Did I mention that my in-laws gave me and Z a night in a bed and breakfast for my birthday this year? The birthday celebration for my mother-in-law broke up on the morning of the 19th and they drove away with our kiddos while Z and I headed a few miles up the road to Asheville. C hadn’t slept through the night since we left for the trip and he was still sick. The only nights in T’s life I’d been away from him were the two while I was in the hospital having C. And I’d never been away from C overnight, let alone for 24+ hours. Because he was sick and up in the middle of the night I’d been nursing him like crazy. I was worried the kids would think I was abandoning them. I was worried C would be a mess if I didn’t nurse him. I was worried that as much as I needed time away that the distance from them would break my heart.
My in-laws kept reassuring me they had it covered. I tried to explain that I had no qualms about leaving the boys with them. I’m pretty damn lucky in that regard. I wasn’t worried for a second about the care they would receive. I knew deep down they would be fine without me. I just wasn’t sure I’d be fine without them. My sisters-in-law drove away with T first, then my in-laws pulled out with C in the car, me frantically waving to him as the went. I completely fell apart. Stood in the driveway and cried harder than I’ve cried in a very long time as Z held me.
It was hard to settle into kid-free mode at first. The tears slowed down and we got on the road. We passed a digger and were bummed that T wasn’t in the car to enjoy its coolness. He is huge into diggers right now. I fretted some more about C going to sleep without nursing and I worried that he would keep my mother-in-law up all night by not sleeping. But unsurprising to anyone but me, we did begin to enjoy ourselves. Pretty damn quickly. Our trip was a cliché of the night away-eating out, enjoying the B&B room with its fireplace and two person bath, walking around town, eating out again
. Sometimes clichés are exactly what you need. For us the trip was damn near perfection. It felt decadent and familiar and foreign all at the same time to concentrate on each other so singularly. It reminded me how much I like Z, how much I like us together. And how much I miss us.
And yes, I did leak milk all over the place for the first time since this summer. My boobs were killing me by the time we got back to Z’s folk’s place. But more than my desperation to get C in my arms so he could give me a little relief was the fact that I missed those boys so very much and wanted to see them. I think it is good for all of us to miss each other a bit.
Getting ready for our big night on the town. I wore dangly earrings for the first time in years. Z thought they looked very strange on me, not bad just strange.
We were really happy when I took this picture. I think you can tell.
The trip was a huge success. Couldn’t have gone better. But I was right back in November
. And I feel guilty as hell about it. Less than 24 hours later it felt like the trip didn’t happen. C had just started to recover from his ear infection and he started to get sick again. He still wasn’t sleeping at night. One good night of sleep for Z and me did not restore us. Here we are less than two weeks later, all four of us either sick, getting over being sick, or just getting sick. We are worn out. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, our families have been a tremendous help. We are just at the moment in time when parenthood is unrelenting. It’s a reminder that this year, with a one year old and three year old, is much harder than last year with the easiest baby on the planet and a pretty cooperative two year old. Being around my sister-in-law’s kids provided another reminder that it will get better. Her girls are 2 and 5. They play with each other, they often play without a lot of supervision. Their sleep situation is much more consistant. It looks like an impossible dream to me and Z, but we know we’ll be there soon ourselves.
I guess I’m realizing it’s ok for things to be hard even as I’m grateful for them. It’s ok to long for a time before we had the kids or look forward to the time when the hands on part isn’t as relentless. I know they will tax us in other ways, parenting teenagers is not for the fainthearted. But at least we’ll be well rested and have a little bit more of our identities back. At least we won’t be so physically run down. This fall we’ve been sick every time the kids were, but we don’t have the luxury of taking a sick day, so getting well is a fucking battle. And the minute we are ok again they bring the next bug home and it starts all over again.
But now that I’ve gotten a significant break, a day to myself with my husband, I’m hungry for more of them. They might not fix everything. We still might be sick and tired and worn down and frustrated. But jesus christ, are they ever a lot of fun.
Sweet C on Christmas morning. Think the sandman was a bit overzealous.
And at the doc’s in GA two days ago….he’s a sick little dude.
Cousin cuddles with Daddy/Uncle Z.
Santa T getting ready to ice skate.