“Quick! Let’s do something bad!”
Sam Wilson finds herself child-free and without a clue what to do.
(Shawn Benjamin)
Our boys are on camp this week. Which means Andreas and I are home alone, with nothing but our mischievous natures to hold ourselves in check.

It’s a weird feeling. I remember the last time I felt it... when I had a newborn and a two-year-old both down for a nap at the same time. I used to stand in the passage, listening to the silence, paralysed by possibility. Should I nap? Have a bath or go to the loo? Read or eat? The glut of options was overwhelming.

Monday night saw Andreas and I in the same headless chicken hallway pose.

“Dreas!” I said, briskly. “We must pull ourselves together. We must go out! And we must go out properly.”

“But,” ventured Andreas meekly. “I don’t know if I want to go large, I mean it’s Mon...”

“Pzzzt!” I said, doing that stupid zip-lip gesture. “How often are we kid-free? We HAVE to go out! It’s in the rules!”

So we went out to for a few beers and pub snacks with friends, watched an Arthur Miller play at the Fugard Theatre (Sir Anthony Sher!)... home in bed sober by 11 pm.

“I’m not angry. Just disappointed.” @MegPascoe told us on Twitter, once we admitted to having gone decidedly unlarge. And I must say I kinda agreed with her.

But more worrying than our dissolving party genes, was how much I miss the boys. Their bunk beds are empty. Their clothes are in cupboards, not strewn all over the floor. No one’s laughing that kid giggle. None of the screens are on. And the Salticrax I bought half an hour ago are still in the cupboard.

It’s just all wrong, Grommit.

I like having children in the house. That’s why we had them in the first place. So... now I have that late-30 something question to ask you: do I instantly whip out another kid and postpone the problem, or do I just acclimatise myself to this slow letting go of bits of my heart? And how do other mothers out there feel about their children growing up and out of the house, little by little?

Do you have separation anxiety about the kids growing up and moving out?

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