Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I love you, now leave me alone

These past few years blogging, I have written hundreds of posts about my kids. Bragging about them, obsessing about one problem or another, trying to do better for them. Before I blogged (and now), I've had thousands of conversations about parenting them; about what parental involvement should mean, about problems in public education, about getting them to eat healthy, about what stores carry tween sizes...For the past 12 1/2 years, they have been at the forefront of everything I do. And the thought of a whole week without them sounds better to me than a vacation in Paris.

My mother told my oldest daughter a few years ago that she wanted to take her to Paris when she turns 16. My younger daughter will also go because my parents can't really afford two trips to Paris in 3 years.

I've actually never been to Paris. I hear nothing but great things about it. It's not that I don't want to ever go to Paris. Still, the thought of having my parents take the girls to Paris, knowing my girls will be loved and well cared for, I want to just take the week off and relax.

The trip is still a few years off, but I can't stop thinking about the possibility. 6 days without listening to the girls bicker? 6 days of not having to wake them up? I could totally handle that. I love my children with all my heart, but they exhaust me.

I think it's good for me to take a step back every now and again. I'm a full-time single parent. The time I'm not at work, making dinner or dealing with homework, I'm answering a gazillion questions, listening to their stories and dreams, dealing with their roller-coaster emotions, making decision after decision, dealing with the enormity of the task of raising these children to become educated, well-rounded, emotionally healthy, compassionate adults.

While I do get out every now and then to meet up with friends or see a play, what I really love is when my girls spend the night at my parents' house and I can just be home alone. Sometimes, even my cat feels like too much trouble. I just want to be totally and completely alone.

I say this now, but I usually need my girls back after 4 days. My payback for writing this will be missing them terribly on Day 5 and just wanting to see them and hug them again. This I know. But in that time away, I will be able to look at them with a fresh perspective after a few good nights' sleep. I will be able to appreciate their wonderful qualities, think about new ways to approach problems. And within 48 hours of their return, they will bicker about something completely trivial, and I will wonder why I missed them. But then they'll go to sleep, and I'll remember why I love them so.

If this makes me sound crazy, so be it. Maybe a week alone will be just what I need to regain some sanity.

Originally posted on LA Moms Blog, Apr. 14, 2010.

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