Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Three weeks from today I will be in Mexico at an all-inclusive, adults only resort with four girlfriends from high school. Three weeks! The whole thing seems a little unreal to me. I mean, do moms really get up and leave town for FIVE NIGHTS in a row? Moms (well, this mom, anyway) have a hard time leaving their kids for a night at the movies with a friend. Is it really possible to ditch your family and leave the country? I guess we'll soon find out.
This adventure began a few years ago when my friend Dena mentioned that we would be turning 40 "soon." At 36 years old, 40 seemed light years away. Light years. She had a brilliant idea that we should start saving money and take a trip together the summer that we turn 40. Well, what's not to love about THAT idea?
And so we started saving, not knowing where we were going or what we were doing, but confident that we would have a nest egg and an excuse get out of town. And then a few other girlfriends jumped on our bandwagon and we had a real party on our hands.
Lots has happened between then and now. I had a few kids. At one point I stopped to calculate the ages my children would be when I turned 40. I wondered if I would be prepared to leave my "baby" when he was only two years old. Let me tell you. I'm ready. Soooo ready, friends. I'm excited. There probably isn't an appropriate word in the English language to describe the anticipation. I bet the Frenchies have a better word. Seems like they always do.
As much as I love my children and my family and our semi-crazy life, I occasionally miss the days of being footloose and fancy-free. Life has many seasons, and let's face it, the season of raising young children is pretty hands-on. It's 24-7, wiping noses, changing diapers, refereeing sibling disputes, making lunch, doing dishes, going grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, running a load of laundry and making sure everyone combs their hair and brushes their teeth (preferably every day). Young children generally don't sleep in, put their toys away with out prompting, or even get their legs in the right holes of their underwear without direct supervision. I leave home and go to work to relax. It's fun. It's crazy. It is most definitely NOT the "it's all about me" phase of life.
And so a trip to Mexico in this season of life seems like a significant luxury....an oasis in the storm of toddler parenting. This trip is such a gift, such a rare treat that it has been my focal point for at least the past six months.
My son just pulled out a clump of his sister's hair which has resulted in excessive tears and screaming? I breathe deep and remember that nobody pulls hair on the beach in Mexico.
Ten children (mostly non-swimmers) gathered in my swimming pool for a birthday party? No problem. I'll be in Mexico in three weeks. NO KIDS ALLOWED.
Too much work to do and not enough time to get it all done? Well, there's no wifi at the beach so you're all on your own come September 27!
I look forward to multiple days of using the restroom by myself. I can't wait to brush my teeth in the morning and not have to nag anyone else to do the same. I will sit on the beach and read a book and not be one bit worried about watching anyone else to make sure they aren't drowning or playing with jelly fish or throwing sand at their siblings.
I know this time will be good for all of us. The kids will likely eat their fill of pizza while I'm away. Mommy will drink her fill of margaritas. Daddy will get his fill of single parenting. (Thanks, baby!) Grandmas and grandpas and aunties and uncles will get the pleasure of shuttling and babysitting more than normal.
At the end of those five nights, I'm sure I'll be a little sunburned. I'll be a little worn out from staying up too late. My cheeks will hurt from giggling with girlfriends. But I'll also be a more refreshed, relaxed version of my tired mommy self.
And I'll be looking forward to everyday life at home.