I cannot remember the last time I spent a night by myself.I have written before about leaving my family and them leaving me for school and pre-school, but I tonight I am absolutely and totally on my lonesome. It’s not the same I’ve realised as having time to yourself knowing your children are in bed down the hall, available for spying on and sly kisses as you feel the need (that’s not only me is it?). Nor is it the same as leaving them and staying with friends and family. Being at home, which is usually a cauldron of noise, emotion and testosterone, today is very very quiet.
So, they’ve gone camping for the first time. I have always bloody hated camping. I remember doing our Duke of Edinburgh bronze expedition and managing to scrape through thanks to the cajoling of the Sessions cousins. The rest of us wanted to phone Vicky’s dad who’d told her if it got too tough to let him know – exactly the point of D of E of course! By the time we attempted a silver trek even Mr Davey the teacher was finding it hard not to laugh. But we had done our community service (Oxfam for two hours every wed afternoon, Hannah and I were the best kitted out six formers as a result), physical activity for which I chose trampolining; I remind the boys of this frequently as my pelvic floor and I try to keep up with their bouncing records. This is the first ‘first’ I can remember missing.
I realised though this meant I could do anything I liked. No limits, no curfew, no expectations. I could go clubbing, if only I knew anyone who did that anymore. I thought about going to the cinema, I thought curling up and reading, but it was just too quiet, and odd being at home by myself. I got a dinner invitation, thanks Hannah for this evening!
It’s funny how much we take for granted the level of vibrancy at which we live our lives. Our family life is highly vibrant and highly visible whether at home or out. I know some families exist at a lower frequency, and I am envious in many ways. But my three boys, loud as can be, are growing up to be the life and soul of groups and gatherings, long may that confidence continue. I miss them!