When I finally came up for air late Sunday evening, my immediate thought was, “Oh my God, what did I just do?” I had increasingly worried texts from my family and friends asking me where I was. My email inbox was overflowing. Several people unfriended me on Facebook because they assumed the only way I’d be off it for three days is if I were dead.
But strangely, the guilt didn’t come. I mean, I felt badly for worrying people with my sudden disappearance, but I saw the whole climate of the family had changed for the better. My eight-year old felt happy and important that one of his interests had been validated to such a degree. The three kids who love physical touch, who would be blissfully happy if they could just drape themselves over me all day long, were able to do just that as we played the game. And I, for all my possibly J-type tendencies, let the house get messy. I didn’t try and script out our weekend. I let the kids make peanut butter sandwiches whenever they wanted them, rather than worrying about food rationing and following the menu plan.
I couldn’t honestly say that I’d wasted three days of my life, despite what it looked like on the surface. Instead, this unexpectedly Lost Weekend was a gift of time and attention and leisure that I didn’t realize the family needed. Even if I had realized it, I don’t think I could have allowed it to happen. It had to sneak up on me in the disguise of a computer game. Now, as the family gets back to the structure of the working week, we do so with more laughter, more patience, and hearts that are closer together.
We also go forth into this week with a massive password change on the Minecraft accounts, because this house is a wreck.