My sister got married last weekend. I’ve been sleeping a lot since then. We hosted the welcome party. This morning I found a red solo cup hiding half-full of beer on the front porch. It was really one third full of beer sludge, but I imagine it was half full when it was left there.
The red solo cups are like little presents from the past.
Our kids were the only small people at the wedding, because they were in it. Originally I wanted them in bed by nine so my husband and I could party. But Boy Woww was obsessed by being there for the glow-stick send off at midnight. He snuggled on my lap and whined as the late summer sun went down. Then it was dark and he turned into a dancing machine.
“Mom, when the sun goes down I get tired. But when the stars come out I am wide awake.”
My husband and I stayed up until 4 a.m. partying with my sister and her friends. My husband could have stayed up through the night. I dragged him down.
So the next morning, as we packed up our car-camping situation, loaded bikes onto a new back rack we don’t know how to use, and shoved mountains of fleece blankets in between seat crevices—I was tired.
In the past, this would have been a psychological and physical wall. But we took two cars and I had only the boys. They’re 9 and almost 7.
I said to them, “We’re going to stop at a beach. I’m going to take a nap. The point of stopping at the beach is so that I can nap and you can do something fun. Do not interrupt my nap.”
I found some shade under a beach bush. I laid out a picnic blanket. I protected my feet from the sun with a towel.
They did not interrupt my nap.
I knew I would have an emotional let-down after the wedding, so I had asked my friend Ali if we could camp in her front yard in the Hood River Valley on the way home. Ali and her wife have a three-year-old. I could not have achieved my recovery beach nap with a three year old. Or even if my oldest or middle child were any younger than they currently are.
But it was just the three of us. Me and two fairly functional offspring. And I could enjoy a short recharge. It was probably the most beautiful nap of my life, because my fake eyelashes from the wedding were still attached.
And later I was able to say to Ali and her wife that there might be a day in the future when you discover that you can take care of your adult needs while your children also get what they need.