by humanmama on October 18, 2011

I went alone to my college reunion this last weekend.

Now, that might not strike you as odd, unless you are a parent, and then you might not be able to remember a time when you could listen to the radio you wanted, eat what you wanted/when you wanted, go shopping alone, and just have unadulterated time to read, sleep, or listen to the sounds of the world alone. With no one asking you to wipe their bums.

Yes, I’ll tell you, it was an unprecedented gift to go alone on an 7-hour-drive and spend the weekend, and how the weekend came about was as follows. I was going to bring them, I tell you, and right up until last week, perhaps the week before, Carpenter and I were sitting down every few days to discuss the trip. It’s such a long drive, especially if you remember that any drive that takes an adult 7 hours takes 2 adults and 2 children at least 9, maybe 10 hours. Mine are a little sick, too, having that hint of a cold from the seasons changing, and so that means a little more discomfort, maybe a bit more time at rest stops. My children also do not sleep in the car, usually, and as such I like to drive at night when they do eventually drop off. Carpenter would like each and every day to begin at 4am, meaning I’d like to leave at midnight and get there in the morning, but he’d like to leave at 4am and get there early noontime. And it would be only two, maybe three days. Just enough time to get over the first travel hangover and then leave again.

you really should go.

Carpenter said “you should just go yourself.” I thought about that, joked, said “nah, no way. We’ll all go.” And then I spent all that night wide awake thinking, I should just go myself. I woke up and told him “you were right, I need to go alone,” and he was so elated at being called “right” that he let me go.

I went. Alone. I visited friends that are so good they are more like family. (That is a complement.) I drove to the water. Pittsburgh is great, but rivers ain’t got nothin’ on Lake Michigan. It’s fantastic. If you’ve never been, you should go. It’s blue, and clean (enough) and gorgeous. It was a startling October day, with blue skies and crisp wind blowing me right into another time of my life.

I breathed in just being alone. I am a people person and I get totally energized from being around people, but everyone needs a break sometimes, and I just took a back seat this time, let my usual self off the hook and drank in the freedom that I took so totally for granted when I wasn’t married, didn’t have kids, and was free to roam.

And I missed those kids, and Carpenter, my house, my dog. I missed seeing my city–which it is now, after a third of my life here–and my neighbors and friends. But I loved being alone. I breathed it in.

And I was satisfied.


good friends, three in all (can you see the baby in there?)

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