In my first book, one of my characters is Jack, a 30 year old bachelor who is “eligible” except for one thing: He has a daughter… kind of! He actually has a niece he is guardian of, which makes him uneligible to many women. After all, who wants a guy with baggage right?

In my opening chapter introducing Jack (chapter 2), Jack is at home without Kat for the first time in 3 years. Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was 5, and given the trama that followed, she latched onto him for fear of losing him too. She has finally found a friend and is spending the night at her friend’s house for the first time.

Thus begins Jack’s first 24 hours with no child in over 3 years.

I write about this section of my book because I am feeling a connection with Jack today. I bid farewell to all three of my children this morning, waving goodbye, wishing them safe travels to North Carolina with Grandma and Grandpa Phillips. They will be gone for a week and a half.

My children have never been gone this long from me. They will frequently do 4 – 5 day trips to grandma’s house, leaving on a sunday/monday and returning that Friday, but never a full 11 days! I find myself with this overwhelming sense of freedom, but at the same time, a feeling of boredom. I have plenty to do to keep me busy. My house is in sore need of cleaning, I have alot of editing to do on my book, and I would love to carve out a good chunk of book number 2 as well. On top of that, I have some much put-off critiquing I need to do for my fellow critique group members, as they have been so kind and diligent in their critiquing of my work!

All of these tasks beckon to me, but for some reason, I sit here all thumbs. I don’t know how to act with no kids screaming, crying, or fighting. I have no diapers to change, no noses to wipe, no dinner for five to fix. I hear no “Mom, I’m bored” and no “Mom, She hit me!” and no “Mom, I love you!”

As much as I miss my kids, I still plan to treasure my time off. I have learned long ago to enjoy my time away and not wallow in their absense. Mother’s need breaks, and shame on us when we don’t make use of the ones we get. I plan to enjoy my week and a half and get a little done but get alot of rest too.

Even as I wipe a tear from my cheek and miss my babies so much that my heart physically hurts, I smile through it, and recognize my time off as a much needed short-lived vacation from the most important job I will ever have: The job of being a Mom.