As payback for all the evenings I've been gone lately, I kicked Reid out of the house last night and sent him to watch Skyfall. He needed a break, and I was happy to clean up dinner and put the kids to bed for, I don't know, the second time in 10 days(!?!) Plus, I got to catch up on some hulu.com. Win win.
But I wasn't quite as eager to have him gone again tonight. He called earlier this afternoon telling me that a friend had invited him to the Nuggets game. Of course, I said. Go, have fun, enjoy some man time. We'll be fine!
I admit, I wasn't thrilled at the idea. But, contrary to my usual ways, I decided to make the best of it! I got on the phone and called everyone I knew with kids my kids' ages who might also be husbandless this evening. I was going to be the awesomest mom ever and have everyone over for homemade raviolis, Easter crafting and a movie night, with kettle-corn, sleeping bags and a mini-concession stand run with Monopoly money! How awesome am I?!?!
Not awesome enough to actually find any friends to join in on the fun, apparently.
We still had homemade raviolis (which I made a couple weeks ago--soooooo yum!!), and we still did some Easter egg modge-podging. But we scrapped the movie, went downstairs and played for an hour. I played the piano while the kids danced on the stage. I introduced them to Simon and Garfunkel, Chopin, and The Best of Chicago. (They fell in love with Saturday in the Park and You're the Inspiration. I can die now.)
They were all playing so nicely that I didn't even check the clock and just kept playing the piano, singing at the top of my lungs. Eliza kept asking me to be more quiet. She said her ears were hurting. She might have even started crying, but I couldn't be sure, what with all the noise I was making. James loved it. He loves when I sing. He also loves when I squeeze him so tightly he can't breathe. And I think Eliza secretly loved it too...once the ringing stopped. Abby and Grace were playing "Let's pretend we have a little brother" (??) and they managed to make each of my songs fit into their story. I was just surprised at how happy I was to be playing the piano again.
Eventually I got the kids to bed. Of course it was later than planned, but it was painless. Bedtime is getting easier and easier with each step of independence these kids make--i love it! I came down to check my email. There was one from Reid with a link to this blog post from HandsFreeMama.com. It's called How to Miss a Childhood.
Sadly, I am guilty of many of the "ingredients" she lists in her recipe for how to miss your kids' childhood. Even without a smart-phone, I'm guilty. In fact, I thought I was immune from this sort of parenting mistake because I have a dumb-phone. But I'm not. I still manage to shoo my kids away when I'm talking on the phone, or make a call in the car when I could be talking to them. Or even text at a stop light.
It was a good read for me. Had I not just spent the past three hours working on my Mother of the Year award, I might have been heavily bombarded with guilt. (If you're the guilt-ridden type, be sure to read like 40 books to your kid and take them to the zoo before reading that article.) As is, I'm feeling encouraged to make greater efforts to be "unplugged", and more sure than ever that I should have been born in the 1800's (I would have invented the epidural, so that wouldn't have been a problem).
At the end of the day, we didn't have the remarkable evening that I had planned. And this isn't the blog post that I had planned. (Does anyone else do that? mentally pre-blog an event that hasn't even happened? How embarrassed should I be to admit that i do?) But it was a great evening for me, and I don't want to forget it.
Reid should really get out more often.
(But don't tell him I said that.)