Despite my growing excitement over the past few weeks at the chance to visit the place that holds my roots and getting a weekend off of mommyhood, I found myself feeling strangely naked as I rode the train to and then entered YVR Airport. My hands had no grubby fingers to grab as I walked down corridors and through customs. I was responsible for only myself last weekend, and at first I didn’t quite know what to do with it.
As my trip progressed, though, I became more and more grateful to be riding solo on this one. I watched weary mothers carry their toddlers and newborns around LAX at 9:30 at night, and I recognized that look of dread, knowing what was ahead of them. Essentially, it’s a few hours, won’t kill ya. But man, do I know how slow those hours can creep by. My red eye flight by myself seemed pretty miserable, stuck in between two middle aged but thankfully trim men, one even toting his pet cat, as I squirmed and twisted and stretched until I finally gave up and began writing. Although I was uncomfortable, I absolutely did not want to be doing that with a one year old on my lap.
I hadn’t been away a day, and I already missed them. I felt lost without them. But I knew it was good for them, and for me. I tried not to text my babysitter too much, or give her too much advice on how to run things. I’m sure it was super annoying. But every update she gave me or text from a friend letting me know the kids were just fine made me breathe a little easier. I guess the house can run without me.
Turns out the out of sight out of mind theory works. Not that I didn’t think about my kids and hubby at home, but because I actually couldn’t do anything about what was happening at our little apartment, I figured there was no reason to worry about what I couldn’t control. So I decided to take advantage of this very rare 72 hours of “solitude.” I took a nap or two, had tea with my mom, didn’t take 37 things in my bag when going to the bank, talked, really talked, with my friends, saw and held my adorable nieces and nephews, had a few margaritas (I opted out of the moonshine, which I hear was probably a good move), and danced to the point where I knew Matt, if there, would be embarrassed. It was a good weekend.
By the time Monday rolled around and my bag was no longer neat and clean but a mess of dirty, wrinkled clothes, I was a little more ready to head home. I actually wished I could just time travel and forego the actual travel–a weekend without kids and with your childhood best friends demands late nights and shots, which this momma is not used to, and my body was feeling it. At this point I was REALLY happy to be riding solo.
As my brother dropped me off at Reagan I felt the familiar sensation of something deep in my chest cavity rising up to form a slight lump in my throat, and my eyes starting to water just a little. I don’t care how old I get, but Steel Magnolias and good bye’s always make me cry. I even cried when I left Vancouver, seriously. I was only leaving for 4 days. Anyhow, then my dad had the nerve to leave me a message on my phone saying how happy he was to see me and to call him when I landed in Dallas for my layover. I sat in the terminal over my Potbelly sandwich and had myself a good little cry. And I could, because I didn’t have two other mouths to feed at the moment.
The flight back to Vancouver was smooth and thankfully uneventful. As we landed the flight attendant let us know we were returning to a balmy 52 degrees. Awesome. It’s only almost the middle of June. Groans from locals around me ensued. I walked and walked and walked, following the crowd, until we reached customs. My officer was scary looking but nice. I feel like they all are. I go to find my bags, until I couldn’t find them. Guess they wanted to stay an extra night in Dallas. This actually worked out well as I brought back way more than originally packed and had no idea how I was going to get myself and 4 bags through the airport, onto the Skytrain, and up Ash Avenue. I finally boarded the Canada Line and literally could not wait to be home.
Turns out he is a lot more capable than I give him credit for. I walked in to a spotless apartment complete with laundry done, counters clean, kids asleep and even a few new photos hanging on the wall. What?!
Moral of this story to all mommas out there: ride solo every once in awhile. It’s good for everyone involved!
We spent 3 days together and never managed to get one picture of all of us together. Typical. So here’s 4 of my beautiful ladies!