I wanted to be ALONE alone

About two years ago I was having a hard time with the day-to-day of being a Mom: the laundry and the dishes and the playtime and the questions and the arbitrating of squabbles and the food prep interspersed with the minute-by-minute acts of encouraging sweet little people to grow into kind, productive, independent adults.
By the time my husband came home from work, I often had the crazy eye. And so my husband responded by giving me a free pass to leave for coffee any day he came home. Just to leave and sit with my own thoughts. The freedom to do so, to leave the house for no good reason other than to just be alone, freed me. I only took him up on his offer a handful of times because my insides were lighter just knowing I could escape if I needed to.
That familiar anxiety has been creeping in over the summer, the feeling of just wanting to get one task completed without interruption from little people.
So last week I begged off to go shopping. But I didn’t really want to be ALONE alone, so I tempted Little Missy with the offers of sweet treats and a stop at Justice in the mall to entice her to come with me. She happily came along and sat next to me in the front seat and then held my hand at the mall, all while chattering away about her life.
This week, though, I wanted to be ALONE alone. So I told my husband that I was taking a night off. But I had nowhere to go, nothing really to do. I drove to Goodwill and looked for an amazing vintage purse that wasn’t there, then drove back to Augusta and ordered cherry crisp and tea from No Mercy for my dinner. In the restaurant I sat and looked at Instagram and Bloglovin’ on my phone, then played a round or two of Candy Crush, and then could look at my phone no longer. So I drove home and sat on my porch.
The lamest.
My husband looked at me upon my arrival. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
Even though it felt awfully lame to sit on my porch when the open evening lay before me, it also felt really relaxing. Just to sit in the breeze and stare at the cars driving past and not have any responsibilities but to just sit.
And so, I feel better. Refreshed to field random inquiries from cute little people while going through our days together.
Sometimes the lamest evenings are the best.

Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three.  She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.