The essence of family: gone but not far, near but not here

You know how sometimes a lot of togetherness can result in a wide array of emotions in each family member?

I feel a number of emotions: happy and exasperated, content and overwhelmed, at peace and annoyed… to name just a few. πŸ™„

Family life is not for wimps. Family life without routine, camps or scheduled outings for introverted mamas like me is…doable if there are periods of time where I can decompress by myself.

People who blog about this topic often make an effort to focus on the positive aspect of their own family togetherness, but there is a tone, like an undercurrent, that tells me there are other things going on. Sometimes it’s a slight sign of exasperation, other times it’s a little spot of humour.

Take LA from Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 – she is on a trip with her family and recapping it via bulleted points. It’s fascinating to read, and she illustrates it with pictures, but there is an almost anticipatory lead-up to the inevitable togetherness:

“No one has been thrown out of a moving vehicle, but we’re getting closer. If you’re in Pennsylvania and see someone hitching on the side of the road it’s probably me. Honk when you go by…”

I get this. Many people get this. πŸ™‚

The time it took me to type out these few short sentences was way longer than it usually takes me to type up my blog post. The entire family was here, and my little corner on the main floor was populated with people coming and going, talking and muttering, arguing and asking, puttering and making noise.

I should have gone to the library.

My girl was baking a cake. My boy was instructed to put out the yard waste from the fence project we worked on two weeks ago. The husband is fixing minor house irritations that we suffered through the winter season. They all have to come in to my space to announce something, to show me something, to ask me something.

I can’t focus like this.

Then I went to help clear off some stuff on the counter, where my girl was baking, and I picked up the sugar container with the screw lid which wasn’t screwed on properly and the resulting mess required a vacuum cleaner, and a very strong hold on my dissipating patience. The sugar was everywhere: counter, floor, open drawer…then she stepped in it and…


All this was a preamble to what will happen next week. They want to go camping. I will be all alone for a few days…I think I’m not going camping.

And, while alone, I will feel weird. Odd. Not lonely exactly, but…incomplete.

Do you understand what I mean?

As much as I love my family, I sometimes (often) wish they weren’t here so much…

And when they are away, I miss them.

Does this make sense?

I want a balance of them being here, and not being here.

Gone but not far, near but not here.

Well we’ll see. I’ll be fine. They’ll be fine, too. And maybe that break will be exactly the right amount of time given that upon their return the one kid is in baseball playoffs, and a week later will start hockey practices.

Yikes. πŸ™‚

And so we are coming to the end of week five of summer vacation. Still surviving, not ready for back to school yet, but there is a slight tugging that it won’t be much longer before the routine and chaos starts up again.

Know what I mean?


17 thoughts on “The essence of family: gone but not far, near but not here

  1. πŸ™‚ I totally know what you mean! My 4 year old never stops talking, singing, making noise. My 9 month old wants to be held al l the time. My dog has her nose up my butt (literally sometimes), the cat is just waiting ot jump into my lap, and my husband wants me to look at what ever is on his phone this minute. My intorverted self becomes WAY overloaded. Then the girls fall asleep and I just ooze with love watching them sleep. Yes, I want them close, but not on top of me. Away, but not too far. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am agreeing with all your comments. Being home during the summer and as an adjunct at intermittent times, I don’t understand why he can’t just move to the other room instead of being caddy cornered with my office and I hear the tv. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel that way also. Alternately, I love togetherness with my husband now that he is home more but then I get upset that I can’t focus on things. When he goes away or I go away, we miss one another and feel weirdly alone. Then I imagine what life would be like without the other, so we all adapt and some days are good and some not good.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes.
    I know what you mean! When I started working from home 2 years ago, we went through enormous adjustments of when I am available and when I’m not. I make the hand gestures of a mime in a box and then say,”I’m in my box.” it sounds crazy and now that I’ve typed it here, I realize just how crazy, but it’s worked so that I’m not disturbed when I’m trying to concentrate.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We only have 2 rooms (other than bathrooms) with doors and I don’t want to work in them. I want to sit in rooms that have the best views and still have my privacy. It’s a struggle some days.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Same here. I have a corner in the small open concept. The basement is for fortnite and my husband’s ‘home office’ which is a chaotic mess of crap everywhere and even if he isn’t here there is no way I could focus like that. So I sit up here and hope they’re respectful enough to let me do my thing. While I typed this the tv went on and the husband made some comment about a yogurt container he wanted me to save and not recycle. 2 interruptions while sitting in my corner where I ask for space/quiet/time alone. SIGH SIGH SIGH… πŸ˜›

        Liked by 2 people

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.