I enjoyed myself. I did.
I'm not entirely sure how to write this succinctly, so bear with me. I really love my parents and they love me, but I'm just going to go ahead and say that traveling with my parents sans my husband or my very young kids left me feeling a bit ... lost. I very distinctly remember the night we drove through York and I, in the back seat of our rental, looked out and saw the edge of the water. The waves were beautiful and big and as I rolled down my window, the salty smell struck me and I closed my eyes and drank it all in.
And then looked over at the empty seat next to me.
Well, okay, there was a box of Dunkin' Donuts there, but you get the idea.
It was just ... empty. My parents were in the front, holding hands and smiling as we drove on, and I was there in the back sharing the sweet moment with a box of stale donuts. And I realized that, while I am always my Father and my Mother's Daughter, it is no longer my defining characteristic. I am now Wife and Mother and being void of either of those roles leaves me feeling, truly, a bit uneasy.
And I found myself imagining what the moment would have been like with my husband. I would drive him nuts with my play-by-play retelling of every single memory I have in York, everything I know about the ocean, everything I couldn't wait to eat at the restaurant. If the kids had been there, I would have hardly been able to contain my excitement as I point out "The sea! It's there! Caleb! It's BIG!" and Naomi would giggle and Caleb would jabber about the ocean being big and blue and there it is and look some sand and I am hungry and I am also two years old and Mom is twenty-eight.
But instead ... it was silent.
And y'all, my life just isn't silent right now.
I missed the noise.
I've had several people tell me how much I must have appreciated the "break" from being Mom and Wife that I had while I was on my trip. I don't want to be rude, but I really didn't want a break. I didn't need a break. Truth be told, experiencing life with my little family is the best there is. Experiencing it alone is, well, lonely.
And I get it. This trip was not conducive to a restless two year-old and a baby girl who still takes one hour-long and one three-hour long nap every day. And, financially, me going alone made the best sense.
Oh and we spent the night in the airport on the way home because of flight delays. That would have been, oh, a nightmare with two babies.
But, you get what I'm saying. Some parents have no issue leaving their little ones behind for a week-long adventure in a different place or a foreign country. And that's great--to each his own. But if I have my choice, I want to experience it all together, as a family (besides occasional weekend getaways with just my hubby ... a marital necessity, for us!). Because, while the travel can be stressful and the kids can be hard, the moments are also fleeting.
And the thing we would remember the most is looking out the window, watching the waves, giddy with excitement.
And I hope someday we can do that.
It's good to be home.
Have a lovely day.