For Richard’s birthday, Joe offered to take both children snow-tubing and to an indoor water park for three days and two nights over President’s Day weekend. Both Richard and I leapt at his offer. Don’t misunderstand, we love, love, love our children. But it’s really nice to have a couple of days and nights off. Richard and I haven’t spent time, just the two of us together, for several years. That was not a typo. YEARS. And never before have we stayed home without one or both children here with us. When I told my cousin about Joe taking the children and how excited we were, she said, “Oh you’re having a staycation!”
The kids and Joe left yesterday.
I cannot describe how incredible it is to have the comfort of our home with only Richard and me (and our cat, Merlin) here in it. For one thing it is very, very quiet. And for another we can come and go as we please without booking caregivers, worrying about being home at specific hours; it’s hard to believe a large portion of the population lives this way on a daily basis. I can’t imagine! So yesterday Richard and I went up to MAD (Museum of Art and Design) leisurely strolled through the exhibits, even wandered up to the sixth floor to the Open Studios, where we met the artist, Fergus Walsh, a puppeteer at work on one of his wonderfully expressive clay looking creatures with funny eye balls. Then we made our way downstairs to the Beauty in All Things: Japanese in Art and Design show, where I saw this Bronze Vessel by Iwata Kiyomi, made of metal cloth, composite, gold leaf, silk organza and acrylic paint.
Never once did one of us say with an edge of panic, even though she was right next to us, “Where’s Emma?” or “I think the kids have had enough, we better get going.” We took our time, pausing at things we found particularly compelling, like the moving Japanese screens depicting the changing seasons.
Later we went to see a silly movie about two hired assassins who fall in love with the same girl, unbeknownst to her. By the time we left the movie it was dark. We walked over to a little restaurant in the Flat Iron District we like, Basta Pasta, a Japanese take on Italian food packed with an eclectic crowd of people from all over the world. We didn’t worry about rushing home to relieve the baby sitter. We didn’t bother looking at the time. Though at one point I did say to Richard, “after dinner I think I’ll text Joe and just check in.” But just as I said that, Joe sent me an email saying both kids were exhausted and asleep having had a great day snow-tubing and swimming.
By the time we returned home we marveled at how quiet the house was. We discussed what we would do the next day before turning off our reading lights.
“I’m glad to have this time together, just the two of us,” I said in the dark.
“Me too,” Richard said.
“I’m glad the kids will be back Tuesday night.”
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: Emma’s Hope Book