My sweet, dear husband gave me two days off this week. In the past, I didn't think I deserved time off, or I thought I was a bad mother when I started feeling sick of my children, or when I felt utmost despair of doing one more load of laundry, or when I disolved in tears at the thought of cooking dinner after a busy day. Over time, I have learned that every mother needs time off to rejuvenate and get perspective on her life. So when I told Steve that I needed some time off (meaning I wanted a two hour slot alone to go for a walk, or sit stupidly without talking for an hour) he told me to take two whole days off. Two days! So I went to Whidbey island for a mini retreat.
The first day, I bicycled around Camano Island. I felt high on the exercise and the smell of lilacs, and the thrill of being all by myself, not having to take care of anyone else but myself. The first 20 miles were awesome. The next ten miles, my nether regions started hurting, not being used to hours on the saddle. The last ten miles, my legs were burning, and I was starving. At the end of the 40 plus miles, even my voice had suffered. I had been chased by two gigantic dogs, and I yelled at them with all I had, instead of trying to outrun them, knowing my muscles couldn't take it.
In short: I was blissed out. I headed to Steve and my favorite restaurant "Adrift" in Anacortes, where they serve locally sourced food, prepared in a heavenly manner, and I fell upon my salmon tacos like a starving woman who had biked her ass off.
The next day, I headed to the local knitting store, of course, where I bought yarn to make a sun hat. I can't wait to start on this project!
Next: Washington Park, which is such a lovely, quiet spot to hike and relax. I walked, sat, knitted, walked, sat, knitted, walked, sat, knitted, for hours.
Perspective is good. After a little time away from my normal life, I am so very ready to return to it. I miss my family when we are apart, and I don't feel whole. I notice other people's children, and sometimes I tear up when I watch a mother and her little child, hunting for rocks at the beach, missing my own children so badly it hurts. But then, when I call Steve at home and hear all the chaos and the children's screams in the background, I gratefully hang up the phone, returning to whatever quiet, refreshing, rejuvenating thing I have been doing, and I sigh a little bit with the pleasure of knowing that I still have some hours left to be away from them.
The temperatures this week have been in the high 80's! That's even hotter than summer! The kids and I have been taking breaks from the hot gardening work at the neighbor's pond, jumping into the cold, cold water, paddling on it with a surfboard, catching frogs, digging in the sand, and enjoying the luxury of having a pond a minute's walk away from our house.
In the meantime, the pigs are watching us, since they live in the pasture next to the pond. Don't worry, there is no manure run off. We have to return one of the piglets because of the hernia, so we'll switch it out for a "new" one on Sunday.