For the past decade+ I’ve spent far too much time with my Child.
The Husband traveled.
Never in the past 11 years+1 week did we drop the Child somewhere and travel together (sidebar: guess who’s 12 soon?).
Spoiler alert: This was not a great approach to marriage.
That overshared, however, our uncoupling has been congenial and the above is a reason why.
I make the rules. She follows them quickfastandinahurry.
I sketch boundaries in Sharpie. She may go nuts within the space created for her. We both know if she steps out of bounds then consequences are swift and non-negotiable.
Until this weekend.
Until this weekend when, initially, I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself.
I rediscovered connection.
People always ask me how I behave when I feel stressed. Do you eat more or less? they enquire. Do you exercise more or less? they want to know. Still others, those who don’t know me well, wonder: Do you drink in excess or are you cautious/entirely abstain?
My response has always been: I remain the same. Stress might spark me to turn to fiction more than usual as escape, but the rest remains status-quo.
This weekend forced me out of that routine. Silence reigned supreme. I was compelled to slow down, grow still and reconnect with myself. All parts. Even the ones I’d deftly avoided using the excuse of needing to ‘focus on how the Child was feeling.’
connection with others. easier than with ourselves.
The Child and I play together. A lot. In a sense it’s become easy to associate PlayfulCarla with MotherhoodCarla. This past weekend I was reminded the two can merge, but the former is not dependent on the latter.
I skated in my condo. I frolicked with friends. Thanks to serendipity my first child-free weekend was also a Tabata teacher training weekend I’d signed up for a lifetime ago (<—foreshadowing!). The training was fantastically playful in precisely the way I never knew I always needed.
Neither day was entirely a Daycation (I experienced many moments where I felt like the lost third leg of a stool/wondered what my other 2 pieces were doing without me) yet both were definitely more playful than not.
Tootie Ramsey of Condo World.
I chose the condo. I did not want a yard/home maintenance. I adore how where we reside is ‘Melrose Place Without the Sex’ (my new-neighbors do not enjoy that phrase/the single moms among them insist I add For Now! which cracks me up).
I’m jealous of where the HusbandWithWhomINoLongerLive resides. It’s urban’y. It’s walking distance to a fave grocery, coffee shop and yoga studios. It’s ambling length to the Child’s fave shopping emporiums.
These two tales have been at war in my brain since we planned our split. I’ve embraced the second life I’ve started, I deeply miss the Husband, I covet what I perceive to be his second life.
This weekend I yanked the plug on my old story. I forced a hard-reboot and consciously chose to create a new narrative.
And just like that the weekend was over.
The Child returned, Sunday night routines ensued, and all resumed ‘new normal‘ until the next time she leaves.
A scant 11 nights from now.
But who’s counting?