My husband, Joe, and I are dropping our boys off tonight for 24 hours of no-kid time. This is the second time in two months, but also only the second time in the last 5 years. Last time we sat in content elation, peaceful with the stillness of the world. Driving around after our dinner was so odd– no chatting, screaming, or constant “mommy, mom, mommy, mommy!” The world looks different without kids in tow; I noticed more of our surroundings than I had in ages without the intense constancy of putting out fires, answering questions, and singing songs.
What do people without children do? Calm peace is amazing, but an ongoing life of that would seem to me to be like a sensory deprivation chamber. How long can you sit and hear your own thoughts, be concerned only with your spouse and yourself? When the kids are screaming, I find my mind wandering to that contently quiet place without children. But when I look over and they’re playing legos or making chainmaille while making up songs with each other, the contently quiet place seems so blank.
I’ll say it again: motherhood drives me insane while maintaining my sanity. So tonight, Joe and I will be calmly wrapped up in each other; conversation, a beer, a movie that’s not made for kids. Our world will take on the sepia tones of adulthood. And tomorrow we’ll pick them up from the sitter, hug them, and the intense vibrant colors of our life will flood back in.