Thursday, March 6, 2014

Alone Time

Photo by LeeAnn Rhoden
The new project at our house is a tree house. My husband and Little Man have been working on it together. It is being built between two trees in the back yard. Right now it is just a deck roughly 5 feet off the ground. It will have a ladder, a slide, a railing, a house with windows. Husband and Little Man
spend long hours together outside working on it. Husband is teaching Little Man about flat-head screw drivers and Phillips screw drivers, drill bits, screws, hammers and all sorts of "man" things. He also taught Little Man how to climb up and down the ladder that leans up against the open deck.

Lately Little Man has been spending his evenings hanging out with Dada. He "helps" my husband build fires in the fireplace, "drive" cars in the family room, use the remote control on the TV, work on the computer, whatever. I love that they are spending time together. I love to watch them play or just sit next to each other. I love that Little Man will climb up next to my husband and give him a hug.

What it means for me is that I have more alone time. After years of nursing, feeding, changing, bathing, dressing, potty training, rocking, soothing, and teaching I am almost at a loss with how to spend my new found free time. I find myself waiting for the Little Man to need me or something but he is even going to his father to get him snacks and sippy cups. So I sit, and wait, and watch and waste the time I now have.

And while they are outside together I have quiet time. I used to have quiet time all the time before Little Man came into my life. I didn't think much about it or notice really that I was alone and the house was quiet. Now, after years of spinning in every direction and being at the beck-and-call of another tiny person the periods of solo quiet are almost disturbing.

I'm sure that I will fill my minutes with more productive activities like completing my novel's revisions, finish knitting that sweater, complete the needlepoint project, and start French cooking. I've already taken on a ghost writing project. My guess is that this first twinge of aloneness is a precursor to empty nest that will come all too soon. My mother warns that with every age there is a new expression of independence until one day my Little Man will forget to say bye-bye when he leaves the house. Something I'll just have to get used to.

In the meantime, it is day 2 of Lent and meatlessness. Last night we had vegetarian stuffed bell peppers. Tonight we had eggplant parmesan. I looked at Little Man's chicken nuggets with lust, but I managed not to eat any.

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