Me, Myself and I
Gelato Mama makes a decision.
We’ve had so much of it to fill these last 18 months. From the early days of the pandemic, sponsored by family bike rides and forced game nights, to the present days of the pandemic, sponsored by this ride of redundancy that just won’t quit, we have all had our fair share of lethargic days.
As I sit here and type this, we are at the precipice of a new school year that’s teasing me with its promise of full-day, in-person instruction, and I can hardly believe that after the longest spring break ever recorded, the day is finally coming to send everyone away for a full seven hours so I can finally have some … time.
Time that belongs to me and nobody else.
So much time we’ve had to fill these last long months, yet I could barely carve out an hour to sit and write. Endless hours of time, but then the dog needed to be walked again, the meals needed to be made again, the dishes needed washing again. The laundry begged to be folded. The house was just one chore followed by another and another.
And now my son needs a ride here, then picked up there; my daughter regressing and fearful of being alone; my sticky shadow relentless in her quest to fill her time. My life, flatlined in a hamster wheel of domestic duties; all my time spent serving others.
I don’t usually resent using my time being a mother, a partner, the boss of my house. But that’s because everybody is supposed to leave. They need to leave. My kids are my most favorite people in this world, but they need to leave.
Last year’s six weeks of piddly half-day school doesn’t count. It doesn’t count if they come home and I have to make them lunch. I can’t make lunch anymore, you guys. They have to leave. For seven hours. Monday through Friday. Just as the Lord intended.
I will do the same duties I’ve always done. I will clean, I will cook, I will Uber. I will stand perplexed over the shoe basket, scattered sandals surrounding it, wondering if I’m the only person who understands what a shoe basket is for. I will cry about dinner and its relentless insistence on being made. I will manage our schedules. I will ignore the bathrooms in the hope that someone else will clean them, then clean them when I remember I live with monsters who can’t even get the shoes in the shoe basket.
But between all those things, squeezed somewhere in the middle of those seven hours, I will find my time to shed all the duties, destroy my hamster wheel and just be me. Just be Emily.
The time has come.