Right after breakfast this morning, Alden handed me a tiny tie. “Here, Papa,” she said. “This is for your meeting.”
Dutifully, I got spiffed up.
Alden was responding to the news that while she was headed to Lake George for a week of fun and swimming, I would be staying here “to work.”
What Alden does not know is that I am not exactly despairing. Looking past the gloom of being left behind, I see a week of calm and silence, a week of focus and leisure, a week in which colorful plastic objects stay neatly housed in bins and colorful tiny shirts are not left in the middle of the floor.
I am, in fact, somewhat looking forward to it.
Moments ago, the family drove away, car full of snacks and stuffed animals, bathing suits and sunscreen.
I came back inside and listened to the great big sound of nothing. There was no one asking me for juice, no one in need of a diaper change, no one yelling or crying or spilling yogurt on the floor.
I feel like the guy who has just come into an air conditioned room on a very hot day, the kid just waking up on a snowy Christmas morning.
Which is to say, I’m sure I’ll start missing them in about fifteen minutes.