I felt this first coming on about 6 years ago. Skadi was ready to go to Kindergarten and suddenly, she needed less. I would wander the house waiting for someone to need me. And time would drip by. I was paralyzed to start something because any minute, any instant, she would need me. Or maybe Leif would need me. And I wouldn’t get what I started accomplished. So why try? It was a kind of lost feeling.
A few months later that feeling went by the wayside when suddenly I had a new life inside me to focus on. All the things that needed to be done for a new baby! Organizing the house, moving the bedrooms, painting, sorting clothes, setting up things, figuring out what needs to be bought. My free time went away.
And here I am again. All of a sudden my house has that somewhat familiar quiet. Or maybe it’s not quiet, but a dull roar? But this time, whatever it is, it’s not going away. No new babies for us (HA! Funny to even think about.). And Leif is even more independent then he was 6 years ago at 7. (And Skadi was 5.) Leif just wants to be left alone or dropped off places. Skadi hides in her bedroom and does Lego set after Lego set. Oh, but if she isn’t there she is binging on Netflix, riding laps around the neighborhood on her bike (14 the other day), or reading whatever the book series of the minute is (Lumberjanes right now).
Silas entertains himself by playing, watching Netflix with Skadi, riding any “mobile” up and down the driveway, doing laps with the backyard zip line.
All of a sudden none of them need me. Ok, they need me. They need me to make dinner, check homework, do their laundry, mediate the occasional fight (when they associate with each other). But no one is hanging off my legs every waking hour. No one is begging to be carried. They go to bed on their own (we still read to Silas - though he is just starting to favor chapter books and I do still read Harry Potter to Skadi when I can). On weekends? They sleep in. Even when I sleep in, I am usually up before Leif and Skadi. Silas has typically gotten up and turned on the TV.
So my goal for this work trip is a list. A list of what I can do. I feel like I can kind of reinvent myself! What do I like? What do I want to do with my time? What are my goals? What are the things I can do when I have an hour of spare time? What if I have two? What can I pick up easily when I have a few minutes? What am I going to make an effort to devote time to?
It’s somewhat melancholy, but exciting as well!