I know this great hotel where the fridge is stocked with all my favorite stuff, all my toiletries are already waiting in the bathroom for me, and the booze doesn’t cost a small fortune. Unfortunately I have to do my own housekeeping, laundry, and dishes, but when you’re staying for free, you don’t really get to complain.
Once every 6 weeks or so, my mom has been insisting on taking the girls for a sleepover. The first time, I spent the entire evening tense. Though I trust my parents explicitly with my children, giving up control is so very hard for me, combined with the anxiety that one or both kids may need only what mommy can give in the middle of the night. With my 5 year old, I don’t worry so much, but Bean is still very-much a mommy’s girl and usually nurses down for the night. But they do great and each time gets easier and easier. Sunday afternoon, when we dropped them off, we didn’t even bother to take our coats off.
We didn’t have a reservations, tickets, or even a plan, but honestly it didn’t matter what we did as long as we did it without the kids. Their constant demands were beginning to wear a hole in my head and it was getting to the point where I was hearing tiny voices calling “moooommmmmyyyy, I want moooorrreeee juuuuuiiiiiccceeee,” even in my dreams. It was a hard day for me, depression keeping me from feeling the full joy of freedom, but I knew I would feel better out than at home, in bed, under my slanket (“no second-class snuggies in this house,” jokes my husband), watching yet another episode of Torchwood.
So we headed into Cambridge. I got an impromptu behind-the-scenes tour of MIT, along with a random juggling show in the main dome. We stopped for coffee and decided to head over to Back Bay for walking, shopping, and dinner. And we just walked. Toured. Snapped photos of things that stood out. Because of the football game, even the best restaurants in the neighborhood had no wait, and we had a lovely dinner of fish and salads. I think somewhere between the fife player outside the subway station, the flute and organ rehearsal inside the church, and the two glasses of divine Riesling wine with dinner, the depression lost and I found myself laughing again. Debating the merits of science and religion. Talking about my hope and dreams for writing and where my husband sees his career going after he completes his degree.
And the best part? At the end of the evening, we went home. To a quiet house. So quiet that by Monday afternoon, it was too quiet.
We’re back to the hustle and bustle of dinner and the battlefield that is bath and bedtime here, but I feel recharged and re-energized. “I was just calling to see how your kid-free time was,” my mom phoned this afternoon. Amazing, mom. Seriously. Thank you.