Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Day Without Sunshine

"Sometimes it's so easy to let a day slip on by without even seeing each other at all." -Billy Joel

Things just aren't right. It's too quiet. I have too much time on my hands.

Not a creature was stirring
As I got ready for work one morning, the door to Peanut's room was wide open. I had no reason to go in there but I did anyway. There was her bed, empty. Perfectly made. Most of her stuffed animals that keep her company each night are gone too. They were all still down at the beach with my in-laws. Peanut and all of her friends.

You think you're going to enjoy this time alone, just the two of you. (Three, with Luna.) But the void could not be ignored. It hit us on our way to a friend's party that we stopped at on our way home the night we left Peanut at the beach with my in-laws. Everyone commenting on how nice it will be for us to have alone time; everyone joking that we'll have a second child nine months from now. (We won't. Trust me.)

Don't get me wrong, having a couple of days off is nice. There was no need to rush home for pickup or to make dinner. We ordered out and were able to do the daily chores: walk the dog, water the lawn, clean up the kitchen, guilt-free and hassle-free.

Still, we miss our crazy little Peanut. Not having her here is so foreign. But this is just the beginning, isn't it? Kindergarten in the fall. That's a whole new ballgame. Homework. Sleepovers I'm sure are not far behind. Maybe day camp next summer? At least a week or two with her grandparents. Maybe even my sister in Virginia. There she goes already. My little Peanut. Old enough to have an entire day or two without me, without us.

Not that she didn't miss us. When we talked to her on the phone that night, she informed us that she had told my in-laws that she missed us no less than five times that day. Not bad. If my math is correct, that's about once every two hours up to that point. So she's not going too far just yet.

I've reached the point in my life where I have lived away from my parents more than I have lived with them. When I visit their house, my old house, it seems foreign. When we visit I often feel like a stranger in my old neighborhood. Everything looks so different now. Or older. That tree is gone. That house is a different color. That storefront is empty.

Peanut has a while before she reaches that point. But it goes by so fast, doesn't it? My goodness I feel like it was just yesterday we were picking a town based on the schools. And now she's going to one of them in September.

One night at the beach, we went out for ice cream. We got caught in a torrential downpour. One of the fiercest thunderstorms I had ever seen. And the radar showed that it had apparently just hit the island we were on. So we waited in the swagger wagon for the storm to pass. Sheets of rain, strong wind, hail, flooding. You name it, this storm had it. All in a matter of a few minutes.

Peanut got scared. She started to cry. "I want to go home," she said through her tears. We thought she meant back to the beach house. "We can't, honey," I said. "The street is all flooded. Besides, the car is the safest place to be right now."

"No. I want to go back to OUR house." Back home. Where it's safe. Where she's loved. Where she's home.
Back where she belongs.
There's no place else she'd rather be. There's no place else we'd rather have her. That empty nest can wait.

Being away from Peanut reinforces our decision to go "hands-free" when we ARE with her. I wrote about that here.  (Full Disclosure: We've admittedly been slacking a bit lately.)


  1. Sob. It's already hard enough dropping NeanderBaby at "preschool" 2 mornings a week. This hurt my heart, thinking about her being gone for longer and longer periods of time. Which once she hits puberty may not be the worst thing for us! Baby Brother's going to be getting smothered. :) Ya done good, J.

    1. Thanks, love. But I have a feeling that when she's a teenager I'm gonna want her out of the house as much as possible. :-)

  2. It goes by in a blink of an eye, then they are teenagers and it's not as scary as you thought, but you realise there is only three years left before they finish school and move on with their lives and you can't imagine what it will be like not spending your life washing mountains of clothes, driving endlessly from one activity to the next, cooking huge meals 'cause she's HUNGRY, you can't remember what your life was before they arrived and you have no idea how you will fill your time.

    1. Well, I do like to cook more than we need in order to have leftovers. But you're right. I can;t believe she's actually 5 years old already.

  3. Amazing how much you think you want some time to yourself only to find out that when they aren't around, you talk about them and wish they were with you. I think it gets easier to have them gone once they're teenagers ;)

    1. I think you are correct on both counts, my friend!


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