Saturday afternoon, Antique Daddy and Sean left to go to Tuna to visit Memaw and Papa George. Normally I go with them, but I was sorely in need of a long stretch of quiet time to work on a couple of writing projects.
I am not wired to be with people all the time. I like to be alone. I like quiet. I like order. Being a wife and a mother has been an adjustment for me. A joy to be sure, but an adjustment.
I waved goodbye as the car pulled out of the driveway. When they were out of sight I went back in the house and shut the door behind me. It was the first time in years that I had the house all to myself and I was ready to embrace my solitude.
Although they had been gone for less than five minutes, the house already felt different to me. Rather than a peaceful respite, it felt empty.
My Godparents lived across the street from me when I was growing up. They moved to Florida when I was ten. I remember going into their house after the new family moved in. It felt odd and unnatural. It didn’t smell the same. It was the same house, but not. My Grandpa Joe died that same year. When I saw him in his casket, it looked liked him, but the warmth and being that made him who he was, was gone. That’s how my godparent’s house felt to me after they moved, like a corpse that another soul with nicer furniture had taken over.
* * * * *
Before I could begin working on my writing projects, I had to first make all the beds, pick up all the toys, fold and put away all the laundry, empty and reload the dishwasher, scour the sink, pay all the bills, file all the statements and straighten up my desk.
And then I sat on the sofa and enjoyed the absolute quiet and the certain knowledge that everything was in its place for the first time in more than four years. My soul rejoiced. I sat there for a full fifteen minutes enjoying it just in case it was another four and half years before it happened again.
I drank pot after pot of coffee and typed and deleted words all weekend. I occasionally looked up and marveled at the order that I so love. I delighted that everything was in its place, that I could open my desk drawer and my scissors would be there.
The quiet and order gave me great joy because I know that it’s just for a weekend. Temporary solitude and order is a sweet and healing blessing. Permanent solitude and order is a curse that I never want to know again.
Now I’m ready for those two boys to bring some disorder and life back into this corpse of a house.