Here I sit on day two of the boys’ VBS week…feeling unsettled. It’s not right for this house to be so neat and quiet. There’s always something that needs to be done (clean off the junk counter next to the fridge, straighten my office, make that dermatologist appointment) but a silent house just feels strange. Too many consecutive minutes of free time make me jumpy…like the feeling you get when your toddler has been too quiet in the next room for too long? Your instincts just tell you that something’s amiss.
This is the first time both boys have been gone at the same time for five consecutive mornings. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my free time here and there. When Grandma and Grandpa take the boys for a day or even an overnight, I rejoice in my freedom! A day off or even a morning or evening free bring flurries of sewing and blogging and reading and generally indulging in the things I don’t do much of when the boys are home and awake. (I save the housework for when they’re here and can help out!) When it’s a one time deal, I have no problem wasting it away with stuff that’s pure fun for me.
But a regular thing? Hmm…this is strange. When we attend our own church’s VBS, I always volunteer to help out, and when Jake was homeschooling it was only a few hours here and there of classes, and even those rarely coincided with Tyler’s preschool hours. When I have a regular period time off, it’s different because I feel like I should be doing something useful.
This is one of the reasons we’re starting foster parenting now. No, I’m not one who craves craziness. In fact, I love peace and quiet and order. But I’m afraid that if I wait another few years until the boys have gotten a bit older and I’ve become accustomed to my free quiet time, that I’ll be a bit too attached to that free time to give it up. Does that make sense? I’m sure I could fill up the school hours with keeping the house clean and writing and reading and exercising and art and volunteering and other such wonderful things. But then will I want to give all that up to spend my hours ministering to the needs of the foster kids in our county? I doubt it. “I just don’t have time,” I’ll say, because I’ll be used to the luxury of spare time and filling it up with wonderful nonsense.
Well, nonsense is a bit harsh. But really, my blog and my art and a spotless house are not good reasons to let a child live with abuse. They’re just not. I’m stepping up now because I’m afraid I won’t have the strength to step up later when life’s a bit cushier. It’s better for me to move into baby and toddler care when I’m already used to stepping on toys and living with a not so sterile bathroom and having little time for myself. Luxury is hard to give up, once attained.
So this week, what shall I do? I have a To Do list a mile long, as we all do. But I’ll try to make time for reading that last Twilight book, too, because I know this spare time is precious and I’d better take advantage of it. After all, the To Do list and the clean house can always wait another moment, can’t they?