiting for the mob to come throw themselves at my feet pleading with me to not leave them...nothing but shrieks of laughter from the backyard and treehouse. I pulled out took a breath....nothing. So I cranked the music and joyfully and blissfully spent the next couple of hours in quiet enjoyment with an adult who doesn't have children therefore even the conversation was mostly missing of children. Took eleven years but it did happen.
I have looked at this as the beginning of the end. My children don't need me the way they use to, this was just a small slice of what is to come. Sooner than I realize I will have an empty nest. So I guess the guilt will eventually leave me entirely. By then I'll probably miss the guilt cause then my children will be so busy I'll be the one trying to get a little of their attention. Till then I'll just breath and wait.