A little “time alone” benefits us all

My boys have been together the majority of the summer. From sun up to sun down — they share a room, toys and parents. On Wednesday my husband took our older son to a lecture about a computer programming system they’ve been using together. That meant our younger son and I had a “date night”.

Given that his big brother was getting dinner out, my younger son quickly convinced me it was only fair that we went out to eat, too. After dropping big brother and my husband at the park and ride, we headed to Taqueria Guayamas, my son’s choice.

In the car, almost as soon as the door had shut he said, “It’s nice to have time alone with you, Mama.”

He continued to talk, almost non-stop, for the remainder of the evening. The “stage” was his…and he made the most of it. Speculation about what we’d do with our free hours. Discussion of what it will be like in Kindergarten. Musings over the people at the table next to us in the restaurant. You name it, he covered it.

As an only child, I never had to share the stage with a sibling. Seeing how excited he was for “time alone” made me realize how both our sons need that alone time with a parent more regularly.

As the younger brother, my son has always shared the stage. I know he likes having a brother…most of the time. But “alone time” with me was a good opportunity for him to be in charge. For him to talk. For him to get all the attention.

Only when it was time for bed did he show signs that he missed his big brother.

“I’ll just wait to sleep until he gets home,” he mentioned casually from his top bunk.

He’d been asleep for an hour by the time my husband and older son got home.

“Where’s E?” my older son asked as soon as he was in the door.

Yes, they both thoroughly enjoyed their “time alone” with a parent. But, it was reassuring that by the end of the night, reconnecting with each other was top of mind.

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5 Responses to A little “time alone” benefits us all

  1. Tonya says:

    So glad that you are back at your blog! Your insights are a good reminder of how important it is to mindfully process all of the things that are quickly thrown at us as parents.
    Thank you Liz!

  2. Liz says:

    Thank you for reading, Tonya. You’re so right – things fly by and processing them helps.

  3. Stephanie says:

    It’s so true what you say about the younger sibling! And, I think it’s important for both kids to get alone time with EACH parent. Our daughter tends to get alone time with me but rarely with her dad, where as our son gets both. You’ve made me realize that it’s time to change that! 🙂

  4. Patti Auburn says:

    It’s really nice to know that this generation of parents is so enlightened. I do believe your boys will grow into caring and well adjusted men. (As well as cutie pies!)

  5. Andrea says:

    Sweet! My younger two boys–8-y-o twins–never have time apart…they’ve always slept, eaten, gone to daycare and school together, had the same playdates and parties and sports practices. This past spring, one of them moved out of their shared bed and bedroom to our futon/guest bed in the downstairs sun room (a temporary arrangement, since it’s a very cold room in the winter, and also I want my sun room back); this year they will have different classrooms/teachers for the first time (and they’re okay with that for the first time), A few weeks ago, I was taking the kids to the lake, and one of the twins opted to stay home with his dad. It felt very weird for me to only have big brother and one of the twins, and I have to say it was hard for me to leave one at home (“but you’ll miss all the FUN!” I kept thinking), but he had a wonderful time alone with his dad…and his brother had a nice break from him. I know it’s something that should probably happen more often, but so hard to find the time and opportunity, isn’t it?

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