Up and away

I just packed a bag that's suspiciously light. There are nursing pads but no nursing bras. There is a breast pump but no bottles. There are clothes but none of them are size 12 months or 4T. No diapers, no wipes, no plastic toys, no board books, no monitors. Just a bag with some clothes, some books (YAY!) and a few (Okay, 6. But there's still more room! 7!) pairs of shoes.

On Friday we leave for a weekend away from the girls. Even the hairy one.

My mom arrives tonight, bless her heart, and she will be armed with all the ammunition she will need to survive her tenure here: new toys, loose TV rules, and several boxes of mac and cheese. I know she'll be fine. I know the girls will be fine. I know we will be fine. But I can't stop the worrying that feels protective, necessary, unstoppable.

At night, instead of sleeping, I engage in a furious round of every neurotic mom's favorite game: What Horrible Things Could Happen. The fact that CG is planning on flying us in a small plane only adds fuel to the insomnia fire. CG is a safe, uber-competent pilot. And I know that, statistically, flying in a small plane is actually safer than driving but it doesn't always feel that way when I am watching the ground fall away beneath me as our little metal pod rattles and yaws and rises into the sky. No matter how we get to our friends' wedding though, the thought that something could happen to us when we are away from our girls feels terrifying in that very special it's-not-just-my-life-anymore-now-that-I'm-a-mom way. I'm no longer scared of what it would feel like to have something horrible happen. What keeps me up at night is what it would mean for our girls to lose us.

(It doesn't help that I just read Anna Quindlen's latest novel "Every Last One". JEEBUS. Her writing is as smooth as always but I wouldn't recommend this book if you are at all prone to mom-related neuroses.)

CG and I desperately need this vacation. Barring any last minute germ infestations (*knock wood*), we're going to have a blissful two and half days together. We need this time to reconnect with each other, to remember who we are as a couple when we aren't tag- teaming as parents. To wake up in the morning with no needs to attend to but our own. To have uninterrupted conversations and private bathroom visits. To share several meals in a row where we both can remain seated the entire time. To dine and dance and celebrate with friends who knew us before we had a dog and kids and a house with a white fence out back.

I just hope I can let go enough to enjoy it.


grammalouie said...

Please do let go enough to enjoy it. We will all be fine. REALLY. I can't wait to see you and your girls. And am fully prepared with all gramma genes fully activated and raring to go. Here I come!

Marie Green said...

You will. You really will. The worrying happens now, but once you are away, the peace and relaxation set in and, while your children and life back home are never far from your mind, you do settle into acceptance of letting someone else handle things for awhile. Or, at least, I do.

Barb said...

have a great time - you totally deserve it!!! enjoy!!!

GratefulTwinMom said...

I know that fear. I have it every time I'm at work, too, and that's just right down the road! But seriously, have a great time. Gotta pick up the Anna Quindlen novel. I do have mom neurosis.

The best part is how much the girls will light up when you return. Have fun.

Michelle said...

Try to relax and have fun! It sounds like a fabulous weekend. And yeah for grandmas armed with mac and cheese!

Sarah said...

Yeah, I think you will. Once you get there, the stress will slip away. And if it doesn't, start hitting the wine until it does! :) Just as it's not good for kids to be constantly worried about their parents' desires and expectations, to always be near them and feel them watching, it's not good for parents to feel that constant weight of their children's well being every single second. At least in my opinion!

grammalouie said...

Grammalouie here, reporting in. All's well on the home front here with only slight variations on their normal lives. Well, maybe MY presence is a big variation! It sounds as though their parents are having a good time which they better be - ha! But I actually would not trade this experience for anything. You guys just wait -- grandparenthood is the BEST.

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