Empty Nest

August 29, 2007

Empty nest
My baby started preschool this week. For the first time in close to a decade I am alone at home, for 2.5 hours each day.  Imagine the possibilities!
I have wondered for a long time how I would react to all this, the liberation, the emancipation. I have anticipated being a little verklempt. Maybe a lot verklempt.  I'm 31 so really, for most of my adult life so far, my identity has been largely composed of stay at home mommy. Never without a little person circling the vicinity of my knees or on the hip. And while yes of course, let's not get dramatic now.. I am still stay at home mommy...a shift has occurred...the winds of change, the beginning of the end of an era..a taste of things to come. This was a momentous occasion.
So this is how I imagined it: I would take Finny to preschool on the first day..leaving  only when the teacher started making pointed hints that I should...him tentatively waving me off..both of us keeping a brave face but only just. Me weeping copiously all the way to the bakery, incomprehensible phone calls to my husband with the words  "no more baby", "what now" "too soon" being spluttered between heaving sobs. Him making consoling sounds (with the unmistakeable click of keyboard keys in the background).
This is how it happened: Dropping off Finny was like the 8th leg in a day that was apparently one long and very intense race. The type of day when as you drive home between legs, you are envisaging every movement you will make after putting your key in the door so as to maximize your efficiency and speed. When I finally careened up to the preschool cornering on two wheels, all we were both feeling was relief (and surprise) that we had actually made it. He barrelled in, with narey a backward glance (you can see the pictorial narrative here):
Finny's first day of school
After I got my quota of photos, I did leave, but I had so many other things still ahead in the day that I did not have time to get verklempt. In fact I barely had time to even be home alone. It was rather anti climatic. No weeping, no cheesecake. I felt slightly cheated.
The next day..more of the same. In so-busy-I-am-robotic mode. No emotion could be scheduled.
But today when I had actually forgotten about the hysterical breakdown I was due, I felt it. Maybe it was the fact that we both forgot to really say goodbye because he was playing with a friend, and I had been chatting to another parent, and the fact that he did not even notice..which of course, is good but.....BWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  I didn't actually manage to squeeze out any real tears but I did have a moment of feeling profoundly lost and sad and bereft.  Then I got home and walked around my quiet house and it sank in that I had 2.5 hours to do anything I chose. I had no immediately pressing projects, appointments, or commitments. This in itself a novelty, the combination of that and being alone made me quite heady with the possibilities..
I thought about reading, I thought about napping, I walked out onto my deck and saw the gently rocking swing and felt the warm sunlight and heard nothing but birds and cicadas.
Then I walked inside and cleaned the kitchen. Perhaps free time is wasted on me.
Thalia Randall
This is gorgeous! It never dawned on me until reading this that you have this new life element to contemplate! Exciting stuff!! xxx Love you :)
Posted by: Thalia Randall | August 30, 2007 at 03:04 AM

Kirsty, I started a blog of my own and I've been searching for friends sites to add to my page. May I?
Also, that picture of the Finster is making me miss you guys.
Posted by: Jen | August 30, 2007 at 05:34 PM

Wow! The possibilities are endless! Hooray for you, but I know it is bitter-sweet!
Posted by: Amz | August 31, 2007 at 12:14 PM

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