The kid is away this week, most of the week. March break. Helena is staying with her grandmother.
It's one thing to have the occasional child-free weekend, but it's quite another to endure regular workdays without the myriad of tiny tasks that fill time. Laying out clothes, preparing breakfast, wiping up spills, packing lunch, "Did you brush your teeth?," checking her backpack for assignments and messages, completing forms, choosing snacks, untangling hair, fixing various minor catastrophes. Six million things before my own day begins.
My mornings are strange this week. Not entirely unpleasant, but foreign, if faintly familiar. My synapses fire on all cylinders, but with no external focus; the energy is trained simply on being. The world moves so slowly around me.
She phoned the other night. Past her bedtime. In tears, gasping for breath: "Je m'ennuie de toi, maman. I love you TOO much. I want to dream about you."
The days since have passed without incident.
I thought she'd be back by now, but my mother-in-law decided to go to the cottage. They'll be back in a couple more days.
The cat's been looking for you.
You know what, kid? I miss you too.