Lori and I didn’t plan to take a blog timeout. It just kind of happened, I guess. Every day, I think, “man, I really need to blog about this event that just happened/book I just read/movie I just saw/wedding I went to/new ice cream I just tried/soundtrack I listened to/woman who freakin’ got nominated for Vice President!” or something similar and then it’s time to go to bed and I don’t do any blogging (or emailing or bill paying or letter writing or anything else that needs attention).
Quick summary of some major hoo-haw going on in my life: Lily started middle school yesterday, Andy started a new job today, Happy (our beloved 3-legged dog) has taken a downward turn healthwise, and I started a much-needed 11-day vacation so I could deal with all of the above.
So, for the first time in more than three years — three years! — I am home alone while Lily is at school and Andy is at work. It’s kind of difficult to understand if you don’t have a kid (or caretaking responsibility for another person), but to have five or six hours ahead of me by myself is mind blowing. I do have to take care of my ailing dog, which I’m happy to do, but to not have to answer to another person for anything for a stretch of more than five hours is a radical kind of freedom that I rarely experience.
I have lots of childless friends who lead very full and happy lives, either on their own or with partners, and I often wonder if they ever appreciate the time they get to spend alone. The choices they get to make without involving other people. The meals they get to eat without having to take other people’s tastes into consideration. The errands they get to run on without a clock ticking because they don’t a) have a bored kid with them or b) a kid waiting for them at home who shouldn’t be alone for much time or c) a kid at home with the other parent who really wants a break from parenting. The clock is always ticking and the responsibility is always there.
So, it’s an exciting day for lots of reasons. It’s Lily’s second day of middle school and I am praying that it is easier for her than yesterday (and am reasonably confident it will be, but gosh it’s hard to start a new school after attending the same elementary school for six straight years). It’s Andy’s first day of paid work in 3 years. He looked very cute — and strange! — in his button-down shirt this morning and non-denim pants. Even our dog seemed to wonder, “who is that guy?!”
It’s also Mike’s birthday, so if you’re reading this, Mike, happy birthday! Thanks for being my good friend even though I bought a Bette Midler album from you at Cellophane Square records 27 years ago. Even now I can clearly hear the disgust in your voice as you gave me crap for buying that record (which, I bought for my MOTHER, by the way!).
It’s also David Wright’s birthday, so happy birthday, David. If you don’t know David, you should. There is nobody else like him on this planet, and I mean that in a good way.
Now I get to go do whatever I want for five hours and I guarantee I will appreciate every single second of it.