So, I prayed about it and early Friday morning I told the kids to pack their bags because they were gonna hit the road. My hesitation was out of protecting my parents' sanity. See, Mom & Dad's ministry is foster care. They currently have three siblings in their care-7 year old Alicia, 4 year old Joe and 2 month old Maddie.
Everytime I thought of how much I'd accomplish in my kid-free weekend, I would get a vision of Mom & Dad driving down the highway for 5 hours outnumbered by kids. Two little girls who both like to be "the boss", a 4 yr old boy who loves the challenge of seeing what Grandma won't notice in her rear view mirror, a newborn who sleeps during the day and is cholic at night and a 13 yr old man-child who doesn't like any of the kids I just mentioned.
So Friday morning I had our 18 yr old daughter, Alyssa take the younger kids to Grandma & Grandpa's for me so I wouldn't have to feel guilty watching my folks try to pack 5 children plus their baggage into the SUV. Kisses planted, hugs squeezed and many I love you's spoken in my driveway and off to work I went...guilt-free.
I got excited throughout my day when my to-do list ran through my head. Instead of basketball games, breaking up sibling fights and being a taxi cab for my son, I would be painting the basement, moving furniture, cleaning, doing laundry, catching a movie with my sister and just relaxing. So much to do in so little time. I stayed at work late Friday night since I had no kids to pick up from school and my husband Gene would be at his part time job late into the night. My oldest daughter Alyssa was at a basketball game and hanging out with friends afterwards so the night was all mine.
So what's a girl to do? I decided a movie and some ice cream that I like would be my first adventure. No Cookies 'N Cream this time; I was going to pick out the ice cream I wanted without hearing "that's gross" about my choice. So I stood in the ice cream aisle at Sun Mart trying to make my decision. What happened to just chocolate and vanilla? Peanut Butter Panic, Chunky Monkey, Bunny Tracks, Cappucino Fudge Blitz....then came the loss of vision.
Yes, tear filled eyes in the middle of the ice cream aisle. Suddenly I realized I was going home to an empty house. Could it be that I missed my kids already?? It was such a weird feeling. Oh this is ridiculous! Just pick out a flavor my mind screamed at me!
As I quickly re-grouped and tried to pick out some comfort food I saw the faces of all of my new friends in the weight loss program I just started called First Place. The faces I would have to be accountable to on Thursday and explain my weight gain to. Would they understand I was going to celebrate but then got overwhelmed with sad feelings because I missed my kids and my husband wasn't going to be home to console me? Sure they will, I thought as I quickly grabbed a cold carton of Starbucks Java Chip.
I started walking away and guilt got the best of me. Being aware that my actions have been caught on tape and the security guard probably thinks he's watching an episode of Guiding Light, I returned the ice cream back to its freezer shelf. I quickly wiped my tears and went and found a much better choice to indulge in. I chose Double Chocolate sugar-free pudding to drown my sorrows in. My First Place girlfriends will be so proud of my strong will!
As I pulled in the driveway and looked at my dark, lifeless house I drug my sad self up to the front door when suddenly I realized, my son's dog is awaiting a human face to lick! I couldn't open the door fast enough as I dramatically dropped my purse and the pudding and started yelling, "KANE, KANE! I'M HOME!!" as I ran to find him. (Note to self: tell the First Place girls you exercised before snacking.)
Clearly confused over my excitement to see him the equally excited canine peed all over my wood floors as I let him lick my face. Being aware that Kane probably just finished licking his private parts, I didn't even care as I was so desperate for his love. After I cleaned up the pee, took a shower, scrubbed my face and put on some comfy pj's I grabbed my pudding & parked myself on the couch to watch TV. No Hannah Montana or sports tonight...Lifetime channel instead. I even got a little crazy and flipped the channel to the Home and Garden channel!
I still missed the kids, but I accomplished so much this weekend. With my hubby working, Saturday I began to to check off my projects one by one. I even spent some much needed time with my sister Michelle. We stole my Dad's new Toyota Trunda for the day as we rode in style to a small town and hit all the ma & pa shops on main street. Back home, I cooked her a pasta dinner and we laughed together at the movie 27 Dresses that night.
So, that was my kid-free weekend. Mom and Dad returned the children with sanity intact, and a thumbs up for behavior. At my First Place meeting this Thursday I will tell them how I made the better choice of sugar-free pudding over ice cream and not tell them how I ate all 6 little cartons before hubby got home. As Grandma would say, Heavens to Betsy!
God punished me though for my glutton act as I endured a sleepless night thanks to the Double Chocolate diarrhea I had. So mark this in your mental file of what not to do when you're sad ..."Don't eat 6 cartons of sugar free pudding in 30 minutes" or you'll sit on the toilet as Lionel Ritchie says ALL NIGHT LONG!
*2/5/08: Check out a post I just read by Debbie at Chocolate and Coffee titled "Junk Food Produces Weak Christians". VERY GOOD word! Thanks Debbie!
*Also~Congrats to Karla at Looking Toward Heaven for winning the scholarship for She Speaks. Read her touching entry for the contest if you get a minute called "Moses had the right idea - Wherever He leads, I'll go"
I guarantee you'll leave blessed!