When the Kids are Away, The Parents will, um…. Sleep by Cindy Haney
Well, there’s a first time for everything, right? This week is one of those Firsts. It’s the first time ever that both of my teen-aged daughters went away for the entire week… in the same week! This is so historic that my husband and I made plans to break out the champagne on the first night and toast to our new found (albeit temporary) freedom!
Ahhh, you gotta love summer. Amanda went away to her annual Choir Camp and Emily went to her best friend’s family’s farm. I am sure that while they are gone, they are imagining us moping around, depressed, bored and empty without them, counting the minutes until they return. They think that we are crying in our margaritas (mere distractions, of course) while watching their baby videos in slow motion for hours and hours. *Sniff*Sniff* “When will we ever feel WHOLE again…!”
Hang on, let’s tap the Reality Brakes a little. If you are one of the tens of thousands of parents who shipped their teenagers off to camp this summer, then you already know that you don’t have time for all that sentimental bullcrap. They’ll be back before you know it, so you’ve got to GET BUSY being F-R-E-E!! This is one glorious week of no homework, no driving kids all over the place, no trips to the damn mall, no painting anybody else’s fingernails, no cooking dinner (pizza EVERY night, oh yes!) and no washing 47 loads of barely used bath towels.
Oh sure, we’ll miss them. On the first night, the silence was eerie and deafening. On the second night, the silence was divine and peaceful. I could get used to this! Ok, no, just kidding. Of course it’s weird when they’re not home. But, trust me, they’ll be back all too soon, so I might as well make the best of it and live a little. This week, I don’t have to be a Mom, I can be a regular grown-up. What does that mean anyway? I have no idea. I forgot.
“So what will I do with myself?” I ponder in between pages of my romance novel while lying in my lounge chair in the backyard. Well, I have a few ideas for all you empty and lonely parents out there…
Things to Do While Your Kids are Away at Camp:
- Enjoy a Staycation. Hubby and I still have to go to work while the kids are gone, unfortunately, but in the evening we can go to the pool or just put our pajamas on at 6:00 pm and then sprawl out on the couch. We can even eat pizza in our underwear. And while you are enjoying the peace and quiet of your own home, why don’t you…
- Take a really, really, really long bubble bath. Wouldn’t it be nice to use all of the hot water for yourself for a change? Wouldn’t it be lovely to soak in the tub without any interruptions, such as, “Moooommmmm, I’m out of face wash, can you take me Walgreens right noooowwww!”
- Use the laptop ANYTIME you want. I never, ever, I mean never, get to touch that thing. It is permanently attached to one of the kids at all times. Wouldn’t it be historied to use it without having to issue a five-minute warning to get off the computer…twenty times.
- Cook a five-star, four-course gourmet meal. Hahaha, just kidding. Are you on drugs? Hell NO to that suggestion, you wacky jokester you. Haven’t you been listening? This week, I am F-R-E-E and that means absolutely no D-I-S-H-E-S!
- Go see a Rated-R movie during dinnertime! And have popcorn for a meal. I know, scandalous, right? We’re going to go see the most violent, curse-word filled, mostly naked movie we can find. Without any teenagers tagging along. We’re going to wear black hoodies just in case we see any parents we know, that way they can’t positively identify us.
- Re-Organize all the closets in your house. Gotcha’ again! Hell NO to this one too. Just seeing if you’re paying attention. I think you’re catching on. Go take a long, uninterrupted late afternoon nap instead.
Speaking of sleep…the first night, we were anxious to put into practice one of the above suggestions. So we got home from work, and decided to start our exciting kid-free evening by having a heart-felt and stimulating, adults-only conversation, uninterrupted by whiny kids and listening ears. It went like this:
“So, how was work?”
“Whaddya wanna do?”
“Let’s watch the Bachlorette.”
(15 minutes later…)
“Zzzzzzzz. *Snore*Snort* Zzzzzz.”
Yes, getting used to our precious daughters not being home this week has taken quite a bit of effort on our part. It’s an adjustment, for sure, but rest assured, we are soldiering on. Don’t call us with your sympathy, though, because we not answering the phone. I think, with a little bit of adjustment, and some tequila, we are starting to forget all about our pain. Plus, we’re catching up on a whole of lot of sleep. I highly recommend it.