When the Mice are Away

Rock garden at The Fells in Newbury, NH. See any kids? Exactly.

My kids were away for the weekend, so I got to do crazy stuff like eat meats other than chicken.

I also went on a dinner cruise. I stayed at a cute little inn and geeked out at The Fells because I love old houses and old stuff. I watched movies with fun explosions and battle scenes (my movie preferences align with those of most twelve year-old boys. Superheroes, zombies or disaster flicks, please. I’ll watch your romcom if it’s a girl-meets-boy, boy-meets-asteroid deal).

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But there’s one moment in these co-parenting weekends I dread a bit, and it always plays out the same way. 

First, my girls bicker the entire way to the drop-off point. The entire way. Mom! She’s making a noise so I shall cope by making an equally annoying noise. Mom! Her foot is on my side of the seat. Mom! She is existing too loudly at me.

I issue empty threats from the driver’s seat. I fantasize about wine and silence at home.  Then I turn the key and step inside to, well, silence. 

Immediately, I hate it. The absence of my children, in the place where they should be, makes me so uneasy that after ten minutes puttering through the house, as if checking for stowaways, I need to get the hell out of there, even after a two-hour road trip. Sometimes I’ll go to CVS and wander the aisles with a basket, stocking up on toiletries I may or may not need. I can't be the only person who does this.

And then, I’m ready. After that, I enjoy every second off the mom clock. But my kids are my normal. Nothing is quite right until they get home. So while I don't miss them, I also can’t wait for them to come back.

Besides, someone needs to help me use up these 27 bottles of scented hand soaps and lotions.


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