I have a knot in my gut. Before lunch today, I booked our flights to New York for this summer. Last week, I booked the hotel. The knot in my stomach is because I only booked 2 flights and the hotel has been notified that there will be 2 guests. Yes, this is a trip without children.
Since that moment almost 9 years ago when a little girl screamed her way into our lives and that moment when number 2 showed up 5 years later, we have taken few steps without them in tow. B took her first overnight adventure without us just a few months ago, at a sleepaway camp with her Hebrew school class. I think she did much better over that weekend than Daddy and I did.
Rob and I have gone on trips before. A few years ago, we left B at my Aunt's house (for cousin's week) and took baby K to Washington DC. She happily rode around in her stroller while we saw the sights. When B was a baby, we took a few weekends here and there to Vegas and one to Tahoe while B stayed with Rob's parents or a friend (who is a favorite auntie of the girls'.)
This time, we are going to be gone for more than a weekend and we will be more than a few hours drive away. Perhaps that is the cause of this knot? Do I feel guilty that I will be off enjoying the sights without them? Am I worried that they will remember the time Mom and Dad went to the Big Apple and did not take them? Maybe I feel bad because we are foregoing a "family vacation" in favor of Rob and I taking this trip. Maybe I feel bad because B wants to see the city almost as much as I do. (K says she does too, but she will say almost anything if B says it first.)
On one hand, I am looking forward to a few days of sightseeing without worrying that someone is lagging behind and without having to hear "I'm Hungry!" or "My feet hurt!" or "I have to go to the bathroom" every 10 feet. I am looking forward to being able to have a nice dinner out with my hubby and have more than 1 drink without having to think twice about having to get up to get someone to school in the morning. On the other hand, this is the first time I have left both girls home without one of us around for more than a day or two, the first time we will be a significant number of miles away and not immediately reachable. And of course, part of me worries about the unknown but I quickly squash those thoughts and put them away.
It is hard as a parent to remember to do things for yourself. As we get wrapped up in the excitement of our children's new discoveries and milestones, we sometimes forget that we were once our own people, with our own interests and likes and dislikes. It is good to remind ourselves of that once in awhile, and to remind ourselves that it is not selfish to want to spend even a few days with our spouse without the little hands reaching in between the hugs or the little feet kicking us under the covers. It is good. I am not being selfish. It is o.k. to want to take a trip without my kids and to enjoy myself in their absence. It is good. It is o.k.
Now can someone please tell me how to get rid of this guilt?!?