First Time in 12 Years

Hello Friends!  Hope your week is going well.  The weather is nice here on the East Coast so it makes a huge impact on my day.  How about you?

At the last minute, I had the opportunity to change my kids church camp week from end of July to this week.  I jumped on it due to a nice discount they generously offered.    We were having company earlier in the week so I had to shuffle some commitments but thankfully everyone affected was very understanding.

We live in the Pittsburgh area and had to drive my kids to the camp about 2 1/2 hours away near Altoona, Pennsylvania.  The kids and I were already familiar with the camp as we went together last summer around the same time.  I had volunteered to work in the kitchen while they attended and found myself enjoying my time there more than I expected while getting to know the owners of the camp.  This year, however, they didn’t need my help.  Honestly, I was relieved to hear it.  Since my parents and sister’s family were coming the same Friday they were arriving back home, preparation was needed anyway so it all worked out.

During the trip to drop the kids off at camp, I told them how much I’d missed them and then reiterated some tips I gave them earlier that day.  I reminded them about spraying tick spray several times a day and taking a shower every day.   When we arrived at the camp, I registered the kids, helped my daughter get her bags to the cabin, hugged her goodbye and then came back to the van looking for my son.  I kept looking around to find him but unfortunately was unsuccessful and assumed he was still settling into his cabin and/or talking to his friend Cory.

Reluctantly, I decided to leave without saying goodbye to him and head back to Pittsburgh.  However, I didn’t realize this missed opportunity would hit me so hard but it did.  As I was driving slowly down the dirt street across the lake, I kept looking back to see if he was running down the hill to find me.  He never did.   So I cried.

What is wrong with me?!!  I haven’t been without a kid for twelve years, why wasn’t I rejoicing, calling my friends, and making plans?  Since I’ve homeschooled the children starting in preschool (now upper elementary and middle school) and we’ve had a “no sleepovers” policy, this was the first time I’d be without a child overnight.  My husband works long hours so the kids and I spend a lot of time with each other.  It was harder than I thought it would be.

I got home and looked around for something to eat.  Nothing exciting.  But that was ok.  I can eat anything if it means no cooking! Woo Hoo!  I did have leftovers and my husband mentioned earlier on the phone to not make anything for him so I was set for the night!  This was starting to feel good on me!  Later, I received a text from a friend setting up a Chick-Fil-A date so my days were starting to fill up quickly quite naturally.

Earlier the next morning,  I set up another lunch date with some church friends so I was booking up fast!  Later that afternoon, a friend stopped by to say hello and pick up some eggs.  We had a great time catching up on our lives.  How blessed I am to have such great friends to fill my lonely days!  Hmmm…wish the deposits were as frequent in my checking account as the appointments on my calendar!  I guess you can’t have it all.

Anyway, later after decluttering the kitchen, I went to visit a friend and we got in some walking time despite the pouring down rain.  I did wonder…is it raining at camp?  Were the kids having a good time?  Must. Distract. Myself. Again.  In the afternoon, we both met our good friend at Chick-Fil-A for a #1 meal with my First 100 card.  My determined friend stuck to her healthy diet and got a salad.  Glad I’m not on that diet.  Just saying.  She lost 9 lbs.  Not me.  Oops.  Gained 9 lbs.  Maybe next week I’ll start working on my bad eating habits?!!

Its good to have friends, especially now in my middle age years.  I appreciate all of them, from all walks of life.  Everyone should have someone they can call up and chat with at any time.  It’s amazing how many great friends I have kept in touch with over the years and have picked up the last recent years.  I’m not talking about mere acquaintances, I’m referring to wonderful friends who are encouraging, inspiring and generous!   I can’t thank God enough for them.

Back to my “week without the kids” story.  As I mentioned, my extended family was coming into town from North Carolina so as Wednesday rolled around it was time to get serious and start cleaning up the house.  It turned out to be a monumental task as I realized my kids help me tremendously around the house!  When I was contracted with an online company for 5 months my kids stepped up and took over the household duties during this time.  Since they were not available this time, I had to pick up the slack.   I am certainly blessed to have helpful kids and will remember next time when I need time alone!   Must.Distract.Myself.Again.

As Thursday came, I knew it was time to equip myself with the appropriate tools to get the house done quickly as possible.  Time was flying by so fast.  So, I threw on some Bluetooth headphones, tuned into a podcast (my favorite one right now is here) and started scrubbing floors like a crazy person!   I went to church that the evening, had a deep discussion with my husband in the garage, and went to bed…exhausted.

The next day I woke up with a great feeling that Friday had finally arrived!  Excitement all week had been building for this day.  I was looking forward to reconnecting with my kids, parents and sister’s family all in one day!  The week was a great one, I caught up with friends, decluttered the bedroom and kitchen, and even spent some time with just my husband, myself and God.  Truly Grateful.

How was your week?  Give your kids a hug and kiss and remember that you are blessed.  Until next time, my friends!  Stay tuned for more adventures in my next post as I will share some free and frugal activites I use to entertain guests while visiting the beautiful city of Pittsburgh.

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