Of all the posts I have written for Twin Cities Moms Blog, this is by far the hardest. Not because the content is controversial or because I am conflicted about what to say. It’s difficult to write because even though I believe in it, I AM NOT DOING IT. I guess that makes me a Hypocrite with a capital H.
Most of my other posts have been about local places we have visited or things I like to do with my kids. But not this post. This one is different. And I’m not talking about flossing my teeth (although you can add that to the list of important things I should be doing). This is about leaving my kids.
I know all of us moms worry about our children. It is human nature to do so. We worry when our kids are sick or when they are late to reach a milestone. We worry they may get cancer or some other incurable illness. We worry they might never transition to solid foods or eat a green vegetable. We worry they might get bullied or never find love and get married. Of all the things to worry about, my greatest fear is that something will happen to me and my husband and we will be unable to care for our children. This fear keeps me from leaving my kids and traveling alone with my husband. This fear is affecting my marriage.
Or maybe it isn’t. I don’t know, I’m so conflicted about this. My Facebook feed is full of status updates and sweet photos of friends who are vacationing alone with their husbands. Not only are these friends looking fresh-faced and fully rested, they are returning with a renewed outlook and are able to be more fully engaged with their kids because they have taken time to relax and recharge. I believe them when they tell me these trips have strengthened their marriage. One friend even told me that a couples trip saved her marriage. I can’t help but think ‘I want summa that.’ Just when I’ve convinced myself to book two tickets to Mexico with my man, I talk myself out of it. We can always go in 10 years.
I know that if something tragic happened to us, our family members would care for our children. But I shudder to think about the special things that would be missed. Nobody knows the silly way I tell the boys “I love you” with a pause and an accent. Nobody knows the way I kiss them in a clockwise rotation on their sweet faces and what I whisper as I do it. Nobody knows our special bedtime ritual and specific order in which we say our prayers. Nobody knows how my son likes his stuffed animals and pillows arranged “just so.” Nobody knows the silly song I sing to them every morning when they wake up or the motivational words I say to them before dropping them off at school. Nobody knows how my son likes his sandwiches made – perfectly stacked with a special kind of cheese and a certain ratio of mayo to mustard. Nobody knows…
Out of my head again, my mind shifts and I start to think about the peaceful sound of the waves on the beach and sleeping in and eating food while it is still warm. I wonder what it would be like to actually have a conversation with this wonderful man that I married-and still deeply love-that is not about schedules or school or the consistency of my son’s poo. I begin to feel expectant joy of what’s on the horizon and how some alone time could make this solid marriage even stronger. More importantly, I think about the kind of mom I want to be. How the one tried and true parenting philosophy, the one I employ when all else fails, the one that has never let me down, is to lead by example. I’m getting clarity now and I know what I need to do…I have to show my children how to conquer their fears by conquering mine. I will hold myself to the same standard I hold my kids to when they are afraid to do something and I tell them to just try it, you will never know until you try.
Before I change my mind, I confidently tell my husband “I am ready, let’s do this.”
Our (non-refundable) tickets are booked and our bags are packed (including brand new minty dental floss). A tan and a grand new adventure awaits.
See you Soon-