Yesterday, I participated in a kickball tournament.
Yeah, you read that right, kickball. It was for charity (The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society). There were two teams put together at work, and one day while I was there, I noticed that my friend's team needed one more girl, so I got on board. There are worse ways to spend a nice (okay, it was a bit hot) Sunday afternoon, right? Initially, I had planned on the whole family coming.
But of course, Mr W and I got our signals crossed, and he wanted to go to the ASU baseball game with my Dad. (Considering the kick in the pants we got from the UA yesterday, he would have been better off with me, a fact I am not mentioning to him--why pour salt in the wound?) Ben went with them, the rest of the kids and the pup went to Nana's, and I went to my kickball game alone.
It was Mr W's idea that I not wrestle with the rest of them by myself..."Take them to your Mom, or you aren't going to enjoy yourself." "..But, " "Hey. Think about it. Do you really want to have to keep chasing Audrey off the playing field?" "...there'll be a few other kids there..." "No. You know how she is..." "Okay." (where is this good will when I want to go to the mall alone, lol?)
When I got to the park, I was glad I'd taken his advice. It was hot, and there wasn't really any shade. The bathroom was far away. And while the big kids would have stayed close by, I'm sure I would've been chasing Audrey on the other side of the park before our first inning was over. Guess he can be a smart guy, I thought.
I had fun! I didn't have to worry about counting heads, or scanning the little crowd for them. I got to finish a complete sentence or two, and play with my own watergun without there being a fight about who's turn was next. I even took a sip of, um, apple juice. ;) Just a sip of course. I still had to drive, afterall.
One of my coworkers was so surprised to see me, I couldn't resist commenting, "Yes, I do occasionally peel them off my leg and make it out the door alone."
If I was having such a good time, why did I feel a little lost? I'd be fine, and then I'd catch myself starting to look around, even though I knew I didn't have to. I kept noticing that I didn't have anything in my hand other than a bottle of water. I was eating ice, but I caught myself only eating the little pieces.
What is this little ache, this emptiness I feel? Me, who ordinarily jumps at the chance to do anything fun sans kiddies, feeling off my game because I'm alone for a change? [When they are with me, driving me crazy, I can't wait to get away. When I'm away, alone, I can't wait to get back home. I can't win. Wacko!]
It must be the Mommy version of phantom pain. You feel the ache in your limbs, in your hands because they are empty. That buzzing in your head? That would be clarity of thought. "Hello? Clarity? Have we met?"
I got over it. The second I was in the van to go home, where I promptly called Mr W, to see if Ben wanted to hitch a ride with Mom back to Nana's.
Phantom pain. Just another one of the parent ailments no one warned me about. I'll add it to my list, where it will fit nicely between "grounder's remorse" and "momtuition."
(And for the record, my team lost. Twice! No matter, we had a good time anyway, we got fed, and we also got tshirts. Not bad for a Sunday afternoon in the park.)