As of Memorial Day weekend, I'm going to be a solo parent.
No, don't worry. There's no divorce pending, but there is going to be a separation of the job-enforced variety. I promised my husband I'd be fine with it...and I am, sorta, kinda.
Did I mention it's for the whole summer?
On its face the analysis makes sense. Of course, my kids would want to spend their summer in Portland with friends and family. The idea of hanging out by ourselves in a muggy, suburban, beltway town isn't exactly appealing.
My husband will be working long hours. The kids won't have any friends yet. And still, I'm tempted to end this sentence with a pouty, frowny face. But I'll refrain...barely.
I know that military wives do this on a regular basis. Single moms too. I'm impressed, inspired and amazed by their ability to raise and provide for their families on their own. Even so, I don't want to join their ranks.
Here's the good news. At least it'll be summer.
It's possible there will be successive days where we skip all regular meals in favor of fresh-picked fruit from Sauvie Island.
Have I mentioned before my kids think it's the Biggest Treat Ever to skip meals? They're weirdos! I know!! They get it from me, the weirdo part that is, not the skipping meals.
One of my summer schemes, concocted as an antidote to cheer two sad little daddy-missing faces, is parent for a day. Saturdays or Sundays, one kid will get to make all the important decisions.
"You can't expect me to decide everything all summer long. I'll get decision fatigue," I told them, which, unaccountably, cheered them up.
"Can we do the grocery shopping on our parent day?" my daughter asked.
"How about if I give you cash and you buy whatever you can afford?" I said. "I'll wait at the front of the store and read a book."
They both LOVE this plan. In addition to our strawberry-filled days, it's possible succulent treats like Cocoa Krispies and Lucky Charms will be on our menu (and by ours, I mean theirs).
Everyone says the key is to keep busy and we're excellent at occupying our time. As I write this, there's a made-up game of, Piggies Fly, taking place in the basement.
The important thing, I keep reminding myself, is how my husband is little-boy excited about his new job. I get to feel that way whenever I start a new book. It's intoxicating, delightful and I don't want to deny him the chance to feel the same way.
In the end, his smile when he talks about what he'll be doing, is the factor that makes all the moving, packing and alone time worthwhile.