My children were gone for eight days. They went camping with their grandparents. I am not going to lie. It was a wonderful feeling to have a continuously clean house. Alone time with my husband. A whole house just for adults. It felt wicked. And calm. Serene. Partly empty. But still. And free.
And now the kids are back.
And with them, messes.
And more messes.
Did I mention messes?
And more food to prepare. More people to feed. More worries.
But more cuddles. And more laughter. More stirrings.
It was interesting to get a small glimpse into how my husband and I will be in a few short years when the kids are out of the house. You never know what an empty nest will feel like or the impact it will have on a marriage. It is good to know that we are fine in the silence. And in the calm. We had movie nights and even indulged in popcorn. This is rather a big deal, because popcorn has been banned from our house in the last three years of ongoing teeth braces for the children.
But it was also nice to appreciate the moments with my children now that they are back.
It made me realize how quickly that empty nest is approaching. It is something I will not be able to fly away from.
So, whilst I deal with yet another load of dishes. Another load of laundry. A random sock on the floor. And an unwanted eye roll here and there.
I know that these are the little things.
That make everything big.
I will not take them for granted. At least for a little while.
Although, I will admit that now that I have had popcorn after the long break, it is all that I am craving.
With extra butter.
I guess that will be something else to look forward to, in the long years to come.
But for now, I am enjoying the rustling.
And the pattering.
Of ever-growing feet.
Because, too soon those feet will have stopped growing, and will walk right out that door.
It will not feel little.
And with every pop of that long-anticipated popcorn, the cracks in my heart will pop a little, too. I now feel like despite the cracks, the structure will remain true. The house will survive. I will survive. Our marriage will survive. But I am not quite ready for that moment yet. And so I am taking each of these days, and enjoying them. With the laundry. The smiles. The dishes. The laughter. The quarrels. And the mess.
Little by little.