Wednesdays are child-free days for me. (Well, for a couple more weeks anyway.) Ava is in school, Nate is in preschool, and I find myself adrift with oh-so-many options.
Should I stay home and catch up on laundry? Should I do the church planning and admin I need to do? Should I go get my nails done? You get the idea. I find that the things I usually imagine I'll do (go to the movies! sleep all day!) on my next kid-free day don't happen, though. I tend to be much more "practical". Clean the house, catch up on emails, etc.
Today was different, though. I'd scheduled a tour of the maternity ward where we'll be ending up soon, and then Jason and I went to the mall and had lunch together. I hadn't given up on my boot shopping, but this time I recruited him to help me pull 'em on. Yes, he is a prince, even if he wants to give me The Salmonella.
Today, I walked up to our table at lunch where Jason was waiting for me. "It's strange to see you walk up without the kids in hand," he said. Yes, it is strange. It occurred to me then that I always feel strangely conspicuous when I'm out in the middle of the day without my children.
I mean, don't get me wrong: I'm no martyr. I really enjoy time to myself. But I often have this sense that I need to offer some sort of apology or explanation for why I'm on my own. Ya know, like: "I promise I am a contributing member of society and not just slacking at the mall at 11am. I have kids who'd normally be here, you see. I do stuff." Or, I see moms with kids and wanna say, "I sooo know what you're feeling. Normally, I'd be just like you!!!"
Do you do this? Do you ever feel the need to offer unsolicited explanations or apologies for things? Rationally, I know that I don't need to apologize. I don't feel guilty or anything. But my family will tell you that I've always had the tendency to apologize for that which I haven't done, couldn't help, or isn't even a big deal. It is embedded in my DNA, like my mutantish pinky toe or underbite (blessedly corrected by jaw surgery!).
But I wondered today if others feel the same. What makes you feel conspicuous, even if no one else seems to notice and/or care? What do you feel you have to explain, whether or not you actually do? A personality quirk, a life circumstance? Just wonderin'.
P.S. In other news, I found some boots! Oh y'all, you KNOW they're cute, too.