It’s one of those weeks: Drew is gone so Sam and I are by ourselves for a couple of days. We all get along when it’s the three of us, but when it’s just me and Sam, somehow we fall into a different rhythm: slower, quieter, more… something. We stayed in our PJs all morning yesterday, ate breakfast in front of the TV, played on the floor, didn’t nap… It was a perfect day, right until the evening meltdowns started, fueled by the time change, the lack of napping, and possibly the large amount of leftover Halloween candy we both ate.
I am by myself a lot these days. I work from home full time, so even when Drew is home I spend many, many hours during the day alone. Some days it’s hard to stay motivated, but most days I have to admit I can barely wait until I can drop Sam off at preschool and I can head home by myself. I love puttering around by myself in the kitchen: unloading the dishwasher, planning dinner, and then settling down at my desk to work. I love the bursts of energy I get from my family, from spending time with my friends and colleagues, but the slow, constant burn I get from being alone is crucial for my sanity.
I remember when Sam was born I felt horrible about wanting to be alone all the time. I wanted to be by myself, but also, more than anything, I wanted to be with him. These two conflicting feelings tugged at me and made me feel pretty horrible. Then my mom actually said something that made me sigh with relief. She told me that I was an introvert raising and extrovert. Being an introvert, someone who gets her energy from being alone, of course it was exhausting to constantly be with another human being—another human being who was clearly not an introvert—yet. I still remind myself of this every time I feel bad that I get giddy on my drive home from preschool alone, especially after a long weekend.
But what I love the most is that lately I’ve been able to be alone WITH Sam. It happened this weekend—Saturday was an ugly, rainy day. Drew hurt his neck, so he was in bed for most of the afternoon. Sam and I had to run to Target and to get him to come along I bribed him with a vanilla bean Frappuccino. (I know! He is a hipster child!) So there we were, sitting at Starbucks, sipping our drinks, looking at the rain and the people coming and going around us. We sat there for a good hour, not talking much. He was so content, and so was I. “I love this, mama,” he said. “I love sitting here with you.”
I know buddy, so do I.