Shhh. Can you hear that?
There’s a washing machine grumbling and the rain onthe roof. Maybe a car on the lane.
And nothing else at all. That’s the point.
I’m on my own. A whole week of being alone – apart from work (and that doesn’t count as I’m no one’s mother or wife there).
It feels like a treat. Like waking up in a dream destination and peering out of the window to check.
Of course I love them. My choice to have acquired a heap of kids and a husband. I know. And there are plenty of folk who’d give their right arm (or possibly something more valuable) to have children and spouses (though not, if they met them, mine, I’d have thought).
Why then, is it such a buzz to have the house to myself for six sensational days?
No laundry, no dishes, no whingeing and no one talking over The Archers. Obviously.
But there’s more. Is it normal to be this excited at a few fishfinger-free days and a break from my seat on the sofa there and his seat on the armchair there?
Maybe it’s because I have the chance to see if I remember what it’s like to be me first. The underneath me, not the one that’s supposed to fling itself under a speeding bus for the children, though, of course, I would. Nope dutiful and nurturing are off the menu this week.
I’ve got so used to checking to see what everyone else wants, how their timetables work, that I’ve stopped just saying ‘yes, I’ll do it,’ right off the bat to the notion of a new thing, of a fun thing. This week I don’t need to sit with a big calendar trying to work out how to get to the optician, office, after-school meeting and hairdresser without the aid of a TARDIS. Nope. I’m free.
And how was your day? They all turn up and tell me. One-by-one and sometimes all at once. It’s great, but funny how something comes up before any of them ask me how mine was.
This week my week’s going to be… well, actually, you probably don’t care either. But there’ll be no one here to not ask, which is better.
Ungrateful cow? Yes, very likely. Almost certainly. And maybe a week on my own will remind me that I’m more fortunate than most. Who knows? I might even look forward to their return.