Today was the first day that my two older children were in school all day long.
Sam started third grade and Kate started first grade...which left me alone with our precocious two-year old, Claire for an entire eight hours.
While my inclination was to escape the mess that has become my home, the weather proved to be an obnoxious 95 degrees with a ridiculous amount of humidity and so, I resigned myself to remain indoors and clean.
I turned on some tunes and encouraged Claire to entertain herself with puzzles and books while I tackled cleaning my older children's closet and room. Seven Goodwill and three trash bags later, I was astounded at what I had accomplished.
While I was cleaning, it dawned on me just how incredibly loud my life is....really on all fronts. There is very little time afforded to contemplation. There's mindlessness that emanates from exhaustion, but that's not the same thing as carving out space to think, ponder, reflect, dream, take it in. And I don't know why cleaning a closet or really anything for that matter, helps me to zone in on my thoughts.
While I was gathering up old clothes, shoes, books, toys, nick knacks, and keep sakes, I realized that Sam and Kate are not the only ones embarking upon a new journey.
I am too. And, so is their very sweet little sister, Claire.
Next year, Claire will be in preschool which may mean three or five mornings a week, I will have no children at home...and then, what will become of me and my time.
My best girlfriend from undergrad predicts that I'll go back into the corporate world temporarily trading my running kicks for kick ass stilettos. My husband predicts that I'll free lance my conflict resolution skills and mediate from home. My close-knit girlfriends think I might volunteer more at the school or start a prostitution ring to continue paying for Catholic education.
All of these options sound interesting to me. But whatever unfolds as I shared with my friend this morning, it won't be to the detriment of raising my kiddos or the passion of my soul. I want to gain clarity about that piece and keep asserting it to the world so as not to lose its significance.
My hunch is that I have a lot more soul searching to do...which means a lot more closets to clean, spaces to declutter and times of solitude.
And this space of quiet, I am excited about. I've been waiting for it, well, for a while.