And just like that, they are gone. Alice’s toenails click and echo in the empty rooms. Skeedles saunters through the house with an air of ownership. She brought me a bird, still alive and complaining bitterly at being used as a gift. “Didn’t we just go through this with a squirrel, Skeedles? Outside toys!!”
After weeks of comfortable chaos, we find ourselves alone once again. Hanni and B have moved into a new home. Charlie, Thelma and crazy Gaia are romping through new fields and checking out the ducks in their pond. A household of eight has been reduced to three. This will take some getting used to. A secret feeling of safety in numbers has vanished.
I made a killer batch of Gazpacho, a spicy corn and zucchini salad, and chilled melon and blueberries for dessert. Alice and I will bring this dinner when we visit them in their new space. I will work to remember who I was before this Mother role appeared. I’ve never been able to see myself as others do so I don the cape that feels right for the moment and wear it comfortably.
During their stay, my life outside the house ramped up to epic proportions of busy as the store swelled with summer folk and tourists. The days stretched longer and more social than I have experienced since the holidays. I don’t mean “social” in the media sense we have all come to associate with life. I’m talking about real, face-to-face living and breathing people for extended periods. I have been a loner and an introvert for far too long. The joy of interaction and expression has refreshed me.
For the next two weeks, I will hunker down and rebuild routines. My upcoming Therapeutic Misadventure will begin with the arrival of Doppelgänger for a long-overdue visit. It has been eighteen months since I saw her but with forty plus years of camaraderie, our friendship has seen lots of wardrobe changes. We have yet to wear bee keeping veils together, or kayak down a river. It’s been years since we set off on a trail ride through the woods.
And just like that, life will change again…