It’s been a week of pure beauty.  

I love my kids.  I love them dearly.

I have also enjoyed them being gone everyday.

It’s been 16 years.

16 years of having a small child (or several) at home.

This year I sent off all of my children.  

Two in high school, and the rest in an elementary/preschool by my house.

They are excited, I am excited.

After Handsome’s first day he said,

“Mama, after the sun goes down and I sleep, can I come back again?”

I guess what, I decided to let him.  

I have 5 days with two and a half hours of time

to do as I choose.

I can hike, or grocery shop alone, read a book, clean without it being undone that minute…

imagine the freedom.

Funny thing is, 

that I easily fill the space of time, without much challenge at all.

I have to continually remind myself that I don’t have to call someone every free second

to fill the quiet.

And I started realizing, 

that I have never been alone…never.

I was the oldest of 5 children, nannied in college, had a step daughter before my own, raised my niece for almost five years…and five of my own girls later, adopted a son, and here I am.

I don’t think I realized how much I needed the quiet

until I heard it.

And now I realize how healing a bit of peace can be for the soul.

It is welcome.

And then I thought…

What will it be like when they are all gone?

and I don’t have little body to snuggle with, or read to.  

No sweet kisses on my ear, or sandwiches to make.  

No scratches to bandage or tears to wipe.  

No baby clothes to pick up, or tugging at my shirt as I make cookie dough.

Nobody to sing with in my car as I drive on my errands, and nobody to scold for fighting.

Nobody asking for help in the night with a bad dream, or an accident.

Nobody to remind me of my endless commitments of homework and activities.

No kisses good night, no baths to give, no heads of hair or teeth to brush.

And prayers at night will be said alone, with Jon at the end of a quiet day.

And then I thought

Someday that might make me sad, but for now I’ll enjoy my two and a half hours of quiet.

Now run along kids, I’ll see you after school.