Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 1432 - Me Time!

I finished up my television show last week, so starting this week I am on hiatus (i.e. unemployment).  But what makes this hiatus different from all my other ones from the past four years is that (triumphant drum roll, please) I WILL HAVE TIME TO MYSELF!  I can indulge in the me-ness of me -- although I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone else...I can become quite boring and pathetic during the second week of hiatus.

Lisa and I decided to keep the kids in preschool because we didn't want to lose their place.  Plus if another television project arises for me, the kids will be in school so we wouldn't have to worry about babysitting.  It is quite expensive to put both kids through preschool, but we can make ends meet between Lisa's teaching salary and my ebay/craigslist selling frenzy.

Although it has only been a few days of total me time, I find it relieving and strange.  It is nice to have six hours to yourself every day, but there is something unsettling about a quiet house.  I've been keeping busy the past two days cleaning, reorganizing, and starting my own personal projects.  But when I sit down to eat lunch, it feels really surreal.

Before the kids, meal time used to be about Lisa and I catching up with each other and trying to look interested about each other's work stories.  But with the kids, it's more like refereeing a boxing match.  It's one exhausting thirty minute round of coddling, coercing, and cleaning. 

So imagine how strange it is to sit down at your dining table by yourself with complete silence.  I felt as lonely as Will Smith in I Am Legend or in a theater watching Will Smith in Wild, Wild West.  I'm not complaining about having time to myself, it's just that...it's...so...strange.

Just these few days demonstrates two things to me.  First, it goes to show you how your children whore in on every facet of your life.  Once your kid comes out of that vagina, a giant neon sign that says "OPEN 24/7" starts flashing every single day until you die.  You turn into a 7-11 of parenthood with hopefully less robberies, but just as tasty hot dogs.

The second thing it shows is how hard it will be to see your kids grow up and become their own person.  And I don't mean "hard" in a negative connotation.  It's just that whole "if you love somebody, set them free" thing.  I've only known our kids for four years; half of that time they couldn't even talk and a quarter of that they were just human paperweights.  But just in the last year or so, you begin to see their personality and strengths, and it becomes a really fascinating and endearing thing.  Something you don't want to end.

But who the hell knows.  Maybe the teenage years are going to be hell, and we'll gladly send them out the front door with a gigantic grin and the neon sign turned off.  In the meantime, I'm going to try to make the most out of my me time.  And by that, I mean I'm going to go and turn on my PS3 now.  See ya in six hours!

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