Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Whole New World

We really need this. But I'm absolutely terrified.

This Friday, Paul and I are boarding a plane and traveling to St. Lucia for a week.

Without the boys.

Do you see my heart palpitating from here? Do you note my quivering fingers and quickened breath?

We've never done anything like this before. When we travel, we stay with friends or family. We always visit children's museums and shut down shop around 7:30 for bedtime.

This is a whole new world.We are trading potty training and preschool pick-up for sun-baked hammocks and clear blue waters. We will sleep in, eat when we want, love when we want, and take the time to rediscover each other. 

I will be completely unplugged, except for possible email updates with my parents, who will watch the boys.  

When we got married almost twelve years ago, we shared a mutual passion for seeing the world. He had lived in Korea--he even spoke the language fluently. I had spent time in Hong Kong, and yearned to see more. But finances and children kept those dreams from actually happening.

So why aren't I smiling? Because right now I'm completing paperwork and putting my ducks in a row. I am writing down lists of emergency contacts and hoping that the thing I forget is not the crucial thing they need.

I am already missing the bedhead and the kisses, the acrobatics and insights.

I know I will get over it.

But still--I am wearing anxiety as my accessory these days.

So, give a girl some advice. If you've done this, is there anything you would recommend? If you want to tell me I'm being ridiculous, I'll take that too.

I leave on Friday. Please stop by and visit the guest posters coming here. You'll be glad you did.


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Paul and I went to NYC on our own for me to run the marathon this past fall. It was our first trip solo since having kids. It was so good for us. Just a reminder of what you love about each other and how much fun you have on your own. You're going to have a great time! Jealous!

singedwingangel said...

the first trip I took sans boys was when my youngest was 3.. hubby's work sent him to college in Louisville for tire changing ( yep there is a school for that). I literally beat myself up the whole way there. Called every 20 miles the whole 9 yards.. don't feel lonely.

Muliebrity said...

Have not done the solo trip yet, and I fear it may be a few more years till we can get away. I hope you have a wonderful time!

Jennifer said...

I know my boys are a little older (8 and 11), but we've been going away without them since I stopped nursing (after their first birthday). The grandparents were begging to keep them overnight so the oldest was about 14 months old and it was only one night when we started. (Jeff's parents would actually give us mini-trips for Christmas so we'd have to go and they'd get to keep S!) We went to Las Vegas for a week when I was pregnant with the second and S was 2 1/2, St. Lucia for a week when they were 6 and 3 and Ireland when they were 10 and 6. Each time I did what you're describing- contact numbers, lists, directions, panic attacks, etc. But we'd always get calls and everything always was running smoothly. There's never been a problem, a reason not to go next time. And, believe it or not, it's soooo much easier when they're younger. Once they are in school- especially upper elementary and older- it's so much harder. The caregiver has to come stay at your house or the child has to miss school. Plus, there's so much more they're involved in, so much more they're responsible for. Your children know you love them, they know you'll be back for them (although it sometimes seems they don't know this), they know what they are allowed to do (not that they won't test every boundary with the other caregiver), and they will actually like the break from you and will be in love with you all the more when you return. You will be refreshed and your marriage will thank you. I am a true believer that we can't just be "mom" or "dad" all the time. We have to take time to a "the couple" or even "the woman" we were. (That's where my retreats come in.) Anyway, I'd be happy to talk to you about this more, if you'd like. There is no correct answer. EVERYONE has to do what is best for their family, for themselves. St. Lucia is the most beautiful place I have ever been and I think you'll love it. Where are you staying? Have a safe trip and tons of fun!! Hugs!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

We've never gone without our little third wheel. Something about having an only child makes me feel like we should just always take her with us.

I'm good at making excuses.

I'm sure you're on your way to a fabulous adventure. I'm jealous that you have the gumption to try it.

tulpen said...

I have no advice as Al and I have gone away for exactly ONE night in our 8 years of parenthood. Less than 24 hours it was.

Have fun.

Am wanting to hate you a little for getting away, just so ya know.

Cheryl said...

SO jealous. I wish my kids were old enough or my MIL was young enough to watch all three (no way).

We used to travel also, and I do miss it.


Have an amazing time. You deserve it, and all the stuff you miss (and don't) will be there when you get back!

Ms. Moon said...

