(Philly post 1 of 2)
3 years, 6 months, & 3 days. This is how long it had been since Sean and I have been childless for an entire weekend. Three whole days that did not include, diapers, Bink's, sippy cups, chitter chatter and revolving around nap schedules and bed-time. It was about time.
I won't lie, I was both nervous and excited for this last weekend. Nervous to leave my babies (not in the care of my parents) but nervous for the two of us to be flying without them. I scribbled out and notarized a 'last will & testament' leaving our precious babies and all our worldly possessions in the hands of my parents should god forbid something happen to us. A 'right to seek medical attention' note as well as the kids insurance cards were left behind (just in case). Despite the neurotic behavior, I was also excited to spend some adult time away. I was interested in being able to speak to Sean about something other than our kids (of course, we couldn't help it) and excited to spend time with his family where I wasn't running around trying to catch ends of conversation while preventing Ian from hurting himself.
Everything about flying without kids is easy. We had two bags, one carry on. No sippy cups, books, portable DVD players and snack cups. Despite breaking my nail off in the security line, it was a breeze. I wasn't removing 3 coats, 3 pairs of shoes, breaking down a stroller while doing my best to prevent Bink's, cups or anything else that will end up in my kids mouths to touch or be anywhere near the conveyor belt. I just lazily watched my purse filled only with my new book coast thru security. "Please Mam, can you remove your belt?" I was asked. "Why of course, that will be no problem as my hands are completely free".
What I realized in that security line however, is that although you may leave your kids behind. They absolutely do not leave you. I watched other parents struggle and I felt empathy. I missed my kids and was sure that Alex would LOVE to be here right now. And then I saw it. I bent over to put my shoes back on and on the bottom of my sock STUCK was one of Alex's Dora band-aids. Of course it wasn't 'used'. She removes them all from their wrappers and sticks them around the house. I must have just stepped on one on my way out the door. I chuckled and pointed it out to Sean. He responded with 'Gross'. I however, saw opportunity. I removed the band-aid from my sock and placed it on my throbbing, broken nailed finger. Wa-La! Only a mother.
(Fast forward to our return trip)
5:30 am. This is the hour we had to be up following a most wonderful wedding, reception, & trip to the hotel bar ending around 2:30am. This was not a great way to start a day of travelling. Sean is a much better morning person than I. I didn't speak, or really see my surroundings until we were in the Philly airport and I'd already downed my first cup of coffee. With a prop plane (GASP I hate those) to Newark, a 3 1/2 hour layover and a 6 hour flight home, you could say I wasn't 'pleasant' or good company of any sort. Sorry Sean.
Trying to remain positive in that 'this would be so much harder with the kids', I settled in for the long haul. The jumper to Newark was fast and bump free. I was gifted with the most amazing view of NYC on our descent. I love that city. My face was smeared to the airplane glass blocking Sean's view entirely...oh how I wish I lived there. 3 1/2 hour layovers are dreadful. We sat in silence watching TV, reading our books, sleeping on and off and overall grumbling (me, not Sean) that this sucked! I think we were both tired and just wanted to be home with our babies when we saw him.
He was at least 6 1/2 feet tall. Certianly, he was a Blue Man Group wanna-be, or groupie. He was wearing baby blue crocs, a blue fleece (tucked in his jeans in the back, yet not quite covering his whole front), a blue stocking cap, and was sporting a blue fanny pack. Some may think, 'So, what's the big deal?'. The big deal is, he was also carrying a blue cooler. Maybe we were so tired and delirious that dirt would have made us laugh but this man had us in hysterics. We began to argue over what exactly he was carrying in the cooler. Sean's vote was Beer. I was confident it was an organ he was delivering for some transplant. Here. He. Is.
Within moments, we realized he too was headed to P-town and please please please if there is any sort of karmic influence out there, please do not require me to sit by this man as punishment for laughing. I may just die. As Sean and I walked down the aisle I saw him sitting in the middle seat somewhere around row 14-17. I couldn't quite get an accurate count, but knowing we were in row 15 I began to sweat. What if I fell asleep and he stole my phone, finding this picture I had taken? What if I couldn't stop staring at his fanny pack, and what if the cooler didn't fit in the overhead compartment and I would have to fight with it the entire way home? What if, What if WHAT IF? I don't know how, but I was relieved of punishment for my immature, and cruel behavior and sat just one seat in front of him.
I read virtually an entire book on the way home and anxiously anticipated the moment when we picked up the kids and they ran screaming into our arms saying 'We missed you, We love you, and thank you for all you do for us'. It didn't happen quite like that, but it was close enough. I thank thank thank my parents for taking the kids this weekend. What a complete blessing. I really learned how important it is to take these breaks. Although we were out late, busy and travelled a ton I feel oddly rested and refreshed when it comes to the kids. You realize when your away how really truly a 24 hour job they are, and how you really never stop. My heart feels happy that I had an amazingly fun weekend away with Sean, that my parents were kind enough to be full time parents on their only days off work, that I had my babies to come home too.
More to follow on the actual festivities.