Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Who remembers what Alone feels like?

I'm relatively lucky during the school year because I have alone time whilst the kiddies are off learning how to swear and make gang signs with their hands. But unfortunately, they come home after a long day of text messaging their friends during class, and my sweet alone time ends. But during summer vacation, there is no such thing as alone time.

Summer vacation just started. They got out of school last Thursday. By Sunday morning I was laying on my bed begging to be left alone, just for a few minutes.

Girl: What are you doing in there?
Me: Thinking
Girl: But I have to talk to you!
Me: Give me a few minutes.
Girl: But I need to tell you something.
(Me thinking, oh, she might have something juicy to share): OK, just let me get dressed first.
Girl: Hurry up

a few minutes pass

Girl: Mom, what are you doing in there.
Me: I told you, I'm thinking.
Girl: No you're not, you're sleeping
Me: Nope, I am just laying down and thinking.
Girl: But I NEED you.
Me: OK, I'll get dressed now.

I get dressed, which takes all of 5 seconds.

Me: OK, you can come in now.
Girl: Are you dressed?
Me: Yup, what did you want to talk to me about?
Girl: I have my shopping list and I need new bathing suits.
Me: That's IT? You bothered me to tell me stuff I already knew and had discussed with you?
Girl: Um, yeah. I missed you.

Rolling my eyes, I give up. There is no alone time.

I'm a quiet person. I love being alone. I'm my own best friend. I can entertain myself very well for months without human contact. I love being by myself. I'm the introvert's introvert. I always have been. I read, I watch TV, I futz around the house, I read blogs, I blog myself, I work some, and I spend a lot of time thinking. I'm no philosopher, I mostly think about stuff that goes on every day. But I like to digest my days quietly, by myself.

Having two teenagers is often trying just because they're not quiet, and they have no idea of what alone means. Twins don't get the concept of alone like other people do. My kids have a problem with personal space. I mean, they don't always respect it with each other, or with me. I need a lot of personal space. Try talking to two teenagers about it. It's like bouncing things off a brick wall.

The Girl leaves in 3 days. I do miss her when she's gone, but it's so quiet without her. The phone stops ringing all day long. I don't have to beg her to do stuff. She isn't blasting KISS 108 at top volume. She isn't arguing with the Boy. It's more peaceful, for sure.

The first summer they both went away for a month of camp I got so depressed I had to take meds. I literally lost it. I realized then that my identity was too locked up in being their mom and that I needed something else in my life. The quiet was oppressive. I was scared and lonely.

Then, the subsequent summers? Not so much. I love the time away from the kids. I love being able to eat and sleep when I want. I love being allowed to spend an entire day reading a book and not being bugged to hit some store. It's a real conflict for me, asking for the kids to leave me be, but on the other hand, glad that they're here when they are here, but happy when they're away too.

I think this must be the beginning stage of empty nest syndrome. I'm not sure I'm going to like that at all. But the again, the Boy is planning to attend college here in town, so I don't have to worry....much.
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Blogger Tracy said...

As teen-agers I assume that they at least know the fine art of sleeping in? My kiddos still have not figured that out yet and are wide awake and begging for a pancakes, eggs and bacon at 6 am.

Can we say "pop-tarts" children?

28/6/06 6:13 AM  

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