So many swirling thoughts today, it is difficult to slow down and organize them. Tomorrow I leave for my first solo trip since the kids have been born. I oscillate between excitement and anxiety with dizzying speed.
When it comes to travel, my go with the flow, hippie persona gets banished to the back seat, and my type-A, control freak alter ego takes over the driving duties. I make lists for my lists to guarantee no detail gets missed.
Preparing for a trip without kids is a vexing proposition, because my mind carves two simultaneous and conflicting paths- ensuring everything has been taken care of at home so I can leave with a clear conscience, and trying to remember what it was like to travel as a single person and plan accordingly.
My excitement grew as I began determining my wardrobe for the trip. I would have a whole suitcase to myself! I could pack multiple outfits and decide what I wanted to wear upon arrival- I didn’t have to map out every article of clothing for the entire visit, to save room in the suitcase for baby monitors, blankies, and mountains of diapers. I could wear shoes with heels. I could rummage through those clothes at the back of the closet that haven’t been worn in years- the ones that I would care if they got puked or pooped upon. Then I remembered that CO would be akin to hanging out in a freezer at this time of year, and my wardrobe enthusiasm waned. I have never been too fond of layering as bulky sweaters give my body the proportions of a marshmallow.
Mommy guilt is creating a to do list in length to rival War and Peace. First, spend quality time with sons, so that if something should happen to me on this vacation, their last memories of me aren’t visions of folding laundry. (On a related note, I was talking to some other moms today about my morbid nature in thinking about “what if something happens to me and I don’t make it back.” Another mom topped my gloom by telling me most likely my children are too young to have formed lasting memories of me. Touché.) This means that I have to squeeze all other items into naptime, school time, etc.
I woke up today and knew I had to make blueberry pancakes, so I could freeze some for the weekend. My kids love them, and should they awake hankering for a pancake, I will not leave them wanting. Yes, there are plenty of other things to eat. Yes, my husband can cook, and has even been known to make pancakes, but they aren’t my pancakes. Pancakes cooked and frozen, check.
Next item, clean house and do all laundry so I feel less guilty about leaving for the weekend. This one is in progress. Ok, I am not a saint. Instead of mopping, I am sitting here writing to you. But I’m thinking about mopping, so that counts for something.
Stock house with groceries, again so I don’t feel guilty about leaving, even though Ben is perfectly capable of going to a grocery store. It is silly. I know if he was leaving, he would not go to all these measures, and he would trust that I could hold down the fort for two days on my own. Yet I feel like I can’t justify my trip unless I take care of every detail first. Talk about a ego complex.
Talked with in-laws last night. Eric is going to run me to the airport, so Ben and the boys don’t have to worry about it. In actuality, I thought the boys might get upset driving me to the airport, and dropping me off- especially Liam. He loves to fly places, and I don’t want him to be mad that he is not going with me. Sandy is going to hang out with Ben and the boys- a happy distraction so the boys have something fun to look forward to while I am leaving. Guilt, guilt, more guilt. But if I can do all these things, hopefully at the airport I can actually relax and not let my mind wander to all the loose ends.
Also having Sandy stay with the boys for an hour during naps, so Ben and I can run to a holiday party before leaving. Any sane person would just skip the party. But it is the first party in our new neighborhood that we’ve been invited to. I’m hoping to get acquainted with some other families, possibly make some friends that have children near our boys’ ages. In my mind, if I miss the party, I miss the opportunity to become part of the social network and my kids will therefore be ostracized until college- did I mention I’m a little obsessive? Just a smidge.
My mom’s group is having a holiday party next week for the kids, and I’m in charge of activities. I got the coolest cardboard train, but it needs a bit of TLC. So add gluing, taping, painting to my list. Luckily already finished making the bells for the sing a long.
Talked with the boys over breakfast and told them I was going away for a couple of days, and that Daddy would take care of them. Liam says “but what if I miss you?” My heart nearly cracks. I tell him he can call whenever he wants, as many times as he wants. I then confirm my arrival time in CO, in hopes that I’ll be able to sneak in a phone call before bed.
And now, dear readers. I must go attend to my lists and duties, because I have a lot to do before tomorrow. I keep reminding myself how worried I was before going to LA, and my kids obviously survived with no major damage (and me too). Wish us luck!