Last October, Chris and I spent three nights in New York for our tenth anniversary. It was the first time we had left town without the children for more than a couple of hours, the first time Owen had spent the night with anybody other than us, the longest I had ever gone without seeing my children. When we got home, we had less than 24 hours with the kids before Mia was checked into the hospital for three solid days of oxygen masks, IVs, major antibiotics, and even more major antivirals. We decided pretty much on the spot that we were never leaving our children again.
When Mia finally returned to school, I was chatting with one of her teachers about the experience and joked-but-not-really that I took Mia's illness as a sign that I should never take another vacation. Her response was to comment on how fortunate we were that it had happened when we were home, when we could hold her hand and care for her and just be there, instead of going out of our minds with worry while we spent hours getting home.
It was mostly an offhanded comment from her, trying to offer me a little comfort. But sometimes it is the smallest things you do that have the biggest impact, and I took that offhanded comment to heart. It is lucky that we were home. Our going away had nothing to do with Mia getting sick. And I suppose that is partly why I am taking two trips this coming October.
First, I am going to Puerto Rico. Without my kids. Without my husband. I am going with three other women and we are going to sit on the beach and tour the rain forest and drink fruity things with umbrellas in them and I have never done anything like this in my whole life. I'm equal parts thrilled and terrified, but I am finally at a place where I am willing to admit that I need a break from my all mom all the time life and it is good to do things that scare you.
Second, Chris and I are taking a long weekend. The babysitters are lined up, the relief babysitters are lined up, I have already started working on the grocery list and the extensive set of instructions I feel compelled to leave. The only thing that isn't totally arranged is where we are going. Minor detail, right? Maybe you can help me with it. We want to drive (it seems we are not totally over the events of last October) and stay within 3-4 hours of Washington D.C. We want to be somewhere with the option to do the tourist thing and see sights and eat at great restaurants, and also the option to hang out at the hotel and read and order room service instead. Anybody out there have the perfect place?