On Tuesday, some friends texted, asking if I’d like to hit the Mallards baseball game that evening. In my life now, I could never be so flexible as to attend anything on a few hours notice. I’m a married, family man. I gots obligations. But, this week has been like no other, since Meghan and Cash are spending the week in California while I stay back and work and have the house and the two cats all to myself. I thought I would like the freedom, the taste of pseudo-singlehood just like the old days. I can pretty much eat what I want (cover your eyes Meghan) , not make the bed, (still covering them?), leave clothes on the floor, (Told ya to cover them) not prepare baths, nor change diapers. I was free to set my own schedule.
On the hectic days, when it seems like I go from work to home projects to choppy sleep to waking up and repeating, this time to myself seemed so aspirational. A little break from the seeming constant obligations.
What I didn’t imagine in those times was the silence would bore me. That I’d walk by Cash’s empty room, see his little clothes on the dresser and be hit with a heavy gut and a tickle in my throat.
Sort through the laundry and see Meghan’s workout gear and her flip-flops by the door and realize a big part of my life is missing. And so I am on hold and the muzac plays on the line. I look forward to texts and picture updates of them enjoying their time in the California sun with fun family. So, I’m stuck in pause before my life can play on again as usual. A usual that I won’t take for granted anymore or ever wish a break from.
The two cats, who I’m normally indifferent at best to, I’m actually petting once in awhile. They meow through the empty halls at night. They sit on the porch during the day, avoiding direct sunlight and watching the birds nibble at the hanging feeder.
I used to emulate those free birds. Now, I just watch them and some Mallards. The birds can have their freedom. I have something better…my family.