Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Five Hours Early


Nine pm came early today; at four pm, actually. Five hours early. That's five hours longer tonight that I get to feel...lonely. It's hardest during the stretches when I don't work. Normally, a single parent would go to work, then shift into parent time at home, and then after parent time was done, then the loneliness might hit. Single people, I imagine, experience this upon coming home from work. So maybe today I am just feeling like a single person minus the parent part...who knows. Either way, it is lonely.

Today is day number four in a row that I haven't worked. And I have two more after this one. It's not that I don't love being the primary caregiver of my children--that is a blessing I don't take for granted...but after you haven't seen or talked to anyone over the height of 3' (if even that) in hours or days, you start to really, really crave adult interaction. The little things, like hearing about someone else's day and having them ask about yours, making dinner because there is someone else who actually prefers a real meal over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and relaxing after the kids go to bed instead of cleaning.

Relaxing. There is no one to touch or to touch you. There is no one to listen to breathe at night (ok, well, I do admit that more often than not lately, Amara sneaks her way into my bed toward the morning hours). If you laugh, you do it alone. There is no end in sight, no R&R that's going to bring your loved one home for a little while...so you just keep going. You find joy in the other little things, and transform your sadness over being lonely into joy over the expectation that someday, you will share these things again. Every day, you do it again, and come up with ways to fill that 9pm lonely syndrome so it doesn't overpower you.

But today...today, 9pm is here early. And so as I watch my beautiful babies eat their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, as I wash little faces and hands, as I pick up toys and vacuum cereal off the floor, as I work on my projects...I sing lullabies to myself, hold my own heart, and carry my head high. I will not allow this feeling to affect me negatively. I can fight it for five extra hours today. I will not make mistakes or dwell or feel bad for myself because I am alone. I will instead count today as a blessing, because even in those five extra hours, I am accomplishing things, I am developing into a stronger and better person inside, and after all, once today and these five extra hours are over, I will be one day closer to not being lonely any more.

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