As I clear the table I suddenly feel this odd distance between what I know is my life and what I feel inside. I don't recognize this life. Just minutes ago, I was single. I was an attorney for a big corporation. I was alone most of the time. I was free. I took care of only one person (and I didn't even do that very well). I spent most nights watching sitcoms and going to bed with a good book. I spent my days working and trying to figure out the world around me. The journey of discovery was lonely but also invigorating.
I look around and see my life now. Mother of two boys. Wife to a good man. Responsible for the well being of a family. But I still feel like that single woman sometimes. That woman that was alone most of the time with her own thoughts. And I wonder who is this woman standing in the kitchen? It's not me.
Once the dishes are away, I start turning off the lights. That's when my husband comes up to ask if it's time to take the kids to bed. I say yes and we discuss some mundane kitchen repair issue. Then I tell him that I'm going upstairs and ask if he could please turn off the rest of the lights and then bring up the kids.
I walk into my bedroom and savor the few minutes of silence before the boys charge up the stairs. This is my life now. A few stolen moments of silence here and there.
I sit on my bed and think about that feeling of strangeness that overcame me downstairs. Do I miss the woman in my past?
"Mommy, mommy, where are you?"
"I'm here sweetie, in mommy's room."
Everything else disappears as they run into the room. The other woman is gone. This mother and wife is here waiting for her boys to crowd around her in bed so that she can read them their bedtime stories.