Saturday, April 19, 2008

Life Comes At You Fast. By Meg Austen

Outlook popped up its all too familiar reminder that it was time to leave my work and pick my children up from school. I smiled and dismissed it. Then continued with my work. At 5:30, I shut down my computer and walked downstairs.

Earlier that day I had dropped my children off at school, their suitcases packed with clothes and activities for their weekend away. My daughter climbed out of the car with her suitcase and band uniform for the weekend performance, and said goodbye. My son climbed out, a backpack on his back, a fishing pole, and my wok. I know, I didn’t ask either.

And then it was just me. With my kids gone for the weekend, I was about to begin an all too rare weekend alone. For three whole days!

For dinner, I went to Marble Slab Creamery and got myself a chocolate malt. That’s it. After all, ice cream is a basic food group, you know. And it was delicious!

I put my favorite CD on the Playstation, (since my stereo equipment had long ago been replaced with game equipment), and I blasted MY music throughout the house.

I set the security alarm at 10PM, knowing that nobody would be coming home later that night to set it off accidentally, and I climbed into bed and finished reading a book till I fell asleep.

For breakfast, I went to Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market and ate a cinnamon roll while I strolled the many booths of organic produce, handmade jewelry and yummy baked goods. Live music accompanied me on my walk, and the wind blew through my hair. I caught the eye of a young man and I smiled, all the while contemplating all the vegetables I didn’t need to cook for teenage kids who wouldn’t eat it anyway. And I took another bite of my cinnamon roll.

I went home and noticed that everything was exactly where I had left it. No new trash strewn on the floor, no kitchen sink piled with dirty dishes and food that just couldn’t, wouldn’t make it into the beckoning dishwasher. And I began to clean, without the constant interruption of, “No sweetie, you need to stay focused on the task at hand.”

I sat down at my computer and began to write.

And as I got to the bottom of the page, I suddenly realized what you’ve probably already figured out.

Boy oh boy, do I need to get a life of my own! And you do too.

When we become mothers, we become selfless, all-caring women who just about live life vicariously through our children. What with work and housework, and cooking, and driving children to and from play dates and lessons, there is no time to be anything but mom.

But life does come at you fast. And you don’t need insurance. You need a life.

Of your own.

1 comment:

Diane LeBleu said...

Dear Meg - when you have four children ages 9, 7, 3 and 1, this kind of life sounds positively enchanting! Thanks for allowing me to go away, at least vicariously, to a quiet day at home!