After I got home from work yesterday, I took all of my clothes downstairs and put them in the washing machine. It's about 18 hours later and I just now remembered. Welcome the icky musty smell of old wet laundry.
I've been going to church very regularly. This is weird for me and, if we're getting down to bare-bones honesty, I think that most of my reason for going is so that I get a semblance of some alone time. I love Genesis and Amos and even Adam and Arryn. Of course I love them all so bad and I'm very grateful to have their couch to crash on--but I'm a woman who is used to having extensive amounts of time to herself. I relish the drive from here to church and then to be able to just sit there by myself for an hour. The only part I really hate is the 28 seconds of "meet and greet" time where people I don't know and will never know look at me with these glazed over smiles, reach out their hand to me and then make eye-contact with another person while they're still holding my hand. But that's 28 seconds out of a full hour and a half and I can concede to that.
But here's the best part. If I go to the early service, which starts at 8:00, then I get home right after Adam and Arryn and the kids have left for their church (which is, like, four hours long and very painful to sit through if you ask me) and I'm all alone until around 1:30. Sweet, sweet silence. Here's how I spend my time:
First things first. I reheat the coffee and pull up my Mr. A-Z Pandora station and dance with myself while listening to Van Morrison and Lili Allen streaming through the sound on the television. Nothing ups this girl's mood like "Brown Eyed Girl". And then I come check out who all has updated their blogs in the past week or so and the answer is usually, "No one. Not even Jon Brown." And after I email and facebook and do this business for a while then I find a book without pictures and veg out in my not-leaving-the-house-pants while drinking more coffee.
Usually when I express a need for some alone-ness, I'm greeted with a condescending reality check along the lines of "well this is what living with kids is like--it's constant, all the time and you have to give them all of you all the time." And that's true. But, I feel the need to remind them that they were the ones who got pregnant on purpose and had babies on purpose. I didn't ask for kids. I know it sounds horrendous. Most of the time when I say that I don't want children of my own, I'm greeted with gasps and looks like I'm a monster. As though the fact that I have a uterus--through no choice of my own mind you, admonishes me to use it and love doing it. I'm not eating babies, people. I'm just not going to have one. If a man doesn't want to have babies, it's not a big deal and more than acceptable. If a woman doesn't want to, everyone within earshot is suddenly the victim of a social crime.
I have all the respect in the word for people who choose to parent and who love their children the way that Adam and Arryn do. And I have all the love in my whole being for these kids. I didn't even know I was capable of love like this. I'm constantly surprised by my own selflessness on their behalf. I'm never angry when they wake me up at 6:00 am. I'm happy to open bananas for Genesis and I have no qualms with changing the most repulsive diapers or figuring out how to clean an itty-bitty uncircumcised penis. But I can't do it like Arryn can. Arryn seems to never tire of it. She's never cranky or loses her temper with them. She's always got her wits about her and responds in the best possible manner. She always knows the very root of a temper tantrum and gets to the quick of it without bothering with all the superficial screaming.
I sometimes wonder what kind of a mother I would turn out to be if it happened. I'm getting the tiniest taste of it right now and I think I'd be pretty good at basically keeping the kid alive. Which is half the battle but then you have to consider that this kid also has a psyche. I guess I'd just have to do my best to stay away from emotional terrorism and hope that the kid doesn't grow up and skin cats. That's the best we can hope for, I suppose. And that is why I'll be the cool aunt who gives the best birthday presents and takes you to get your first tattoo when you come to visit for the summer in exciting cities with artistic characters and writer-types.