Sometimes, you need a vacation.
Most of the time, you can’t have one.
And sometimes, things fall into place quite nicely, and you get the perfect excuse for a getaway.
Last week, Hubby and I had a family friend who got married in Dallas. That’s a plane ride away for us, so we jumped at the chance to get out of town for a few days. My saint of a mother was willing to keep our kids, so we left them behind and stayed away (several states away!) for five whole days.
Did you read that? Five days. That’s an unheard of vacation for parents of three kids under age five. But we were blessed and thrilled to be almost entirely free of responsibility, eat way too much delicious food – without thinking of whether our kids would eat it – and go anywhere and everywhere we liked, without planning very far in advance.
We delighted in local restaurants, nature walks, and even some shopping. We were privy to an intimate weekend celebrating the couple, including our rousing performance of a Marvin Gaye cover at their rehearsal dinner. We traveled from Dallas to Austin to spend sweet time with family we don’t see very often, and even enjoyed a few naps. Yes! NAPS!
Even though I thought about (worried about, even) our kids, I knew they would be fine without us. We didn’t actually talk to them or FaceTime them as much as I thought we would. We talked about them, yes, and wondered how they were. But it was immensely refreshing to be away, and to rest assured things would be fine when we returned. Everyone was a little tired (my mom especially), and REALLY glad to see us, but they were fine. They survived – thrived, even – having had a break from us, too.
You see, we love each other. Kids and their parents have a bond to which nothing comes close. But it’s good to be apart sometimes. It’s refreshing, it makes us appreciate what we’ve got, and it makes us realize we don’t truly want to be apart from them for that long, even if we fantasize now and then about getting the hell outta dodge. But I have to tell you: going away for five days with my spouse was an incredible honeymoon-like experience. We hadn’t looked in each other’s eyes for as long, or had uninterrupted conversations as often as we did on this trip in years. Yep, I went there. Years. Like, four years, since that’s how old our daughter is. It’s the longest we’ve ever been away from her or the boys. But we needed it. Our marriage needed it. Our hearts, minds, and exhausted bodies needed it. I know how hard it is to imagine getting away, the effort, money, help, and planning it takes. But it was so, so good. And we’re already thinking about the next one.