For the first time since kids came into my life, I'm completely serene about the prospect of temporary single parenthood. Our children are increasingly self-sufficient; they dress themselves, amuse themselves and each other, and generally make taking care of them a job that affords many extended breaks. In the past I've begged one set of grandparents or another to come help out, but now I don't see the need. Yes, I'll be solely responsible for rummaging up food for them, getting them to and from school, and keeping clean togs available, but taking over the other percentage of those tasks from what I normally cover doesn't seem like that tall a hurdle.
I know I'll be glad when Noel returns to give me some physical and psychological relief from being the only parent on call. And there are a few instances of tough scheduling arrangements in my workday, including a night class (which is being covered by another instructor this week) and a Friday evening obligation (for which I still need to secure babysitting). But it's nice not to have to steel myself for a marathon of mothering in the next couple of weeks. I hope it will also help Noel relax and settle into his work at the festival. Who knows? Maybe someday the load on me will lift enough that I can accompany him to one of these big parties. A girl can dream.