September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
The one they left behind
I recently spent five days and four nights alone in our home. That is by far the longest stretch of time in nearly 15 years of parenthood I have been alone in my own house, and I know that is a luxury that most dairy farm women can only dream of (or maybe they have experienced it and for them it only means spending much, much more time doing the work it usually takes two people to do).
I did get a little whiny (mostly in my head) as my family packed up the car - correction my car - to go on their trip to South Dakota. I may have been a little pouty about the whole idea that I once again missed out on a fun trip since the self-employed don't get paid time off (sound familiar?)
There are a few things I learned during my five days alone.
I have learned that I am not the one who messes up the bed at night and pulls the covers everywhere.
I have learned that I am pretty content eating cereal for dinner instead of actually cooking something, (I love to cook but no way am I going through the effort for one person.)
As a result of all that cereal eating, I learned I actually only dirty about four dishes a day. This means that I am perfectly justified in making the children do the dishes and take care of the dishwasher because I am not responsible for most of what is in there.
I learned that I create a reasonable amount of laundry, but my family often creates more than their fair share. (Can I figure out a way to make them do all the laundry too?)
I learned that it is not my husband's nocturnal habits that make me stay up until hours that most people would consider moronically late. I figured it was his late night chatting that was to blame for me having to drag myself out of bed in the morning. Here I am quite capable of staying up to stupid-late hours all on my own.
Unfortunately, none of these things were the result of deep thinking on my part, nor did they lead to any type of enlightenment in my life.
I am very proud of my boring old self for taking the initiative to paint two walls of my bathroom purple (not lavender, a true purple) while I was alone. I am a white-and-pastel-walls kind of girl so this is a big step for me. Since I was the one left behind from this adventurous trip, I justified the use of my bold paint by figuring if my family didn't like it I could simply point out that they were not here to ask if they thought it was a good idea. I really like it, and they are being wise enough to not complain about it.
We all recall that when you go on long car trips with your family the line that will inevitably follow, "Don't make me stop this car" is "Keep that up and I'll leave you here. You can walk home." Our 14-year-old daughter didn't come back with her dad and brother, she got left behind. Actually, she ended up visiting a friend from elementary school who moved to Wyoming a couple of years ago. It just so happened they had relatives in our area visiting the following week so she could catch a ride home - but saying she got left behind is a much better story.
So, all in all, their little adventure was a good thing and I am glad they had the chance to climb around in the Badlands, have their tent sniffed by a buffalo in the middle of the night and talk with prairie dogs... but I may have to figure out a way to take a little trip of my own. It is not always fun to be the one left behind... and after all, how will they miss me if I never go away?
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