Vacation from Family

Last Thursday night, I took my three little ones and their three little suitcases to their grandparents’ house. What was once a somewhat hostile and extremely uncomfortable environment was quite friendly and overall upbeat. Yes, I felt a little awkward– is this ok to be nice to each other now? But overall, it was fine. I left after a while and made it to my friend’s house in time to watch the last quarter of the NBA Championships and the Miami Heat take it. I got to honk my horn all the way home.

And the next day, my kids boarded a plane with their grandparents. they spent the weekend with family in New York running all over the city. And on Monday they boarded a plane again to Chicago where they are spending time with family friends. My kids are having a complete blast. They have called me every single day and are so often so excited, they can hardly focus to have a decent conversation with me. But I don’t care, I’m thrilled for them. Every picture their grandmother has sent me has shown me faces BEAMING with radiant smiles. It’s a good feeling.

And me?

Well, hello childless life I forgot what the heck you were like!

And apparently you were insanely luxurious. I have gone to bed after 1 every night for the past few nights and haven’t even felt it. I mean, a little bit yeah– especially in the afternoon. But overall? I’m fine.

I’m different.

For some reason, we humans like to think we don’t change. We like to think that we are steady and reliable and for some reason not changing has become the basis of that sort of character. Except, I’m not sure it’s right. We do change, we’re living things. We physically change every second why shouldn’t we change in everything else? What does steadiness and reliability have to do with sameness?

On June 7 I started this really gorgeous wrap I had seen in the Vogue Crochet 2012 issue. Initially I had planned on making myself a really simple and really cute shrug that I’ve made before to wear to the wedding I’m the Maid of Honor for this Sunday. The bride wanted me to look different and I wanted it to be special. But then I ended up falling head over heels with a laceweight yarn. And even though I could’ve easily made the shrug I am familiar with by working two strands of the lace together, I wanted to try something different. So the wrap. I worked on it for 20 days.

Yesterday I put it on my mom. I’d seen pictures of it on myself and wasn’t thrilled. I wasn’t finished with all of the details but the basic structure was in place and it looked… not at all like what I wanted. It was skinny and gappy and ragged. I was so flustered. So I decided to take it apart and because it’s made with two pieces, I’d work with a strand from each piece and make the shrug I knew with two strands as I ripped the wrap apart.

I don’t think I would’ve done this if the kids were with me. Most likely I would’ve abandoned the project and the idea of looking different from the bridesmaids. Or I would’ve gotten with something much more subtle– maybe just make the flower in the pattern and pin it in my hair. But because I have so much more time and because I have such fewer demands being made on me (in a way), I felt comfortable with the decision I made.

On Monday, the bridesmaids and I began planning the bachelorette party. I decided I wanted to make the bride a pageant style Bride sash to wear to the bachelorette party and thought maybe I could make one for the bridesmaids and myself as well. I went shopping for supplies and ended up deciding I’d make one for everyone attending the party– with the foam tiaras Teenager found we’ll look like a mob of beauty queens on the loose.

I’m pretty sure if the kids were here, I’d only have made the Bride one. Ok fine I probably would’ve bought it at Party City.

The other day? I taught Teenager how to crochet! I went to a Marlins game! I ran errands with the bride and her mother!

I am managing my To-Do lists every day and getting things done. Even…. making a dentist appointment!

Yup, August 14 (during my vacation) at 9 AM. So now I have a month and a half to stress about prepare for it.

And you know what else? I haven’t even really been doing much housework. I cleaned out Daughter’s bin of toys in the playroom a little bit but that’s it. I’ve hardly done laundry. I’ve hardly swept. I’ve hardly picked up a damn thing. I’ve hardly cared.

I miss my little ones. I got a little teary eyed last night because they were so distracted by the dog and the cat at the house they’re staying at, they were hardly talking to me and the stupid voice started whispering, “They don’t even miss your ass.”

But this week, I think, has been so good for them and for me. My parents are actually going to take them at the end of July for a week as well. Crazy right?

It is just such a different experience. There aren’t so many people requiring your attention, changing your focus, and running you around. I know that most people have  a vague idea of how having kids is life-altering, but I don’t think we understand to what extent until we have our own. And I do think the more kids we have, the more we add to the distractions of our minds and the extractions of our energy. And again, you don’t really get it until you deal with it and even then you get used to it until you don’t have to deal with it.

No wonder empty nest can be such a shock to the system.

Anyways, I’m hoping all of you are having a lovely week. I had pictures but I’m too lazy to post them. 🙂


14 thoughts on “Vacation from Family

  1. Sounds like the best vacation ever! Even if you still have to work. I love my kids but I have never had the opportunity to be away from them for more than a couple days, sounds kind of amazing. It makes me think I really need a week or so away.

    It’s such a weird dynamic at our house because my husband will go months without seeing our kids. I know it really sucks for him but sometimes I get a little jealous. But now he is in a submarine under the ocean and I say, “nah, I am okay up here”.

  2. I take weekends away to my mom’s to recharge and indulge in peanut butter and roasted almonds…my boys have food allergies! So far, this year I have had two…one of which was to celebrate my mom’s 75th birthday! I love putting the ‘mommy’ role aside for a bit and have some ‘girl time’ with my mom. The absence does make the heart fonder from both sides…an added bonus! Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles

  3. Vacation. What a concept! (Glad it was a good one.)

    Mostly, since you didn’t allow comments on the June 29 post, I’m putting one here – to say hear, hear! Thank you for expressing those important words, and with considerations it’s too easy to overlook.

    (Enjoy your 4th!)


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