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November 16, 2018

When children are alone at home...

Today I left my children home alone for the first time ever. They are home for the holidays and the help has gone AWOL. There was a time the fact that the house help did not show would have seemed a major catastrophe. I would have been running all over the place like a headless chicken feeling so disoriented. But that was before I got my power back. Before the aha moment when I realised that this was my house and my family; hence my responsibility. I realised that the house help was just that ‘help’ and not the force behind the running of the home. I had gotten so comfortable with my former help who had stayed for more than 10 years that when she moved on and I needed someone else it was a difficult adjustment.

But all that has changed. Even with the new baby coming any time now and having a job I am not frazzled. I have learned that I will not die if I do not do the breakfast dishes before going to work and neither will the boys die if they have to fix their own breakfast, clean after themselves and warm their own lunch. This is our home and it takes all of us to keep it running. It is pretty liberating really to enter that place of awareness and it has made me appreciative when I get outside help while not making me over dependent. I now know that between Tony, the boys and I, we will survive. Ahh, the joy and liberation that knowledge brings!

So my boys are home now holding fort. A part of me wishes I was a fly on the wall to see how they are keeping on. Toriah is not too excited over the fact that TJ is the overall in charge. I don’t blame him really; I know that TJ can tend to be carried away by power sometimes. But I am confident that they will find the balance and tempted as I am, I have decided I will not call unless they call me first.

This is yet another step in the direction towards more independence. My husband, whose bright idea it was to leave them on their own, kept reminding me that at 11 being home alone was not a big deal. By that age most of us were pretty self reliant. He shared with me times when he was left with his one-year-old sister because the house help left that morning and mom had no option but report to work. He survived and so did his sister. Now am not so sure about leaving any of the boys with a one-year-old (perhaps when the one-year-old is my grand baby) but I admire the fortitude of our parents. Because trust me, it takes lots of faith to believe that the house will still be standing when you show up in the evening.

The boys are pretty excited though. They get to watch television and eat junk with minimum supervision. The agreement is simple: I want the house looking the way I left it when I come back; the in-between time is truly up to them. I guess I will see how it goes in the evening. In the meantime I am keeping my fingers crossed and exercising faith that all the lessons I have been trying to teach on responsibility will bear fruit.

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