Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder … I Hope!

Last week, I hit my breaking point.  Nine weeks of continual family togetherness is not for me.  I feel smothered.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys … I just don’t want to be with them 24/7.  Frankly, I don’t want to be with anyone that much.  Not my husband, not my kids, not even my best girlfriends.  I need my space.  I need time to decompress and recompose myself.  I need time to be alone.

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Truth!

Apart from a few weeks of day camp, the boys and I have spent nearly every day and night together.  Tensions have started to run high and tolerances low.  But not this week.  This week I got a break because my kids have been in New York with their grandparents, attending a basketball camp.  Yes, that’s right.  No kids for six whole days … JACKPOT!

You’d think that a kid-less week would mean that I went on a romantic vacation with my husband or at least partied every night and slept in the next day.  Not quite.  Here’s the reality of it:  Not having kids home for six days meant that the house was quieter, the grocery bill was smaller and the laundry was less daunting.  It meant I could go to the gym each morning and not have to rush home.  It meant I could talk on the telephone with my girlfriends without being interrupted.  It meant I could write on my own schedule, not someone else’s.  It meant I could get shit done (like refinish a dresser and reorganize my closet).  It meant six consecutive dates with my husband (nothing fancy, but exactly what we needed).  It meant I could recharge, recenter and refocus myself … and just be.

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Cheesy date night selfie.

I am forever grateful to my wonderful parents for giving me this week-long break.  They are awesome and probably in need of their own vacation right about now.  That said, I selfishly wish I had six more days because these past six flew by!  But I will be happy to see my boys tomorrow … I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Maybe next year if we’re lucky enough for my parents to take the boys again for a week, I’ll plan ahead and book a romantic couples vacation.  Or maybe not.  As a mom, just having time to myself is a vacation.

Now let’s see if we can make it through the final two weeks of summer before school starts.

– LJDT

Wanted: Modern-day Housecoat

Does anyone remember the housecoat?  The idea was borderline genius:  A simple, loose-fitting, above-the-knee dress with pockets.  Short sleeves for the spring/summer, long sleeves for the fall/winter.  Comfy and practical, perfect for wearing around the house.

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Housecoat sewing patterns from the 1960s.

My grandmother loved a housecoat and, like most women of her generation, wore one every day.  She had a collection that could rival the wealthiest of women, if wealthy women bought housecoats.  She received a new one every Christmas (long-sleeved) and for each birthday (short-sleeved).  Always in a floral print.  Always with a rounded collar.  Always with snaps in the front and patch pockets to hold her lipstick, a pencil and a pair of scissors.  The housecoat was her generation’s version of sweats:  Something easy and casual to wear around the house, most commonly without a bra.

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My grandma, c. 1970: Queen of the Housecoat.

I usually lounge in yoga pants, but during the summer I throw on a cheap, cotton sundress instead.  My go-to, “I’m-not-leaving-the-house-today-and-it’s-too-hot-to-wear-anything-tight” outfit is a kelly green, empire-waisted tank dress.  It works, but it’s no housecoat.  I recently searched online for a modern-day version, but all I found were silk robes, kimonos (neither of which work, by the way, because they slip open much too easily) and the exact same housecoats that my grandma wore forty-plus years ago:  Cotton/polyester blend dusters in old-lady floral prints with rounded collars and snap-front closures.  Not exactly fashion-forward.

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Believe it or not, this housecoat is available to buy today … in 2015!

So what’s a girl to do?  If I was a talented seamstress, I would make my own.  But I’m not, so instead I am issuing an open invitation to all fashion designers and retailers, from Versace to Target, Neiman Marcus to Old Navy, to get on board with my 2015 housecoat movement.  We need a modern version NOW.  It should be simple and washable.  Something updated and fashionable, in both neutral colors and bold patterns.  Something figure flattering and form-fitting, but not too tight.  Something with a built-in bra so the girls can breathe, and don’t forget those front patch pockets … Those are a keeper.  After all, a girl’s gotta have a place for her cell phone … and maybe even a pair of scissors, too.

J.Crew, are you listening?

– LJDT