Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weekend getaway

Two weeks ago I left HP for the first time of any length when I took a three-day trip to New York City. It was amazing. The highlights:
  • Reconnecting with old friends--a college friend I hadn't seen since we graduated, friends I worked with in Senegal and The Gambia, and of course, my high school friend who got engaged.
  • Having a night to myself on Friday. The friends I was staying with were out of town that night so I had their place to myself. Chocolate mousse + blueberry cheesecake (yes, two desserts--vacation!) + the Good Wife reruns + going to bed at 9 p.m. = bliss.
  • Exploring Astoria, Queens on all day Saturday. Bagels and and coffee and a good book for breakfast, checking out the new local bookstore mid-morning, delicious pizza and salad for lunch, reading in the park with a beautiful view, and even more reading on the porch in the late afternoon. Obviously, reading uninterrupted is a luxury in my life.
  • Seeing one of my oldest friends get engaged. It was like something out of a movie, y'all. Sunset, overlooking Manhattan, with their families and friends present. Beautiful.
Before that weekend, the longest I had been away from HP during his waking hours was a few hours. Five at the most. I have not kept such close proximity to HP because I do not trust other people to care for him--not at all. I think it is good and healthy for him to have other adults caring for him. But the reality of our lives is that I am his primary caregiver and we do not have extra money for babysitters. So HP and I spend all day together, all the time. On the weekends I'll go off for a few hours at a time (usually to buy groceries when it's my week), but mostly, we are together. I remember before I had HP I would see parents of small children and think, They are responsible for that child ALL THE TIME. It boggled my mind and made me not want to have kids for a long, long time. Now that I am the one with a little person under my constant care, it just seems normal.

It may be normal, but that does not mean I was not looking forward to a break. It was harder to leave HP than I thought (I cried), but I left the sadness behind when I walked out the door.

Throughout the trip people asked me if I missed HP. Not to sound too callous, but not really. I missed him in the sense that I would periodically think of him and wonder what he was doing and imagine his smiles, the way he walks, and the games he plays. But I did not miss him in the sense that it in any way prevented me from enjoying my time away or made me I wish I had stayed home.

I enjoyed my weekend. A lot. But when it ended, I realized that I do not need a regular escape. It was fun to getaway, but I like my life at home. I love the slow pace, I love watching my son grow, I love spending time with my husband and our simple lifestyle. I did not feel let down when I boarded the plane for Austin; I felt like I was leaving one good thing for another.

I did the whole traveling the world, moving across the country (and to new continents), selling almost all of our possessions and biking through the mountains to farm--just because--gig. I won't say I "got it out of my system", because I hope there are more travels and adventures in our future. But right now, that is not where we are. And that's just fine. We are in a place where we get to watch our son grow and develop as we help him figure out who he is and how he fits into this crazy world. Most of the time, that feels like just as much of an adventure as any trip to New Zealand.


  1. Wow-- I'm so happy for you! What a wonderful time. My daughter just turned one, and while I am frequently away from her (I work full time outside the home) I have never been away from her overnight. She still nurses throughout the night and sleeps with me, so I have no idea when I'll be able to take a similar trip. But I'm already looking forward to it! I plan to celebrate her weaning with a special mama-only weekend getaway. Glad you had fun!

    1. HP is still nursing three times a day, but he also drinks milk out of a glass, no problem. He did great with my husband. I thought he might be uninterested in nursing after going three days without it, but he jumped right back in. I hope you get a wonderful weekend away to celebrate her weaning, when the time comes!