I have never been alone. Growing up as the youngest of a large family (even though, granted, for half of the time it was just a small group of us living at home together, as people had married and gone off to college and the like), I’ve always had people around me all the time. I shared a room (by choice) with either a sister or a niece for most of my pre-married life. I enjoy being surrounded by people, and not in a I-need-to-party-all-day-and-have-constant-noise kind of way, but in a I-like-the-comfort-of-loved-ones-being-nearby kind of way. Let’s just say I’m good with not being alone.
At least, I always was before. Before I had kids, being alone was not something I really wanted. I mean, a quiet afternoon here and there is fine, but just because you want quiet doesn’t mean you want solitude. After having kids I still felt the same way for a good long time, until the oldest was able to walk AND climb out of his crib on his own in fact. Seriously. That’s when it started to change. You see, that’s when, for the first time, I realized I was no longer able to be alone, even if I wanted to be. Here was this little person, with ears and eyes, who could understand most of what I said and saw everything, who had the freedom to wander our space and who I loved having around and…who I could never escape! It’s maddening at times.
Now, with five children who can all walk and (mostly) talk and understand, I find that I am missing the option of being alone from time to time, like when I pee. So, without further ado, here’s my list of the top 10 things I miss about not being alone :
Grown up conversations that aren’t interrupted — Having to explain why so-and-so is a what-and-what kinda makes you feel like a gossip.
Music — I miss being able to turn on whatever song I want to listen to and not care that I might be forgetting about a word or phrase of an ilk that is not appropriate for kids.
TV — Can’t even watch good old Judge Judy without worrying about what they might pick up on. They’re smart little rascals.
Showering — Alone.
Peeing — Alone.
The ability to get up and go — Without needing to fill a million sippy cups and snack bags
Long phone calls with friends — Without having to wander from room to room to hide and speak in code.
Sleeping — Without waking up to someones knees in my back or head near between my legs, and oh yeah, an arm across my face just for good measure.
There they are. I can only come up with seven things in my top 10 list. And you know what? Not a one of those things is actually about being alone or away from my children per se. If anything they’re about the little inconveniences of life that just happen to involve being responsible (like the sippy cup thing). Half of them are more about how my children, these wonderful gifts from God, convict me everyday and force me (grudgingly at times) to behave in a better way than I might on my own. Having children has changed my life, but not in any way that I wasn’t expecting. Do I still wish I could have some privacy in the bathroom? Yes. But really, it’s a small price to pay for having five healthy, active, intelligent children (who just happen to understand and question just about everything they hear and see on a daily basis).
In response to prompt number 3 in this weeks edition of Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop.