|At sea aboard the "SS Mom Guilt"|
As part of our desire to remain Smug Marrieds *and* Smug Parents, the Anonymous Husband & I decided a few months back, when our precious wee babe Master P reached the ripe old age of 6 months, that we ought to take a week long vacation - a vacation without said precious wee babe, that is.
Before you call in the Parenting Police, consider: travel has played an important part in our relationship since our long-distance beginnings. Our best times together often happen when we get out of town, just the two of us, and eat and drink our way into those meaty conversations work and Blackberry reception and, now, babies don't always allow for.
Also - sleep. Just after we booked this trip - to Cabo, for those keeping track - Master P began to sleep through the night (*again, cue angel choir*), but we were still short a good six months of slumber. Those impure thoughts I had when Master P was a newborn - the ones about a clean, fluffy, made-by-someone-else hotel bed - came back with a vengeance.
And so we set about booking the trip, when - *cue mom guilt music* *whatever that sounds like* *maybe the cello is to guilt like the sax is to s-e-x scenes?*
"What sort of people are we that we want to take a vacation without our baby?" we - ok, I - wondered. Many friends of mine, stay-at-home and working moms alike, wouldn't dream of leaving town without their own precious wee babes - why did we want to? Were we terrible parents? Most importantly, would Master P recognize me when we returned?
Guilt was a powerful cocktail, but the need for sleep and a swim-up bar proved even stronger, and so we booked the trip.
Cue two months later, when I was dropping off Master P with my kind Anonymous In-Laws, who not only were lovely enough to watch him while the AH & I traveled, but also pretended to pay attention to the written (single-spaced, multi-page...) directions I left them. I even held it together while delivering the approximately 4,305 items of baby equipment.
It was while I drove away from the Anonymous In-Laws that it hit me; I didn't cry, but I couldn't breathe normally either. Unconsciously I kept looking in the rear view mirror, searching for that grinning face in the car seat. I felt plagued with the feeling that I'd forgotten something, that there was a tangible, physical something (someone) missing.
Operating under the "It will be fine, it will be fine..." mantra, the AH & I managed to get packed that night & off to the airport early the next morning. That phantom feeling still plagued me, but one foot in front of the other-style, I boarded the plane, and it got incrementally easier. I selfishly appreciated the uninterrupted hour I spent reading "
US Weekly" "The Economist" and not having to inspect my clothes for spit-up stains.
And we arrived. We saw. We slept - until 8:30 am every morning. We had the conversations that only seem to happen when you're out of pocket - and Blackberry/iPhone reception. We called the Anonymous In-Laws at least once per day to check in on Master P, and those calls allowed us to just . . . at the risk of sounding too Sarah Maclachlan about it . . . be.
I confess to panicking the one day we quite literally sailed right out of cell reception; I gulped back
another margarita my tears, remembered that I actually trust my in-laws - no, really - and decided to hold off the panic until the next day.
I survived - and I'm glad we went. I've never been so relieved to board a flight home - or relieved, ever before, to be going home - but I'm still glad we went. That two-toothed smile on Master P's face when I picked him up - he recognized me! - was simply the best welcome anywhere, ever.
And as much as I'm hugely looking forward to taking Master P to see the world, I'm looking forward to doing some of that just with the AH too, guilt be hanged - preferably by a swim-up bar...
|Voila - our room with a view of the swim-up bar|
|About to dine at Market, One of Our Favorite Restaurants of All Time ("OOOFROAT"); also, please note the clever concealment of roots behind the Anonymous Husband's happy grin.|