Sometimes the most unexpected little pleasures come along in this life. Sometimes all it takes is a lowly waffle to turn around a mini bout of depression.
I went into this week feeling like a sad old sock, left in the back of the drawer. No one needed or wanted me any more, and I was starting to unravel in a most unattractive way. Monday morning saw me wallowing in self-pity. I had seen my daughter on the weekend at a wedding, but now she was gone back to her own life. My boys were another story. They had come to the house while we were on vacation so that they could take care of our dogs. They had left us a couple of funny little notes and a couple of damp towels, but I hadn’t been able to see them. It had been a month since I had last touched, hugged, kissed them. A month since I had cooked for them.
Sometimes I miss my kids a little. And sometimes I miss them like I would miss my own heart if it left me to live on its own.
Next weekend we are headed off for an annual reunion of Paul’s huge extended family. Its always a lot of fun and laughs, but the location has become a big problem for me.
See, we gather every year at the campground where Paul and I vacationed with our three kids every single year of their lives. The images of my babies playing and growing there are a little overwhelming for me. I see a precious memory under every tree, beside every river splashed rock, in every shooting star.
Yesterday I woke up sad. I didn’t want to get ready for the camping trip, packing just for Paul and I. I didn’t want to go up there to the mountains without my little kids to care for, to cook for. I went into the day feeling grumpy and unmotivated. I decided not to defrost anything for dinner; Paul would be home a little late, and there were plenty of leftovers. I was in serious grouch mode.
Postdepartum Depression indeed.
Then, a text came in. From Tim! He asked if we would be home last night, wondering if he and his friend could come for the night. Well, gee, let me think about it for a millisecond. How about YES!!! I asked him, “What’s the occasion?” His response?
“We have the day off, and we just want to see you guys.”
Just like that, I was up and about, defrosting and marinating some beef ka bobs and some shrimp. Making a nice macaroni salad, filling the grill with fresh charcoal. Running out for fresh corn and cold beer.
The kids came and we had a great dinner. Tim played us some new favorite songs on his iPod, and we talked about school, family, the dogs, politics and the weather. We watched a Netflix film, but I wasn’t really paying attention. I was looking at my boy.
This morning I made a big pile of homemade waffles and fed them before they headed home. As the taste of maple and butter filled my mouth, a little bubble of happiness filled my soul.
Poof! Just like that, all my sadness evaporated. Just one unplanned visit, that was all it took. Just the realization that the kids still like to come home, just for fun, and all was right with the world.
After they left, I started packing for the reunion!
Just an aside, by way of explanation:
My “children” are in their 20’s now, all three of them. They are all happy and independent (for the most part!). The intellectual part of me knows that they should not be here, visiting Mommy every week. The thinking part of this Mammabear is delighted and proud. And after more than a year with no children at home, I am usually really and truly fine with my new, quiet life.
But sometimes it just all comes back; I am scanning old photos, I am cleaning out closets, I am getting ready to go back to “our” campground. And I just plain MISS them.