This past weekend Mi.Vida and I went away for a weekend. As in we left our daughter in one place and went, without her, to another place. It was the first time I’d been away from my little girl for more than a few hours since she was born.
I have to admit, I hardly had time to be nervous about leaving Isa for 2.5 days; I was much more nervous that all our recent relationship issues would overshadow our experience, rendering the weekend a disaster. Instead of anticipating how I’d react to the separation from my baby I was hoping this weekend would rekindle things between me and Mi.Vida. And that was probably for the best because the day of our departure I was having a full on panic attack. Talk about separation anxiety.
We were very lucky to be leaving Isa in the most capable hands. She was staying at my parents’ house and my grandmother was in town to offer an extra set of eyes. This made leaving her much easier than it might have been. Of course we were still worried about her, not that she wouldn’t be well taken care of but that she’d miss us and be upset that we were gone. We were also worried we’d have no cell reception and be unreachable during an emergency.
Turned out we didn’t have much cell reception and most of the trip we were unreachable (on our cell phones but we’d given the numbers of where we were staying to my parents). The cell phone black out ended up helping us to be more present with each other and discouraged us from calling every five minutes to make sure everything was okay (it was okay, by the way).
Instead of checking in on Isa we checked in with each other, something we hadn’t done in a long, long time. Over delicious meals and breathtaking vistas we reconnected. We talked about ourselves and our lives and what we love. We laughed and joked and whispered under our breath. It was really and truly like old times.
We only talked about Isa a little (and I abstained from watching movies of her on my iPhone until the end of the last day). Mostly we talked about silly things, we people watched and made comments, we marveled at the gorgeous surrounds and our good fortune. We spent hours deciding where we’d eat next. We had sex. We had sex again. We got drunk without having to worry about being responsible for someone when we got home. We warded off hangovers with preemptively purchased water and ibuprofen. We listened to good music and ordered drinks. We chatted with friends. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.
I don’t have to tell you that Mi.Vida and I have been struggling lately. It’s been a long time since we’ve really been happy around each other. When, before the trip even started, we realized we’d recycled a birthday card (my birthday card) with $100 cash still tucked inside I was sure the weekend was ruined. But we forged ahead despite the disappointment and managed to have a fantastic time. I think we both realized that if we didn’t, things might get really, really bad.
Even if you’re not experiencing marital troubles, a weekend away can be strong and positive medicine. Escaping from the every day trials and tribulations to reconnect with each other can do wonders for a couple. No matter what is going on at home, getting away is a wonderful thing.
Now I know not everyone has family near by willing and able to watch their kids but there might be other ways to make a weekend away a reality. If family is far away maybe you could go to them and then leave your children in their care for 48 hours while you slip away to a neighboring area. Maybe your parents can come to you for a week and while they are there you can leave for a night or two. Maybe a friend could take your little one(s) for a weekend if you promise to do the same for them some day. It might take some imagination and planning but if it’s all possible, it’s worth attempting. A weekend away can be just what the doctor ordered.
Coming home on Sunday night I was so eager to see my daughter. I even hoped she’d get up in the night so I could be with her. When she roused me at 6am I was ecstatic to see her and she seemed pretty happy to see me too. I’m sure this week I will be hugging her a little tighter and lingering longer when I swoop in for a kiss.
And while I’m sure the carefree attitude that surrounded us on our weekend away will quickly dissipate, I have faith that the healing that took place will remain.