Some days I just want to be alone. But I'm very, very rarely alone. So the mere thought of it makes me sigh. The quiet. The freedom. I can only imagine.
But contrary to the norm, yesterday I was alone for a little while. Julianna woke up with a runny nose and watery eyes, so I wanted her to stay home from church so we didn't pass the cold around to all the other unsuspecting preschoolers. Arrty agreed to stay home with her and the boys jumped at the chance to spend the whole day at home. So off I headed to church by myself. I can't even remember the last time that happened. If it ever has. I got there just before services started and sat down in our regular seat. And did nothing. I didn't dig fruit snacks out of my purse. I didn't unzip a backpack looking for crayons. I didn't answer the question, "Can ______ sit with us?" I didn't scooch making room for four other people. I just sat. During the songs I didn't have to shush anyone or remind anyone to sing or take anyone out to the bathroom. I just sat and sang and prayed and listened.
And it was nice. For about 10 minutes. Then not only was I alone, I was lonely. I didn't know what to do with myself. It felt weird. I almost ate Julianna's secret stash of fruit snacks from my purse just for some semblance of normalcy. It became so very obvious that I am not complete without my family. Church isn't complete. Nothing is. They are a part of me. Not just a part of my life, but a part of me.
Yes, being alone is nice sometimes. But I'll remember that feeling of incompleteness the next time I long for a moment alone. And remember that alone turns into lonely really quickly.