You know what makes me giddy?
An hour at the doctor's office.
Because sometimes, when I go to the doctor, I get to go ALONE. And that brief hour of child-free existence is enough to make my endorphins start jumping around like sugared-up preschoolers in a bounce house.
A couple of weeks ago (which should tell you something; this incident happened a couple of weeks ago and I'm still blissed out by it), I headed to the doctor to get an official diagnosis of the weird, circle rash I've had on my elbow for the past year. It's not red and it doesn't itch and it doesn't react when slathered with garden-variety medicine cabinet lotions and normally, I don't even think about it.
But when it's summer and elbows are exposed 24-7, I'm suddenly reminded that I have a flesh-colored ring on my arm, because my children keep looking at me and yelling (usually across the pool), "Mom! What's that circle thing on your elbow?"
And thanks to Kieran, we've already met our insurance deductible for the year, rendering the rest of 2010 a year of medical jubilee.
Thus, I found myself blissfully alone one Friday morning with my Blackberry and coffee. I traded baby name stories with the nurses and joked with the doctor. (“I think it’s this weird Latin phrase,” he said after looking at my arm, “but I got a D in Latin so I can’t remember the name.” “You could make it up,” I whispered. “Because I never even took Latin. So go ahead. I won’t know!”) I read a few blogs and checked Twitter and let the thoughts that normally swirl in my head at the velocity of a tornado settle down for a few minutes of peace.
It was heaven.
I don’t have a high need for solitude. And that’s a good thing, because my life right now isn’t conducive for much alone time. With all four kids at home for the summer, no grandparents or babysitters nearby and a husband who’s working crazy hours, I might get one hour a week when I’m off-duty.
I might not even get that.
And I’m OK with that. Or maybe I should say: I've made peace with it. It doesn’t mean I don’t have long, hard days. But I didn’t go into motherhood expecting to have extended family in the area, and I was already intimately aware of the long hours and frequent business trips my executive husband puts in at his job. I knew going in that I was going to have to make peace with the constant together and not resent the fact that I’m almost always surrounded by my children. We go to Target together, we make weekly Trader Joe’s run together, we go to the pool together, we make dinner together. It’s just the way it is.
But it does make the scraps of alone time I do get that much more sweet. Which is why I found myself floating as I left the doctor’s office the other week.
Maybe I can sprout a rash on my foot before school starts in a month.