Skip to main content

a recess from the ruckus

am i a bad person?  wait, don't answer that.  it was a question of the rhetorical sort. 

here's the thing: my parents live about 3 and half hours away, and don't get to see our kids all that much, so each summer they graciously (and enthusiastically) volunteer to take our kids to their place for a week, a week in which they spoil them so thoroughly that they require several weeks of treatment at the milinovich detox center following the visit each year.  this last week was the week that mom and dad took the boys.  all three of them. 

which means that shannon and i have had the house to ourselves since sunday afternoon.  during our anniversary week.

now, some parents that we have told about this have gasped or stared at us wide-eyed, indicating that they would never be able to be apart from their kids for a whole week.  they raise their eyebrows and mentally make a note to call child protective services on us for being the most unsentimental, unattached parents they've ever met. 

at least that's how it feels. 

and i'd like to say that it's been really hard for me to be away from those yahoos for this week, but that'd be a lie. 

on the contrary, it has been a fantastic week.  everytime i walked into the living room, i went to pick up the 12 pillows from the couches, as is my routine everytime i walk through the living room, but they were never on the floor.  i never found toothpaste spread all over the inside of the sink, or drops of pee on the toilet seat.  we didn't go through our regular 3.78 rolls of toilet paper.  i wasn't serenaded with the sound of smacking flesh, followed by horrific screaming, tattling, whining, followed by the sound of my own voice distributing time outs.  in fact, i barely yelled at all.  i never heard a laurie berkner song.  oh, and i got to talk to my wife again, about something other than how quin's poop got all over the fake turd the boys use to play with (seriously...that's a whole 'nother story).  it was awesome. 

i read the newspaper.  we played trivial pursuit.  we went out 4 of the 5 nights, and the fifth night we ordered in.  it wasn't just date night, squeezed in where we could fit it, feeling guilty about the money we are spending while we pay a babysitter at home.  nope.  it was dateweek, in which we used giftcards that we have been accumulating.  we tried new restaurants, went to some old faves, and even got dressed up and went out somewhere nice for our anniversary.  i ate lobster bisque, gnocchi, reuben pizza, ordered appetizers and deserts!  then, every night - all five nights - we watched a movie.  it was unbelievable.  we watched lincoln, snow white and the huntsman, couples retreat, life of pi, and iron man.  it was like a died and went to parent heaven. 

now, don't get me wrong.  i'm not ready to ship my children off to boarding school or anything.  i miss their hilarity, their laughter, their ridiculous comments, their energy, even the spread of bodily fluids all over our living space.  but i was happy to have a little recess from the ruckus.  i enjoyed rediscovering my wife, ahem, celebrating our 14 years together, and remembering what peace and quiet sounds like. 

am i a bad parent?  i don't know the answer to that, but i can tell you this much:  i am a refreshed parent.  that is a blessing of the strongest sort. 


Crafty P said…
awesome. awesomeness. super duper awesome.

that is exactly what grandparents, who can, SHOULD do!

I would do it in a heartbeat. ;-) Wouldn't even think twice. love 'em but I can certainly go away/out without any guilt!

ps ruckus reminds me of rumpus and that makes me think of WHere the Wild Things Are and that is kinda the theme of my life...
Cmilinovich said…
It was our JOY and pleasure to have your three precious boys this week. We had screaming, running, spilling, messiness, and all the rest. It was glorious! We also had snuggles, kisses, hugs, questions, and three pairs of beautiful eyes looking for the next adventure. We look forward to it every year. We are also glad that you got rest, peace, and time together...bonus! Now it's our turn to rest up! We're old for Pete's sake!

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …