Victoria wearing wings made out of an old sheet, Summer 2000 (age 2)
I am alone tonight.
I was alone last night, too.
This is the first time I’ve been absolutely alone (without at least one of the kids) for this long in over thirteen years of parenthood!
Daryl and the kids are volunteering at a wonderful event called History Fest out of town. We volunteer there as a family every year, but this year I am too pregnant to go along and take part.
They are staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and I was going to go with them and stay there, too, but I haven’t been feeling very good and I have so many things I wanted to get done around the house before Monday (when our baby comes!).
So at the last minute, we decided I’d stay home on my own.
I have friends nearby who can come if needed, and Daryl and the kids are not too far away. And I never, ever, ever go into labor early.
I’ve actually enjoyed my new-found time alone! I’ve accomplished a ton of things around the house, got lots of extra sleep and have relished the quiet in this house this is so used to being so noisy!
Just the same, it will be nice to have my family back tomorrow. I suppose I’m good at chaos.
This time on my own reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago when I only had two little girls. I think about the lines of this poem often, because after all these years it still sums up how I feel about my family.
I plan on updating it soon, to reflect the changes we’ve gone through since I first wrote it. Just the same, the meaning remains.
I thought some of you might like it….
I know women
who would lose their children
like throwing off a robe,
unbraiding a red ribbon
and discarding it, to let
their wild selves fly free.
I know women
who put aside their children
like cheap jewelry by the side of the bed.
I know women
who never seem to wear them at all.
My girls, I do not want
to be free of you.
You are like my wedding rings
which I could have easily slipped out of
every day that my heart beats.
I want you near me.
My girls, my husband,
when I see a sunset
I want these two eyes
to be part of the eight who see it.
I want our laughter and stories
to be so tangled
that our memories weave into one dream.
This is my time with you.
Soon enough, you will be off
swimming your own new seas.
Soon enough, we will step back and watch you
blooming and bursting in solitary ways
in your own fresh, separate skins.
How could I waste this?
Oh my darlings, you are not my cage.
You are my wings.