By the time this blog is posted, I will be 2000 miles away from my family. I bought a ticket to the West coast and off I am going. No more negotiating with my children, struggling with homework, or shuttling to and from activities and appointments. I am free. Free, for three and half whole days. I am meeting my best girl friends in California. Four out of the five are moms and we are collectively leaving nine children behind, ages six months to twelve years. We are fortunate to have husbands, family, and friends to provide the childcare.
I asked my friend with the new baby if she was going to miss her. She said she would, but she really just needed some time to be without someone beside her or needing something from her. For me, I love going away, with kids or without. I love leaving the dishes, laundry, pets, projects, and bills for awhile. Skedaddle To Do Lists. The first time this group went away was nine years ago, when there were only two babies at home. Then, we didn’t go again for eight years. I think we felt it was too selfish, too expensive, or just too impossible to plan.
We would still get together, but always with children. In addition to my husband, they are my greatest strength of support in raising my children. They know my trials, tribulations, and triumphs with my boys. They have watched me weep and say “I just don’t think I can do it.” They will say “Yes you can.” One of them even volunteered to “Life Swap” with me for a week a few years back. At that time, I turned her down, but her spirit helped pull me through.
Last year, we decided to make this trip a priority. It is a chance to reconnect with our twenty-something selves. It provides ample time for uninterrupted conversations. I have come to realize that everyone needs a break and an opportunity to recharge our stores of patience, love, and hope. (Including my husband, who will leave the next weekend for a fishing trip with his long time buddies.)
What do you do to recharge? When was the last time you took a break?