Everyone knows that kids have a catastrophic effect on privacy. It comes with the territory. I see first time moms walking along in late term pregnancies and think two things: "Awww, God Bless;" and "Kiss peeing uninterrupted goodbye for 19-21 years."
For all the joy my sons bring me (and they do, really, that's just not a juicy blog fodder), there are times I feel like running out the front door just hear myself think. Their keen sense of timing would make the most seasoned comic green with envy. Going to bathroom? Major crisis will strike the playroom. Disrobed and one foot in the shower? Nope. You must stop and explain the logisitics of how Santa can monitor every child in evey house, regardless of location. Benevolent gift-giver, or tech-savy voyeur? We'll discuss that at another time. Think you can actually get through a phone call with a major client or close family member? BAH! Funny how the dog opens the door himself at exactly that point to tour the neighborhood.
Today I'm heading off on what is veiled as retrivieing Son1 from his Sea Cadet camp. Sure, he needs to be picked up, but that's only part of it. He's in Norfolk, seven hours from our NJ abode. Each way. With I95 in my future. Alone. And I'm willingly hopping in to the car and will bask in the glow of "Do you see what lengths your father and I go through for you two?"
And why will I do this to myself? P-R-I-V-A-C-Y. Solitude. Quiet. Phone conversations without little ears tuning in like CIA agents. Complete ownership of the radio with its recently loaded satellite 80's New Wave Channel. This is what life has come to for me. I'm willing to send my sons (because 11yr old Son2 had his Norfolk excursion last week) seven hours away simply so I have some peace and quiet. Oh, quit judging me!
I'm getting ready to pack the car, and still need to get Son2 off to his day camp before heading off, but am already kind of psyched for the quiet enclosure of my Volkswagon for today's trek. There are even stretches where the cell coverage is spotty, so that may not be chiming away. True, unmitigated quiet. Ahhhhh. Can you hear that? Hear what, you ask? Hear- NOTHING. That will be me. No one to whine when I stop for gas. No one to rapid fire sixteen questions while I shower. No one to knock on the bathroom door every time nature calls me. Hell, I might stop to use the restroom when I don't have to just to enjoy the silence. Then tonight, I'll stay in a hotel and fully control the remote, have dinner where I choose, and enjoy a leisurely shower. Dear Hampton Inn of Smithfield: Please do not be alarmed if you hear room 232's shower running 6.25 hours. Really, it's all good.
In the end, this is really a continuation of the chapter that starts when the kids are very young and parents drive for hours around their own block just to help a crying baby in a car seat fall asleep. The car is still a refuge. For today, it's my private, quiet space with my beloved 80's music and six cup holders.