Thursday, May 30, 2013

These Aren't the Moments We Live For, But...

It’s 8:03pm and my girls are asleep. 
This grin isn't toothless...Sure is cute, though. Yeah, not asleep.

Not the kind of “sleep” that involves the isometric exercise that is my children scrunching their eyelids so that they’re all wrinkly and shaking while the eyelashes just poke out; not the kind of “sleep” a child does with a toothless grin on her face because she’s thinking that you think she’s asleep and looking just like she did as a tiny, angelic baby. Not the kind of "sleep" where the minute you close the door and walk away, she’s hiding under the covers with her Violet the Dog, making Violet light up and sing songs that say her name in that narcissistic way designed specifically for the toddler set. I don’t hear Violet saying, “Hello, Olivia! Let’s sing a song about YOU!” Not this time.

Nope. They’re asleep. Out.

My timer went off, and that’s when I realized what had happened. I have this genius system that I use at bedtime where I set my cellphone timer for 15 minutes. Then Olivia gets to look into the bright light and push the button on the timer. This is our binding contract that means, “You lay here for 15 minutes and pretend to be going to sleep, and I WILL be back when the timer goes off for another hug. Promise.” It’s enough to get her to lay still for awhile and after I make one or two "timer" visits back, she’s usually out. On Rosemary’s bad nights, we use the same timer for her. It works. 

Tonight, when I went back to fulfill my part of the deal, there was nobody to push the button. So I went back to the living room and sat down sort of dumbfounded. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. 

My poor husband is stuck at a middle school track meet, waiting on one kid’s parent to come pick up the kid. Even the dog’s curled into a ball of fur, silent except for a groan every now and then. There is no television blaring. The lullabies stopped just a little while ago. Nobody is asking for another drink of water, begging to use the potty one more time...I can hear a bird chirp every so often, and cars occasionally go by on the road outside.

I begin to ponder if there might be life outside this house that happens even while the chaos goes on within our home. There is nature, and people are driving places at night. I remember going places after dark.  

It’s a little weird.

Of course, at first, I ran through the list of a million things I need to be doing…dishes, laundry, bills…But I settled on sitting down to write a blog post. 5 seconds later, I hopped up to get a glass of wine. Then I came right back to my computer, and here I sit. Peace. Tranquility. These are rare moments.

These aren't the moments we live for. But when they come unexpectedly, they're pretty nice.