Getting away…from the kids. It’s been a long time coming for DH and I. Which is kind of unbelieveable because we’re the sort of people who jump at the chance to go off and enjoy ourselves, even if it means leaving the little ones at home. And yet.
I was at work a few weeks ago when a co-worker commented that he hadn’t been to a movie in ages–“since that one with the blue people.”
“Yeah,” he said.
That was 2009. Seven freaking years ago. I know that DH and I, as pre-parents, would never have imagined we’d go so long without walking across a pop-stained, popcorn-crusted theatre floor. And while it hasn’t been that long for us, mostly because our first kid wasn’t born until 2011, I can now understand how that could happen. Seven movie-free years can just happen to you.
So we decided recently to take the plunge, as it were, and go away for two nights–58 hours exactly–so as to restart the Avatar Clock, as I’m now going to call it.
There are several funny things about being away from your kids.
- How bad the last hour before you leave is. I’m sure it’s because you know you’re going away and there won’t be pee to clean off the floor or tantrums to calm in a coundown of minutes and part of you is already gone. Or maybe it’s that the kids sense something is up with their spidey senses. And that you forgot about three extra things you need to do before you can go. Whatever it is, the last hour is awful.
- The constantly swinging balance of how much you miss/don’t miss them. There are other people’s voices in there as well as your own, telling you not to worry, not to think about them. They’ll be fine! Just enjoy yourself. As if enjoying yourself is the thing you have to do with the most ardent furvour, no matter what. You must enjoy the hell out of every moment! Except that you think about their faces and wonder if you can FaceTime with them. But you shouldn’t–because you really are having a good time and seeing them might dampen that. Is that bad? Shouldn’t you be able to have a good old time without them playing with your thoughts like they’re marbles?
- The blessed honeymoon of coming home. The outstretched arms, the little voices, the sweet-smelling hair. The feeling of home after being away. Maybe, conversely, that’s the best part, the thing you do all the rest of it for. All the preparation, the departing angst, the frenzied enjoyment, the battle of guilt and bliss–it’s all for the first three hours, or maybe twenty-four, that you’re home. We missed you. No, we missed you. Squeezing all together on the couch, little knees digging into your ribs, the little one with his over-silibant S’s spraying into your face.
- And then they start hitting each other and an elbow knocks a cup of milk on the floor.
Here’s to getting away, and here’s to ice cream. Both noble and delicious pursuits.