Mama’s on Vacation: Love and Craziness in Eight Movements
Last Thursday I boarded a plane headed for Atlanta where two of my college friends picked me up so we could make the drive to Nashville. There we met up with two more college friends and spent five days eating, drinking, talking, eating some more, and not tending to the needs of small people.1
It was great. It really was. I needed time away from my everyday life to rest, recharge, and reconnect with some old friends. But it was also the longest I’d been away from my child since becoming a mother. While I enjoyed the kid-free time overall, I found myself riding a roller coaster of emotions that went from “Guys! This is the best!” to “I NEED TO SEE MY KID OR I MIGHT DIE.”
I’m calling my experience “Mama’s on Vacation: Love and Craziness in Eight Movements.” It went a little something like this…
First Movement: Excitement
I did it! I booked the tickets! Five days free of endless Pokemon Go chatter! Five days of peeing2 in complete privacy! Five days of not fighting with my kid to get out of the car—the same car he didn’t want to get into just 20 minutes before! I’m going to come back with so much energy. This is good for all us, really.
Second Movement: Guilt/Doom
I shouldn’t be doing this. We could’ve spent that money more responsibly. And what if something terrible happens when I’m gone? What if he gets sick? What if my plane crashes? Or what if my husband gets a life threatening injury and my son is left to call 9-1-1 on his own and gets our address wrong and then my husband dies and our poor little boy spends his life carrying around that burden and is never able to let anyone in and experience true love? Forget it. I’m not going.
Third Movement: Pleasant Confusion
Why does my bag feel so light? Must be the 683 Hot Wheels I dumped out before I left. And how did I get from the front door to the car so quickly? So this is what it’s like to stand in line without someone constantly stepping on your feet. Huh.
Fourth Movement: Basking Like a Boss
After we have lunch, we’ll take naps. And then we’ll drink wine and eat snacks before we go out for a long, leisurely dinner. After that, we’ll have more wine and then each retire to our own beds where we no one will touch us. And we will wake up whenever the eff we want because…WE…ARE…QUEENS.
Fifth Movement: Wistfulness
Hold on, I have a text. Awww, what a cute picture! It looks like they’re having fun…father and son…just the two of them. That’s sweet. Man, I really miss them. Me? Oh, I’m fine! I just have something in my eye. You know, since we’re not doing anything right now, I might as well call and check in…or maybe try to FaceTime them. I mean, that’ll be fine.
Sixth Movement: Primal Rage/Longing
I feel like my heart is outside of my body. Why is this plane so slow? You people need to move the hell out of the way right now. If I don’t hug my kid within the hour, I will unleash destruction unlike any you’ve seen in all your days.
Seventh Movement: Euphoria
My baby. His voice. His smile. His arms wrapped around my neck. His head that inexplicably has smelled like maple syrup since he came out of the womb. Yes, my dear child, I will hug you and kiss you and give you ice cream and watch SpongeBob with you even though I hate it because I love you, you sweet angel baby. Can I interest you in a puppy or pony?
Eighth Movement: Re-entry
I’d love to hold your hand…wait, why is it all sticky? What is all over your face? Please walk properly. That was my foot you just stepped on. And there’s the other one. No, I don’t know what Pokemon you found outside of the library, but I bet you’re gonna tell me allllllll about it. Lay it on me, kiddo.
1Well, one friend did bring her five-month-old along, but babies that age are basically made out sugar spun by fairies.
2Not constantly, obviously. BUT I COULD IF I WANTED.