I’ve been home alone for ten days. The daughter and son-in-law are off on vacation and the grandsons are with their other grandparents in Ohio. It’s just me and four bedrooms and unlimited access to the only bathtub in the house.
By the time you read this, I’ll have lost any sort of private access to that tub. But right now, I still have one last day to myself and I’m trying to decide how to use it.
I’m already caught up on all the seasons of all the Netflix shows. I’ve seen enough “Tiny Houses” on HGTV to know I don’t want one. And I’ve become a champion at online Scrabble as long as I stay on the intermediate level where I don’t get outsmarted by a computer that knows words like “uniaq” and “dubieties.”
I’ve finished the new Harper Lee book and am all set to have informed conversations about it on Facebook. Although surprisingly no one seems to be talking about it anymore what with Cecil the lion and Donald Trump taking front stage.
I’ve also read every single thing I can find on the Kindle Fire that I got for my birthday the day before everyone left. (Which probably requires an asterisk since, in truth, I haven’t been able to figure it out and haven’t gotten past turning it on.)
I’ve managed to keep my grandson’s lettuce plant alive and have watched it gain two new leaves, bringing it up to a total of four. Not quite dinner yet, but probably good enough to get me some green thumb cred from the grandson when I hand it back and watch him slowly kill it from either overwatering or complete neglect.
I’ve captured two lizards in the house – slipping a grandson’s art projects under a piece of upside down tupperware and carrying them outside where I hope they stay.
I’ve sent that tupperware through enough cycles of the dishwasher to feel comfortable putting it back in the cabinet. Particularly since I know which one it is.
I’ve ventured out to malls and markets and hardware stores and as far as someone without GPS feels comfortable. I’ve gotten lost only once and that was in the Andares parking lot.
I’ve been dressed on those ventures in clothes that haven’t been dribbled on, colored on, or used as a napkin by messy little hands. And I’ve returned home without finding a single Spiderman sticker anywhere on my body.
I’ve eaten the same things for days in a row, and I’ve eaten it all in front of the TV with a little Bailey’s on the side and a bowl of ice cream for desert that wasn’t bubble gum flavored.
I’ve painted our cement wall, watered plants, glued a broken six-foot tall giraffe that had been resigned to the closet, and done a number of other household projects that no one will notice.
I’ve stayed up late and slept in with no little munchkins jumping on my bed before the first light of morning.
I’ve bought and potted a few more plants, which will bring an eye roll from my daughter and which will proceed to die when I take my own vacation in a few months and no one waters them.
I’ve taken nine long baths and floated in a swimming pool without once being squirted with something called a water blaster.
And I sit here today wondering what I should do on my last full day of completely unscheduled hours, with no one to please, or corral, or cook for, or walk to school, or play Angry Birds against.
A “Welcome Home” sign sounds good.