Mother’s Day Reflections

10 May

IMG_0473I am republishing this post, originally entitled “Home Alone,” from December 2008. It seems fitting to reflect back on this today, Mother’s Day…Read on:

For the first time in years, I recently had the experience of spending six days at home, without my family. I’ve been on long business trips before, but it’s different being at home alone. The best perk: I had our sole bathroom all to myself. And that was only the beginning.

The quiet was amazing. Quiet enough to quickly finish crossword puzzles. Quiet enough to startle both dogs when I burst out laughing while watching Old School. Quiet enough to start a new knitting project, if I had been so inclined. Or not. So quiet that it was downright boring at times. The dogs looked at me, I looked at them. We collectively heaved a big sigh.

I did enjoy the time. I’m thankful that I had the chance to hang out with important people in my life. My Mom, who took me to dinner and a movie, and bought me a terrifically chic and extremely practical machine-washable black dress. Go, Mom! My friend Jason, with whom I commiserated about being perhaps overly trusting of people and perpetually unaware of people’s maneuverings at work. But not having regrets about looking for the best in people. (I’ve found that huevos rancheros at Starliner Diner bring out a good amount of candid discussion.) And my friend Diane, who’s there for me no matter what. Especially when we are having a delicious dinner at the North Star Cafe. Or eating Trader Joe’s real French dark chocolate truffles.

Six days sans family helped me to renew some friendships and eat out more than I have during the past year. And it helped me to remember why I am so happy to be distracted by my family. Like any parent, I can admit to having had daydreams about what life would be like without them. I would be free to do (fill in the blank). I would have more money to buy (fill in the blank). I would more effectively fulfill my creative potential and become known worldwide as a superstar in (fill in the blank). But through their absence, I was reminded of their incalculable worth. Practically speaking, they put a schedule and discipline into my life that I don’t have without them. My own internal controls are not as clearly defined without them. I actually accomplished LESS while they were gone.

And they open my heart in ways that it would not normally exist. I can all too happily get lost in work. As my husband said before he left, “Oh great, now you can work 14 hours a day. How happy you will be!” Ouch. But true. My natural inclination is to exist in my brain for long stretches of time. It’s an escapist’s indulgence.

But my husband and kids have a key to my heart, that keeps me in the present moment with them. Even if I lose my patience with them, they win me over every time. I love the smell of my son’s spiky hair when I hug him, the kindness of my daughter who is fair even when under pressure from her little brother’s heckling, and my husband’s thoughtfulness to buy me lunch as a surprise during the work day–when as he knows I often forget to eat lunch.

So, home alone is nice for a few days. But it pales in comparison to the beautiful chaos of my normal family life. I am much happier to be in my small home when it’s filled with the three people who mean the most to me, even if home not alone means not having the bathroom to myself.

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One Response to “Mother’s Day Reflections”

  1. Diane December 29, 2008 at 9:02 pm #

    Kimm- I liked reading this, but I have to think that your kids actually make you the most creative. After all, it’s a tug of war(love), and you constantly have to be on your toes! I have to say that I’ve enjoyed our “alone” time together, but my heart also opens up more when I’m around your kids than at any other time. They keep me in the moment. I’m glad you are in my life, but I wish I would have knowon youwith the mohawk and dyed hair!!!

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