My house is momentarily very quiet. Erica and Whitney, who have been our houseguests since Monday, have departed for parts north, readying themselves for Bailey's graduation on Saturday. Kirk is at work. My mom is at a medical meeting on the Cape until tomorrow some time. Will is asleep. I am done with my typing, and my cookie dough is chilling. I'm just enjoying the momentary solitude. It doesn't necessarily happen that often.
Having grown up as an only child, I spent a lot of time by myself. As a result, alone time is something I've grown to cherish, especially as I've gotten older and it's become so scarce. Alone never bothers me. It gives me a chance to hear my own breath, to know what's happening in my head and in my heart. It keeps me sane.
Tonight, with our guests gone and my mom away, it will be just the three of us here, alone in our house. I think I can count on one hand how many times that has happened since February 2004 when we moved in. A different kind of alone time. Also important. Also scarce.
We moved in with my mom Thanksgiving weekend 2003. Will was a scant three weeks old. Our condo had been sold, and the house still didn't quite have a bathroom. The four of us lived in her house until the following February when, her old house sold and her new house still a vacant lot and a big dream, we all moved in here. And it's been wonderful, having her here with us. Will has developed an incredibly close relationship with her that her move 30 yards away won't alter. I've come to rely on her in countless ways. She and Kirk have come to know and love each other on a level not usually found between mother- and son-in-law.
It's time, though, for her to be in her house. For all of us. She needs her space, and Kirk and I need to learn how to be a family within ourselves. She's given us an easy out in lots of things over the past year and a half. We need to learn to rely on each other. We need to be just us.
Her moving is going to be hard. I no longer remember what it was like to not have her within shouting distance. Not that she's going far--I can still shout, but it will need to be louder, through an open window. Or preferably, I suppose, spoken through a telephone. But the truth is I love having my mom here with me, and even if she is moving just through the yards and I'll still see her pretty much every day, I'm going to miss her horribly.
I can't imagine putting the teakettle on the stove at 10:00 at night with enough water just for one. Or taking Will off to bed without his stolen moments of "Nana time."
The insulation is going up on her walls as we speak. Tick tock. Moving day creeps near.
I will adjust, adapt, change. And we'll all be fine. It will be a good thing, her being in her house. And I know it's time. But, still.
I have not outgrown, nor will I ever outgrow, needing my mother.