And I was right.
This past Tuesday night I walked out of the house without any children, picked up Brandon, and went to a garden party. The evening was almost as warm, and I chatted with friends, ate appetizers, and enjoyed wearing makeup, a dress, and my favorite hot-pink heels.
At home the children were taking baths, dressing themselves, feeding William and putting him down, making sandwiches for dinner, cleaning it up, and getting ready for bed. When Brandon and I walked in the door around eight, the kitchen was clean, the children were fed, and everyone was ready for a story.
After I came through the door, I shut it. I didn't look for money, calculate hourly rates, ask someone how the children behaved themselves, or awkwardly say goodbye after handing over a fistful of bills. Instead, I shut it, took off my heels, and read Eleanor a story.
And it was fabulous.
After eleven years of waiting for my freedom to return, it has arrived. If I need to run to the store, I don't have to take six children with me. If one of them has to see the doctor, five of them don't have to come with me. If Brandon and want to go out on a Friday night, we go out. No babysitter required.
And the best things about this new reality is that it will last into perpetuity. Never again will I have to hope that a sitter is available or worry about taking my housekeeper away from her family on a Friday night or pay fifty dollars just to go to dinner with my husband (not that I a pay that much here). If a friend wants to go out to lunch, I can go, even on days where Zarifa doesn't come. If I want to get a pedicure all alone I can do it. The prospects almost make me giddy.
Those eleven years were very, very long while I waited to home-grow my own babysitter. But now that the day has arrived, it seems long it wasn't that bad after all. However, I'm never going back. Ever. Again. Hallelujah.