Sunday, February 25, 2007


You think you want it. Just a moment of peace - to pick up crushed Cheerios, to go to the bathroom, to watch Sex and The City on On Demand, to just be YOU for a minute, or anybody else.

"It's Naptime!", you declare, with an artificial brightness reserved for dental hygienists and stewardesses. There is pain and turblunce ahead. Her face falls. Fun is over, and usually abruptly, because there is never a good time. "Mama, No!" she cries. She is despondent. Betrayed. She is on a seemingly great date who suddenly remembers he has an early meeting in the morning, hours before last call.

Tears ensue, with more "Mamamamamamama"s, making you wonder why you ever looked forward to hearing that little voice form words. Guilt mixes with anger and exhaustion. You plead behind clenched teeth, "just a few minutes. Why can't I just get a few minutes".

And usually you do. No one is crying out for you anymore. And it feels good, for a little while. The indulgent silence, which you never thought you'd want since you are usually such a noise person. But minutes turn to hours, and the decaying feel of Sunday night sets in. You miss your pal, your playmate. You miss feeling needed and wanted in a primal way. Everything you wanted a short time ago is yours, but now it feels desperately lonely and all wrong.

That's the thing about needing space. Whether from friends or lovers or kids. It can go from liberating to lonely in a matter of minutes. Be careful what you wish for.


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