Friends & Family

What do you need?

I started packing last night. I decided that I wouldn’t leave it for the last minute this time. And I was doing quite well with the endeavor before half of the electricity in our house went out during a storm. The half that controlled the lights in the bedroom.

I’m very excited. Heading to Colorado Springs to meet a friend I’ve known online for about two years. We have scads in common and she and her daughters have all sorts of plans for my visit.

It will be nice to relax. I get in moments of relaxation in my regular life, yes. Brief respites to flip through a catalog, read a chapter of a book, or stroll with the dog along a leafy street.

Yet as a parent of one 3-year-old and three pets, I feel like I always have to be on. There’s a constant flow of neediness in my household. Need for more milk. Need for a tissue for a runny nose. Need for a walk to the dog park. Need for cat food right now, please. Need for help pulling up shorts after going pee-pee. Need for a discussion of the merits of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. Need for a second participant in Stop and Go. Need for someone to open the door when the other dogs in the neighborhood are barking and mine doesn’t want to be left out. Need for someone to turn on the faucet so the felines can drink some extra-fresh water instead of the merely fresh water in their water bowl.

I love all four of these beings (as well as the handsome grown-up being who also shares our house). I love them to bits and pieces.

It’s just that sometimes I want to be standing in my kitchen without a single set of eyes looking at me imploringly. For just five minutes. I want to make myself a sandwich without having to stop in the middle to refill a cup of milk or let the dog back in or shoo naughty cats off of tables where they don’t belong.

So I shall have that for a few days.

And within mere hours of being alone and free, whether during the flight or after I’ve landed and am chatting happily with Laura, I’ll be missing them terribly. I’ll want to be needed again. I’ll be reaching for my cell phone to call and check on them. The stinkers.