On waking up to quiet and not knowing quite what to do…

This morning I wake at 8.30am to a silent house. Everyone but me is sleeping peacefully and I lie in bed for a while, wondering what to do next. I tiptoe to the toilet, not wanting to wake B and shatter my rare early morning solitude. I come back from the bathroom, cursing every creaky floorboard, open the curtains and get back into bed.

I gaze vacantly for a while out at the cold blue sky. I’m on my own but not alone. My ears are ringing with the silence but I am acutely aware of B asleep in the next room and A asleep above me. What would I do now if they were not here and I had no children? Since the age of 16, too young to have experienced any kind of freedom, my life, my mornings and my routines have been defined by others – by pregnancies, babies and children.

I try to imagine what I might do today if I really were alone, but I can’t quite get my head round the scale of it. What do childless people do exactly on their days off, during holidays, with their lives? What will I do when my days no longer revolve around packed lunches, school pick ups and parental visitation rights?

All the solitary gazing and pondering starts to make me feel a bit panicky. I don’t want to think about just me, I don’t know how and I’m bound to get it wrong. Instead I go downstairs and make a cup of tea deliberately loudly, banging cupboard doors and clattering the spoon noisily in the sink.

By the time I get back, B has woken up and scampered from her bed to mine. “Hello!” she sings, greeting me and the tin of shortbread under my arm with a grin. “I had a lovely sleep, but I missed you.”
I smile back. “I missed you too.”

1 Comment

  1. 23 December, 2009 / 9:44 am

    That feeling of silence induced panic is one I am very familiar with, albeit for slightly opposite reasons…every Sunday it starts, and for the rest of the week I’m waiting, wondering…even though I am secure in the knowledge that V will be back again, that constant removal always makes me wonder if I am just surplus….Then Saturday arrives and all is good again.
    You should really take a step back once in a while and appreciate what an amazing job you’ve done raising those two diamonds (and working doubly hard to get a good education and career in the process). I know your so very proud of then, just don’t forget to be proud of yourself. You’ll never be redundant – your mum is always your mum. 🙂

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