I must take this opportunity to say that our time away from the kids was, well....strange. The first morning without the responsibility of getting them up and dressed was bizarre. I was dressed and ready to walk out the door in 15 minutes flat. (I am very low-maintenance...no makeup and I wear scrubs to work) I arrived at work long before I intended to, so Tuesday morning I slept later and took my sweet time getting dressed and driving to work. I still got there a little early, but better than Monday.
Monday evening after work, Trevor and I met for dinner and then found ourselves at Barnes and Noble going our separate ways. I found a few new books and enjoyed the leisurely browsing without constantly checking my watch. Tuesday night we met for a movie (Transformers...great special effects/way too long) and then wandered around Best Buy afterwards. We decided to get some coffee and as we were sitting there sipping our lattes, Trevor announced that he was hungry, so we went across the street to Chili's and had a late dinner.
We got home around 10 pm (which might as well be 2 am as far as we are concerned!) and didn't go to bed until around 11. We were a bit horrified when we rolled out of bed around 9 am because we knew that we would have a terrible time getting up Thursday morning for work, but it was still sort of nice to sleep for as long as we wanted to. Even on days off, I still have the kids there to wake me up if I dare sleep past 7 am, so it was a nice change!
When spent a good portion of the morning cleaning Nathan's room and the playroom. "Cleaning" those rooms really means throwing out all of the crap they have accumulated since the last "cleaning". We emptied out all of the toy bins and threw away all of the McDonald's/Burger King/Sonic toys as well as old papers, broken toys and toys that we have always hated, but been unable to pry away from them. We separated baby toys out and put them in several bins to pull out when we have guests with really little kids. The others we put aside to donate to the church.
We rearranged Nathan's room and added some Lightening McQueen/Mater decorating accents for good measure. The tactic worked, because Nathan was so enamoured with his new room that he didn't even notice all the things that were missing.
We spent the early afternoon shopping together and then I rented a few movies and we curled up for a long afternoon of movies and relaxation. It was great to just sit around without getting up every 10 minutes to check and see if that piercing scream was from a severed limb or from run of the mill teasing. No baths to take, no hair to wash and dry, no bedtime prayers to say.
It was terrible.
Strangely enough, this was the bizarre portion of the time without the kids. I missed rhythm of our days and nights together, although I didn't miss the day to day grind of discipline and feeling like all I ever do is fuss at them. The break made me realize that I do so much more than fuss and correct Nathan and Grace. All of the little moments that we spend talking, playing and praying are precious and I spend more time than I realized doing those things with my kids. It made me feel better about my mothering skills (and who hasn't had those thoughts run through their head from time to time?) and about the kind of life my children have in general.
All in all, Trevor and I hold our own in the "raising kids" department. There is always room for improvement and God-willing we will always strive to become better parents, but on the whole, we're not doing too badly. For now, I'm just glad to have my beautiful children back home where they belong. I have to go....I think I hear Grace splashing around in the bathroom. Is that splashing coming from the sink or the toil........Grace!!!!!!!!!