Back when the kids and I were living on our own, I used to watch the clock until it was their bedtime. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy talking with them or playing games with them, I did, sometimes. As a single working mom, I would get home from work and make dinner. Following our meal there were dishes to do, I did them while the kids finished their homework. Laundry would be done most nights immediately following the dishes and a little arguing often was involved. Oh, you know, “Where are your dirty clothes? I’m going to wash clothes, is there anything you want to bring down from your room?” That doesn’t sound like arguing to you? Oh, I will fill you in then. Those are the questions I would pose while doing the dishes and they would be about 5 feet away. Their responses would nearly always be, “No, nothing. Mine are all down here. I brought mine down this morning,” or similar things to that. No one ever ignored me or got up to go get something, EVER. I don’t even know why I bothered to ask these angels such ridiculous questions. Such a silly mom!
So the laundry would get done, folded and laid on the stairs for them to carry up when they went again. On the fourth trip up, I would say something like, “Wanna take those clothes?” That question would float into the air, apparently unheard by anyone other than the speaker. (This would eventually lead to my loudly suggesting they get theirs lazy butts back down here and pick those clothes up or I would be tossing them in the garbage in 5-4-3-2-1 damned minute!)
At bedtime, not a moment before, one would say, “I need my navy pants tomorrow for band.” Or some other piece of clothing for some other activity. “I can’t find them! Moooooooooooom! I can’t find my navy pants (or whatever)! Where ARE they (or it)?”
I would take a deep breathe and say, “I didn’t wear them (or it) so I don’t know.” Sarcastic, you say? Yes, I am.
“OH, NO! THEY’RE (OR IT’S) DIRTY! MOOOOOOOOOOOM? CAN YOU WASH THEM?”
Well, of course, I CAN, but I’m not going to. “No, I am done washing for the day. You may put them (or it) in to wash and in the morning put them (or it) in the dryer while you shower. That is why I ask you every night to bring me your damned dirty clothes!” My voice may have raised a few octaves while making my point.
Did you notice the slight arguing there? Repeated several times a week, it’s memorable for me. ♥
That is why I watched the clock. They would go to bed and I would have it. I would have SOLITUDE. Me, alone with myself time. Time to think about me and my life. My life was making a living for my babies and me. Paying bills and trying to find a little extra cash here and there for some fun things. It was far from an easy life, but it was a good life.
Yep, they drove me nuts with their irresponsible behavior and their inability to see what needed to be done around our house. I wished day and night that they would, just one time, pick up something BEFORE I asked or shouted at them to do just that. I hoped they would make good decisions and was often disappointed with their choices. BUT they were my purpose. I lived for these little people and I prayed that I would be able to mold them, just a bit, into independent and confident adults.
We all look back at our “No, we cannot afford that~who do you think I am, a Rockefeller?” days as some of our best ones. We did a lot of simple things. Things we did, we did together as a family. I saved a few dollars here and there until we could go to
to see the Tigers. It was our favorite ‘get away’ and it was always a big deal day. On the way to the park I would always remind them that we could each have one hot dog and one coke. Or peanuts instead of the hot dog. I was always too full to eat a hot dog, but peanuts could be shared, so I opted for those. They knew and understood our limited budget. Maybe I shared too much, but they knew what was realistic for us and they accepted it without much whining. We all loved that day at the ball park and I managed one every summer while I was single. Detroit
I remember the solitude of the later night very well and in fact, I have never given that up. I am now married nearly 30 years and the chitlins are long grown and raising their own fams , yet I still love my solitude and probably will always. My alone time to write, read, watch TV, nap, play games, browse the internet, knit or even just sit outside and enjoy.
The most perfect solitude for me, sitting by the pool with a nearby umbrella just inhaling summer in
. I try to fill my body with summer heat, sun and green plush grass so that I won’t be too horrid in the winter white of the usual Michigan winter. It never really works, I miss summer the very first moment I feel fall in the air. But my solitude is still mine and still very precious. Michigan