Saturday, May 10, 2014

What do I want for Mother's Day?

Who could ask for anything more?

Lately, I fantasize about solitude. My life is incredibly social. I teach over a hundred adolescents language arts. I collaborate with colleagues. I have two children who need me at home around the clock. I have a spouse with whom I coordinate and communicate. I keep up with friends as much as I can, usually (and lamely) via the internet. My new nightly habit of reading for 30 minutes alone and in the bath has become a treasured part of my day.

Sometimes, I fantasize about taking a trip. All alone. Going back to NYC to visit my old haunts. I imagine sleeping a full night. Sleeping in, in fact. Hogging the bed. I imagine taking a long, hot shower with no tiny visitors asking me to play mermaid. I imagine only getting myself ready. I imagine walking out of the door, popping into a bagel store, ordering whatever the hell I like, then eating it - all in one sitting - with a piping hot cup of coffee that I finish while it's still hot.

I imagine walking around without an agenda, stopping to see a movie or an art exhibit or maybe even a play. Sitting on a park bench with a book when my feet need a rest. People watching. Listening to music. Walking in and out of stores for twenty blocks or more.

I imagine calling up a friend and having dinner at a place with no kids menu. Drinking a cocktail, wearing an outfit that wasn't planned around breastfeeding accessibility. I imagine staying out as late as my friend and I want, not worrying about the early wake up call the next day.

But it never takes long before the fantasy turns sour. I imagine worrying about my kids. Are they OK? Do they miss me? I'd have to find a time, a place, and storage accoutrements for pumping. I'd probably want to call home every hour, just to hear what they're doing, to hear their voices, to hear them breathing. I'd miss them. I'd feel like a boulder was on my chest. I'd feel lonely as hell.

I know because I was lonely. Before I helped construct this little family, I was aching for company. For love. And I can't believe how ridiculously lucky I've been to get them. I miss solitude, and I take it when I can - greedily, hungrily, and apologetically. But I don't need days and days of it. That fantasy is just that - a fantasy. Like dating George Clooney, who in real life would probably be moody and full of himself. (Right?) The idea is better than the reality.

This mother's day, all I want is what I have. An incredible husband. A boy and a girl, a kindergartner-almost-first-grader and an eight-month-old sweety. Two geniuses. Two squishy-sweet love muffins. Yes, they require a lot of my time and energy and attention and physical work. But they're worth every minute.

But, if you really want to get me something, just nominate me for What Not to Wear. Because then I could get that little trip to NYC and a new wardrobe to boot. OK?

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