After six and a half years into this mothering thing, I have finally spent the night alone (ALONE) in my very own house. Now, don't get me wrong - I've traveled for work, spent the night at MY parent's house, or the kids have spent the night at friends' houses, but I have NEVER been ALL ALONE, ALL NIGHT in my own bed. RD and the kids headed to their Auntie's house to bask in her love, the Portland Zoo, and, of course, Auntie's air conditioning.
I had lofty plans, and, for the most part, accomplished alot in my family's absence. On Thursday evening took the train to pick up a car for my sister's family (you really don't want to know more detail, I'm already bored myself). I then slept THE WHOLE NIGHT without waking and blissfully awoke, refreshed, at 7:30am. I worked for a few hours then began my BIG weekend task: the painting of the family room in the basement.
It may seem like a simple task, but when your basement is about 1000 square feet and the family room pushes 800 of that, you have your work cut out for you. I painted for about 12 hours on Friday, and at about 11pm I discovered there was no way in hell I had the strength to move the mammoth sectional couch (with chaise!) that lives in the family room. I'm just too pathetically week. I figured out how much I could complete (tastefully, of course), leaving about 1/3 left to accomplish (not to self: figure out when I might have time to finish. Related: never).
Saturday morning found me adding my beloved second coat and then in the afternoon I headed over to my friend and neighbor's house for a BBQ. It was truly weird to be there without the kids. I kept referring to them and gesturing in the direction of the sandbox and kiddie pool (where everyone else's kids were) like they were actually there. Afterwords, another friend and I headed to see (500) Days of Summer. Trust me when I say it is a delight.
Sunday, I cleaned the house, restocked the fridge, and shaved my legs in peace. The family returned home, happy, around noon. Bubba, who has quite a sensitive heart, would not leave my sight the rest of the day. He kept wanting me to snuggle with him and have him tell me how much he missed me and how his heart was happier now that we were together again.
And then my heart imploded.
The only downside of the weekend was the knowledge that the kids, once returned to me, would be mine alone for the next few days as RD had a work conference to head to. For me, the mornings, with the hustle and bustle of breakfast/clothes/teethbrushing/driving/two drops offs is the worst part. Otherwise, I enjoy some time to myself with the kids.
Monday evening (after watching How I Met Your Mother, natch), I stumbled upon a documentary on HBO called Boy Interrupted. It's the story of the suicide of Dana and Hart Perry's son, Evan, when he was 15. It was probably one of the most poignant, heartfelt and moving pieces of film making I have ever seen. Evan's parents, who are documentary filmmakers, wrote and directed the picture, which was shown at Sundance. While no suicide is ever simple, the film shares all the uniqueness of Evan and his family's journey, his bipolar disorder, his treatment at Wellspring (which has seemed to bring him out of the darkness), and the impact of his disease and death on his family and friends. Because they are filmmakers, they had alot of personal footage to share. Evan did as well - as he, himself, was an aspiring filmmaker. About 1/3 of the way through the film, we learn that this is not the first suicide in his family. His uncle and namesake, Scott, killed himself at 21. The tell his life story, essentially, from birth until his suicide. You feel the pain of a mother and grandmother trying to understand why her flesh and blood would kill themselves. The destruction in the eyes of Dana, with her complete disbelief that it has actually happened. I found the interviews with his psychiatrist the most interesting and insightful.
After crying hysterically for the better part of 90 minutes, the movie finished. I stood in my bedroom, alone, and all I could think about was going to hold my soundly sleeping son. I went into his room, still sniffling; sat on his bed, and leaned in for a snuggle.
He wasn't having it.
He was sleeping, and very deeply at that - the poor kid.
It made me smile a bit through my tears, remembering that he was just a boy trying to sleep. And I am just his mom, trying to love him just a bit more.
All the rest would just have to wait until the morning.