I discovered a few things about myself this past week (of which pictures and tales are forthcoming)
1. I need internet. Can live without TV, in fact kinda detest it, but no wifi in our hotel room (as promised) just about did me in!
2. I can and will never live somewhere with real traffic. Driving in DC this past week, in a rental with my mother (the only other more stressed-out driver than me, where do you think I got it?) sitting beside me. I think we both developed ulcers. Two or more hours to get across a city is just insanity.
3. Levi is cute. I of course new this, but it's good sometimes to isolate your individual relationships with your kids, so they aren't just a collective "your kids". I loved being just Levi's mom this week. And discovering what a total charmer he is. We rarely went even a few minutes without him capturing a random strangers attention and subsequent heart. From grumpy airline security, to picture taking tourists (yup with the White-house-picture-op only a few feet away, I had people asking me to take pictures of my tubby baby!) they all loved him, and reminded me how much I love him too.
4. My hubby is my home. Canadian cell phones, roaming fees, and the afore mentioned spotty internet connection meant I didn't get to check-in as much as I would have liked. But the few times I did, I was overwhelmed with this total feeling of safety, trust, and comfort, just from hearing his calm, patient voice. Granted this may have been amplified by my free-way frazzled nerves, but nonetheless I realized how much a depend on his steady, even approach to existence. He truly is a ying to my yang: he balances my stressing, my rushing, and my general freaking-outing and over-reacting with perspective, problem-solving, rational thinking, and just a general attitude of "it'll all be okay", and I missed that, and him, a lot.
And finally: 5. Don't be away from your kids too long... THEY GROW! They are of course always growing but we're so there, so close to it's gradual constancy that it's mostly indiscernible, hence the pencil marks up the kitchen wall. McKye honestly must have hit a grow spurt this week (maybe Grandma Bretzke feeds them better) cuz he looked huge! Seriously his clothes even fit different. His vocab had also grown. Aaron is lossing his "pre-school-ness" and becoming a full fledged little boy! And I'm left reeling, with this overwhelming sense that time is zooming, and their childhoods are racing by at light speed and if I blink they'll be bringing me their kids to babysit while they fly off somewhere to grab some perspective.
Don't worry, one day of filling sippies,changing diapers(while simultaneously fighting the guilt from procrastinating potty-training) and trying to convince McKye he's loving the baby to way too rough, reminds me "The days are long, but the years are short" (Happiness Project)
And a week away is long enough to remember that, and appreciate it anew.
A few general thought on moms "Getting away"
I really do espouse some "time away" for moms, but I believe it is very much a quality over quantify issue. Sister Beck warns:"A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence." So true! I've had "times away" inspired of "deceptive messages" and feelings of resentment, entitlement and desperation, where I am just trying to escape. Other times have been purposeful, intentional and deeply rejuvenating, filled with revelation, centering of spirit, recommitment to principles, plans and convenant. Focus. New motivation. And realizations, usually surrounding the intensity of my live for my family and a profound gratiitude for my life--a life, that simply stepping out of it, helps me realize it IS WHAT I WANT. That I in fact like, prefer and would indefinably CHOOSE.
It's always good to figure out you actually like your life:) Cuz sometimes we forget.
Anne Morrow Linndbergh's "Gifts from the Sea" (a definite MUST read ladies!) puts it best:
Every person, especially every woman, should be alone sometime during the year, soem part of each week, and each day. How revolutionary that sounds and how impossible of attainment. To many women such a program seems quite out of reach. THey have no extra income to spend on a vacation for themselves [cuz family vacation are so relaxing for the moms orchestrating them!]; no time left over from the weekly drudgery of housework for a day off; no energy after the daily cooking, cleaning and washing for even an hour of creative solitude.Is this then only an economic problem? I do not think so. Every paid worker, no matter where in the economic scale, expects a day off a week and a vacation a year. By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular tie off. They are the great vacationless class. They rarely even complain of their lack, apparently not considering occasional time to themselves as a justifiable need.Herein lies one key to the problem. If women were convinced that a day off or hour of solitude was a reasonable ambition, they would find a way of attaining it. As it is, they feel so unjustified in their demand that they rarely make the attempt.
We just need to attempt.