Late last night Joe and Hank left for a few days of deer hunting. Dad and Diana were nice enough to keep Madeleine and Elisabeth in Silver Lake one more night so I had an entire evening at home with no one else. Believe it or not, it was the first opportunity I have had to be alone for an overnight in this house since we moved here over five years ago.
Right after Hank and Joe left I walked around my quiet, peaceful, empty house and reveled in the the sheer emptiness and absolute quiet. For twenty hours at least, any mess that would be made would be mine (Joe's coat wouldn't be slung over the living room chair! Legos wouldn't be underfoot! No American Girl dolls hair salons in the bathroom!), any noise I heard would be created by me (No whining! No complaining! No tattling!) and for that small amount of time my time would be my own.
It hit me right around 11 p.m., after I had spent the better part of my evening absorbed in a most excellent book, that I could have gone out if I'd wanted to. I could have called friends. I could have gone out for a nice dinner. I could have gone to see a movie. Heck, I could have done anything and I wondered if maybe there was something wrong with me because as much as I love my friends and eating out and seeing movies and as much I would have enjoyed doing any number of things, I never even questioned-- nary a thought crossed my mind-- that once the house was my own I would stay there, utterly and perfectly alone for however long my family would allow it.
My girls are back now, and new messes are being made and their shouts and laughter are ringing throughout the house and yet I don't regret staying in and spending an evening alone here, even if that does mean there's something wrong with me.