It’s 10AM and the house is quiet, very quiet. A truck rumbles by a few streets over. The kettle is furiously boiling water for my morning tea. The dishwasher has been emptied and reloaded with the breakfast dishes, and the shrapnel created this morning by making the kids a nutritious, yummy, and green lunch has been put away. Each ping from my computer startles me, telling me I have new mail or a Facebook update, and is investigated within seconds of receiving it.
My youngest son, who’s 5 and in afternoon preschool, has a playdate with this best buddy this morning. What’s even better is that his best buddy’s Dad is going to take him directly to preschool too! I dropped him off when I dropped his older brothers off at school at 9AM, giving me a delicious 5 hours and 45 minutes to myself! I’m currently taking an online memoir-writing course called The Momoir Project and today is online classroom day, so having the peace and quiet to concentrate on my writing without having to entertain my precocious 5 year old is blissful.
But it’s too quiet.
Every ping, chirp and hungry lawnmower outside is distracting me from writing. They say that writing is like this, lonely. But I’m a very social person – maybe this is the wrong gig for me? I’m used to writing between interruptions. Ever since I left my corporate job to raise our kids, I’ve been multi-tasking – turn on Go, Diego, Go, draft a blog post, play indoor soccer, check up on Twitter, make a bed, jump on the bed, make macaroni and cheese for lunch, review post, pack snacks for school, edit the post, head to preschool (usually late), post a blog, go to the gym, check blog stats. The accomplishment of actually posting something in my cut-up day is herculean and feels awesome. Today, I’ve had no interruptions and no one to entertain and I’ve accomplished less – I’ve cleared the dishes, wiped the counters, put in a load of laundry, drafted a blog post, checked Facebook and Twitter, sent email and paid a bill. Somehow, I’ve frittered 5 hours away and pick up is in 45 minutes!
Come September I had hopes of tackling those inane Martha Stewart-esque items on my To Do List, like using up all those frozen strawberries to make jam, finally copying all my Duran Duran CDs to my iPod, and matching all those socks in the lonely sock bin. But surely even I will stop making up things to do after a while. I’m reminded of that transformative scene in the War of the Roses when the busy, uber-efficient Mrs. Rose realizes the house is finally perfect and has nothing to do, and it frightens me.
This September my youngest will go to school full-time. Barring sickness, after the morning rush to get out the door is complete, I will have 6 hours of to myself. Every day. What the heck am I going to do? I’ve dreamed of this moment for more than ten years, and now that it’s finally here (almost), I know I will really miss them.
No longer will I be able to say, “oh, I didn’t have time!” Time will be all this empty nester will have! Time to go to the gym, to garden, to sew on all those missing buttons, to clear out the crawlspace, and possibly, to write my great Canadian novel. Bills will be paid on time! Field trip permission forms and library books will no longer be lost! Perhaps, I could even tackle the clutter on my desk?
Or it could be time to get a puppy 🙂