I maintain an active imagination. If I happen upon a lovely photo online of an isolated island paradise, I can literally visualize myself there, soaking in warm shade and sea air, a fortuitous daydream of this real or false destination. I mentally photo-shop a laughing me into a romantic cabin, the fireplace lit, a bear rug floor adornment a mandatory room feature. A luxury ski resort…same thing, even though I’ve never skied a day in my life. Horseback riding. Road tripping. Star gazing. Ice cream eating.
With no kids.
Definitely a pipe dream.
If I have too many of these reveries in a day’s time, I know it’s truly time for me to get out and do something different.
At one point late last year, though, I started brooding about skipping work and running off into the sunset. I didn’t want to return from lunch breaks. I was moody in the afternoons. I knew it wasn’t holiday stress. Dates with the hubs felt as if they were very few and far between, even after we had just been on one. Everything started to suck.
A time-out was near. I could no longer hold myself from the cliff.
As parents whose families are 500+ miles east or north, and a whole business agency by ourselves, it is more than difficult to take a vacation that did not simply turn into packing the babies and traveling to our hometowns. In fact, the burden of any kind of strategizing has been so great over the past few years that we just avoided it. We had a new baby, after all. Trying to go and see family for a wedding over four days has been tricky to enact in the recent past, let alone touring somewhere new for…a week? Without the kids?
A week away with no one to run our company, and no feasible childcare options, always authorized a mind-numbing stop sign up against any “plans” we thought we were making. We had a good laugh about it over an impromptu staycation 15 miles from home. We discussed changes: time we would make for one another and the importance of mental breaks and those sorts of adulting needs.
The high didn’t maintain for long. Not even a week later, I was fighting off anxiety again, signs displayed through my on-again, off-again nail-biting habit. I asked the hubs to “dream with me” one evening, code for talking about what we would do if we had the money/resources/time to do. Taking a “real” vacation without the kiddies rotated back in as an idea.
The hubs said, “Okay, let’s do it. Let’s go.”
“Say some huh?” was my response. That was six months ago.
Next week, the hubs and I hop on a plane to Florida for a week. Jrue and Jai will remain home with my sister-in-law who is traveling from Illinois this weekend to aunt-sit and keep them on their schedules.
Miami is about as “exotic” as we can get right now without being too far from our reality. Hey, we’re beginners. We’ll see how this goes first.
I’m nervous that something will go awry while we are away, but I am still super excited that we will be gifted with quiet time. Ideally, we’ll get to reflect and watch and lay. No need to govern ourselves accordingly. No need to move from the bed. No need to even dress.
It’s really about the possibilities of sleep. Uninterrupted sleep with the balcony door open, sounds of the waves crashing lulling us from one sleep cycle to the next. My expectation of our first day is a steady continuum of sleep-pee-eat-sleep-pee-eat.
I can’t say that I won’t miss the kids. Our lives rotate around them, and we’ll have down moments when there won’t be anything really going on. I will most certainly call and “check in,” probably more than once in a day. Even as we make a rule not to talk about “kid stuff” or even turn to a cartoon on the hotel room television (then break the rule to mention how much Jrue is going to love the second “Incredibles” as the first one cracks us up), my main focus will be loving on my husband and putting him back into the #1 corral for a while.
Yep, sleep should do it.
This should be good.
Stay tuned for “No Kids Allowed, Part 2” on Wednesday, May 2.