Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mama's Going on a TRIP, You All!

Last night, after four years of dreaming and six months of post-weaning and two-to-three months of planning and fare-watching, I booked a plane ticket to San Antonio to visit one of my dearest friends for a weekend later this month. Yes, the price of the ticket almost gave me a heart attack. However, it was $100 to $200 less than any fare we'd seen in the past three months, it was a direct flight, it is leaving on Friday and returning on Sunday (just as I needed), and it worked with Julia's preschool schedule and Christopher's work schedule. Also, it's the only real trip I've taken in almost four years, and the ONLY trip I've taken away from my children since becoming a mom. I'll be gone from my girls for two nights and most of three days (three nights if you count the fact that the babes will be in bed by the time I get home), and the idea is so unimaginable to me that I haven't yet fully grasped its meaning or its significance. Although reportedly my friend's husband--who has been privy to my friend's and my pining for one another since his job transferred the two of them from Minneapolis to Texas immediately after my first child was born, causing great heartbreak--has already booked us girls a spa day on Saturday, so, you know: that I can grasp. But still: sleeping "late" (read: past six a.m.) and not having to immediately care for another human being the second I open my eyes? Reading for pleasure on a plane? Having an adult conversation that isn't interrupted every two minutes by the sound of two small voices calling, "Mama, Mama, Mama!" about every little thing? Unimaginable.

A lot of moms I know (or hear/read about) get away from their children for special nights or weekends, girls' trips and whatnot, on at least an occasional basis, and view such events as normal, reasonable, required, deserved, and/or sanity-saving--and express surprise at the news that I have gone four years without going out of town without my babes. But the truth is, at my most absolute burned-out and impatient, empathy-emptied and depleted, all I've really ever pined for is an evening with my spouse alone and the kids at their grandparents', even if only for the duration of a movie. Since we haven't had many sitters in our parenting life--for many reasons well detailed elsewhere--even the littlest break goes a long way. When my parents sent Christopher and me off to dinner and a hotel for our anniversary during our trip north in August, it set me up for another four years. So I'm not--anymore--counting down the hours until I get a break from my girlies and their care. But that doesn't mean I won't be thrilled to spend a weekend with one of my all-time best girlfriends, doing girl stuff and being pampered, living vicariously the childless life once again---you know the one I mean, the one that involves using the restroom by yourself and carrying a handbag free of diapers and baby-sunscreen.

What it's really about is how much I miss this friend, how much fun it will be to catch up with her in person for a few days. And how when I come back, I'll be so happy to see their little faces in the morning.

I still have a few details to work out, including the transportation challenges of having only one car in our family and no public transportation between our country town and the city airport 45 minutes away (one-way), but come on: if I can give birth to two babies, nurse them forever and ever, put up with all sorts of toddler shenanigans and bedtime tantrums, survive the 2008 summer from hell and still live to tell the tale, I'm sure I can figure it out.

Having said that, seeing as how a few weeks ago I was stymied by the question of how to operate an ATM, navigating a big-city airport by myself for the first time in, like, ever--while also managing to avoid violating some unfathomable airline-security regulation or another--might pose a bit of a challenge. It is fair to say that my life in the past several years has been a bit, shall we say, LIMITED in certain ways. As in, limited mainly to activities involving intensive baby/toddler caregiving. It has not involved any jet-setting travel (or, apparently, the use of an ATM).

Wish me luck. And you know you'll hear a lot more about it in weeks to come.

4 comments:

donna said...

Awesome!

Especially since it's a direct flight, I would just take your purse (sans diaper cream, wipes, diapers, baby toys...) and some reading material or your laptop. Check everything else as luggage because you should enjoy not having to carry the house with you during a girls weekend. Hey, even consider bringing a teeny tiny non-mother purse, too!

As much as I've hated being away from my kids, I take full advantage of being able to be free (well, as free as I can be on a business trip) and not having to take care of anyone but myself.

Anonymous said...

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Question said...

This sounds great. Have fun.

Mnmom said...

Have fun!!!
I took my first ever girls trip away from the kids in 2003, nine years after giving birth the first time. It was wonderful. We walked like adults and ate like adults - meaning in restaurants that didn't have a kids menu.