Yes. I have some advice- drink on the plane.
Also- remember this- when the wheels leave the ground, there ain't nothing you can do but have a good time.
I went through this so many times and every time we got away, it was heaven and perfect and may have saved our lives and marriage.
In fact, the first time we went to Mexico, I thought I'd die from the anxiety beforehand but...when it came time to go home, I sat in the airport and cried and cried because it had been so magical, so wonderful.
True story.
All will be well and you and your man will remember why it is that you fell in love in the first place and that is good for you, your children, and the world.

Daffy said...

I would be a basket case. I have trouble leaving for two days...I think three is the max I've been away from my 2 year old and that was way too much for me and I only did it once.

The getting away will be the hard part, once you arrive there no doubt you will love it!

Victoria KP said...

Having trouble typing because I'm so very JEALOUS :-). Seriously though, my husband and I have had two (FABULOUS) long weekends alone together in the 9 years we've been parents and I've learned these things,
1.) You deserve it 2.) Your kids will be fine 3.) You will miss them--but not so much you won't have a great time. Enjoy!

Cheeseboy said...

We left our boys for the first time last year. My wife cried all the way to the airport. I felt so bad for her. Been there.

Ms.Wasteland said...

Congrats!!! I'm super jealous and you're going to have a wonderful time.

My advice to you is to relax and not worry about your kids. Your mom and dad took care of you and you turned out fine. They can handle your kiddos for a week.

Ms.Wasteland said...

One more thing - When my kids were younger my mom would use a calendar to mark the day we were coming home. The kids would mark off each day and count down when we were coming home.

Also, she got a little notebook for each boy and they would write down what they did each day to make a little book for us when we got home.

Minivan Lover said...

The flight will be hard. Once you are there you will have moments of- "Oh I miss them SO much!" But you will be able to settle into the vaca routine of things and enjoy. AND enjoy every second :)

Formerly known as Frau said... so need this and you will be glad! All Mammas need a break! I suggest leaving them little notes for each day or little treats etc.. it can ease their missing you both. As for you it will be all you talk about and after a couple days of good sleep and a few too many drinks with an umbrella you will smile and trust they will survive and you will too! Have a great trip!

From Tracie said...

You are not being ridiculous....just a normal mommy!


Once you get on the have to let yourself relax and enjoy being alone with your husband (that is an order from bossy blogger Tracie)

clearness said...

Funny story about St Lucia.........I never knew the place existed until my (the 2 year old) started naming her dolls Lucia.

tsonodablog said...

Sure you'll miss the younguns, but this is yours and hubby's time. Spoil each other. Revel in each other. Those babies will be all the better off for having parents with a solid, loving and rested relationship. Have FUN and Happy Birthday!


Eternal Lizdom said...

I've done a business trip or 2 on my own with kids at home with dad. We've done an overnight with the grandparents a few times. Haven't done a full on vacation yet.

But. One thing I've learned each time.

The build up is WAY WORSE than the actual leaving. Once you are on the plane or in the hotel... all will be fine.

Enjoy yourself and remember how many jealous moms are out here waiting to hear details when you return!

Gretchen said...

I would ask your mom and dad to watch them again BEFORE you leave on your trip. That way they are committed :) Plus, you will want to go again. You will have such a great time!

Kristy said...

I know what you feel like! I have been there. I like the idea above about drinking on the plane! Just try to enjoy yourself. You may surprise yourself by feeling real good about it once you're gone. I usually experience the most anxiety before leaving. Then, once gone, I am good to go (except when he was infant, I was a wreck the whole time).

Crystal Escobar said...

Oh my gosh, how exciting!!! We just got back from a cruise with the kids, and it was so exhausting. At the end of the trip I told my husband that we need to do a trip, just the two of us. We've never done it yet, and we're so nervous about trying it. We know we are going to miss our kids like crazy, and worry constantly that they are happy and safe. St. Lucia, oh man, I've been dying to go there ever since the Bachelor did. Looks incredible!!!!
Have so much fun and be sure to post losts of pictures for us to drool over :)

Erin said...

Oh I hope you have an AMAZING time! I am so jealous! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!

Unknown Mami said...

I am so happy for you both. I can't wait to read about it when you return.

Matty said...

It's natural for parents to worry about their children when going away. Especially for moms. My wife can't get them off her mind if we go away, and checks in every day with them.

Relax and enjoy a much needed trip.

Mel said...

Good for you! The boys will be fine and you should have a lovely trip. I wish I were so brave, I've left mine alone with a relative once, for our 20th anniversary. I wish now I'd done it more. Oh the anxiety, but they were fine! We were fine! Funny thing is, now that my kids are older, I've transferred that anxiety over to leaving the dog - what twisted fate is this? Anyway, enjoy!