Thursday, December 30, 2004


Smartmom has discovered that she is a solitude hog.

Much as she loves being with her family, she has really come to appreciate the 6 to 8 hours she spends in her office each day working and writing. And in what little spare time she has, she enjoys other solitary activities: meditating, running in Prospect Park, reading and thinking. Because of that, it's been a little hard to adjust to vacation togetherness. Which isn't to say that Smartmom hasn't enjoyed every minute with Hepcat, Teen Spirit and OSFO.

Really she has.

But if she hears any more squabbling from Teen Spirit and OSFO - she is going to go out of her mind.

She may even SMACK them.

Truth is, the family really benefits from spending 6 to 8 hours apart every day. Yes, that's an awful thing to say. But maybe it's not so bad.

OSFO and Teen Spirit would probably kill each other if they were together all day, every day. It's not that they bicker all the time. No, not at all. It's more like a constant roller coaster from great fun to fury and back again. Whether it's playing 20 questions, wrestling, jumping on the bed, or playing Yahtzee, what begins as a picture of sibling synchronicity can become sibling rivalry in ten seconds flat. And visa versa.

It's a good thing that they are out of each other's hair so much of the time. Because when they are together in Brooklyn it is so much more mellow and loving.

Which is nice -- for a thirteen year old boy and a seven year old girl, they get along quite well.

As for Smartmom and Hepcat, they'd get mighty sick of each other if Smartmom didn't have an office to go to every day. Since Hepcat's layoff from Cisco, he's been working in the living room. What began as a temporary landing pad is turning into a permanent work space. And that's not the best thing for marital harmony.

Smartmom deserves credit for not hassling Hepcat too much for turning the living room into an unsightly office. She's even been pretty cool about not bugging him about getting more photo jobs. Smartmom is trying to be very Zen. That is, trying to give Hepcat the (psychic) space he needs to figure out things for himself. It goes like this: She gives him his space, he give her hers. A two-way gift, an act of love.

Family life is so much richer when every one has time to do what they need to do, time to be who they need to be. Without those hours alone - to think, to work, to be creative, to be alone -- Smartmom wouldn't be much good to anyone. Not her family. Not herself.

And it makes her love her family all the more.


At 1:17 PM, Blogger Little Light said...

Love this. And I couldn't agree more. Here's to personal time in 2005.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger jonesy said...

Thank you for saying all of the things I don't have time to say - for I seem to get a bit resentful if what I call "mommy's alone time" is infringend upon. Please know that you are horribly related to - which is why I feel the need to comment - and I just returned 14 hrs ago from my family togetherness, understand completely now why I don't spend more time with you, but realize all the time how much and why I love you, vacation. Thank you Smartmom, thank you.


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