This post cropped up in my head while reading Saritha’s post Chaos vs Calm.
While I totally agree that a family has to do things together, I’m also extremely fond of my ‘me time’. Intact I need time to myself. I written about this earlier as well. I’m a person who likes calm. While I wouldn’t force my child to be quiet or make her play without making noise. That is a different sort of fun altogether, isn’t it? When her friends are over and running up and down stairs or creating an absolutely ruckus in the house, it’s a lot of fun. Daughter when she is be herself isn’t very noisy, unless she is playing something upstairs in which case we can hear huge thumps over our heads. At those times I’m just very grateful that we live in a detached house with no worries of disturbing neighbours.
Having said that, I do like the calm. I do like being alone at home. And I think I’ve enjoyed being home alone since as long back as I can remember. When I was young, my parents would sometimes leave me at home to study (I must have been in 9th or 10th) while they went out with my brother. And I remember loving it. I couldn’t tell you why exactly but I think I’ve loved the quiet since then. I’m not saying that my family is a very noisy bunch or anything like that, but I seem to like the solitude.
Over the years, I’ve come to realise that while I really enjoy meeting people and being around people, I also absolutely love my own company. Which is probably why I love early mornings before everyone else wakes up. The early morning stillness, nothing apart from tweeting birds and sometimes during the winter months, the fox that wanders into the garden and me and the book I’m reading. Pure bliss!
All this is probably just a round about way of saying that for me, alone time, is very very important. And when Daughter eventually goes to University, I would like her to go to a Uni in another town or who knows, may be even another country. She needs to go where she needs to go. I wouldn’t want her to be local. I strongly believe that living away from your parents helps inculcate an independence that I think comes handy as you wade through life. I would always want that opportunity for her. Who knows what the future holds but hopefully she will get that chance too.
As for us, while I’m sure both of us will miss her terribly, I do hope we would have built a life which will keep us busy. I would hate to burden Daughter with the feeling that she is leaving two distraught parents. That, I believe, is one of the biggest gifts that we could give our children. The knowledge that their parents’ life does not completely revolve around them. I know for a fact that if my dad hadn’t been the independent, self sufficient person he is, I would have had a whole lot of different sort of worries right now.
While as a family we need our time together, each of us also need to live lives of our own as well. And in some ways, being able to spend time with one-self goes a long way, for me. Family time and me time, I believe can co-exist and that for us, is a very strong part of family life. All of us do things separately as well as a family. Each of us are individuals after all. With our own set of likes and dislikes. I might, for instance, prefer to read a book in my favourite part of the house, Daughter might be fashioning little things out of clay in another, and husband might be glued to the TV. And then of course, all us might spend an entire morning walking and having the best of times as we did this morning.
And then again, this is what works for us as a family. It might be completely different set of ground rules for another family. Each to his/her/their own, I guess 🙂