It’s that delightful time of year when I and many other parents rejoice — the first day of school. Ah, you may think I’m awful for wanting the kids out of the house, but don’t worry, it’s not only them I’m trying to get rid of, it’s my husband, too.
I love them, of course. Love spending time with them, you bet. But I work and write mostly at home. So for nine to ten months of the year, I have the entire house as my office. The computer in the study — all mine. Bring my laptop to the sofa, no problem. Bring my netbook to the dining room table while I eat, it’s hunky dory, nobody’s there to stop me.
And for working out — the only problem is figuring out how much time I can squeeze in with the day’s workload. If I have a lighter day, I’ll head to the gym. A busier one, I’ll go for a quick run or work out in my living room. Not a problem.
Then the summer hits. Suddenly there are bodies EVERYWHERE. My husband is a teacher so he’s now home, too. The computer in the study takes on a new meaning. I now run in there ready to yell at the kids to get off Minecraft so I can work. The sofa — there’s always someone dangling off it. If they’re reading a book, I go find another place to plop down with my laptop. But if they’re on the TV, well, that calls for the outdoor voice, as in “Go outside and play!”
The dining room table becomes covered with crap. My husband has scattered the newspaper in a dozen pieces or covered it with Home Depot supplies. The kids have their books and papers spread out because apparently they find it a more suitable storage area than anyplace in their rooms.
And the workouts. Ha! These living bodies throw in another obstacle. For instance, yesterday I went into the living room to squeeze in fifteen minutes of jumproping. My daughter was stretched out reading a book. I have a soft spot for reading books so I didn’t scoot her out and tried to be as unobtrusive as I could.
Wait a minute, she has a room. I could have — should have — scooted her up there.
And the questions. There’s nothing a writer hates more when they’re in their little writing bubble than to be yanked back to reality by a question. Especially one that is not life or death or can be answered by the person doing any sort of legwork on their own. Most of the time, it’s this one awful question:
“Have you seen my _____?”
Agh!! What was I writing again?
Yes, there’s a solution called summer camp. Luckily, my kids love it, but it’s also summer so we cut them some slack and let them bum around a little. And summer camp doesn’t go all summer.
So today they all went back and I had the house and all computer devices to myself. Moo ha ha ha!
I admit it’s kind of strange at first. We were together for almost two weeks on vacation, sharing one room and it was actually really nice. But that was vacation mode, not “I have to work, I have deadlines” mode. A very different persona.
I’ll miss them. Sort of.