Saturday, June 20, 2009

Everybody Needs A Recharge

First thing my dearest friend and working mom of two said to me when I called her up Saturday afternoon, long-distance: "I'm so tired I could sleep for a week." Followed by, "Of course that's not gonna happen." But oh, how I can relate.

Forty-something, we're starting to realize we don't quite have the get-up-and-go, 24-7, that we've had for most of our lives up to now. And we're both juggling working, kids, pets, and husbands, who thank goodness, see the need to give us some relief sometimes, and take at least some of these creatures off our hands for a few hours.

Mine is doing me the honor of letting me get away for an entire weekend, about a month from now.
 It'll be my first time away from the children for more than one night at a time, since they were born. And it'll be my very first time away from husband AND kids at the same time. I suppose I have to thank my husband's college buddies indirectly for this, because last weekend, he flew off to New England to be with them for three nights, and had a grand old time. So grand, in fact, that while sitting on the beach on Cape Cod, he thought, "My wife would really like this. In fact, she should have this." So he starting calling around my various Boston-area buddies to find out when they'd be around for a visit, and surreptitiously began to make my get-away happen.

I've been so tired this past week, though, that he realized something was needed before then. He sent me out to the movies with a girlfriend last night, and today, carted the kids off to their Saturday gym class, followed by lunch and a visit to the car museum. It's just me and the cat in the otherwise empty house. I've cranked up the early 1970s hits (yes, every once in a while it's actually fun to listen to Tony Orlando and Dawn), and after reading the newspaper, having a very long shower, puttering around, and making myself a really good lunch, I'm sitting down to blog and marveling at just how good it is to recharge my batteries for a few hours.

My long-distance dear friend, whom I'll see on this New England trek, assured me that time away is a good thing for all concerned. She said she had to get over the fact that when she left her husband with the kids, sometimes they wouldn't brush their hair or their teeth, or take a shower, or eat quite the way she might've liked. (This brings to mind the old Bill Cosby routine, in which he gives his kids chocolate cake for breakfast because hey, it contains milk and eggs, doesn't it?) The kids needed to know they'd be fine with dad, and she needed to know it too ... especially if she would ever get any time to herself.

I think back to when my dad used to take business trips. My mom had him call her when he landed, and of course they spoke every night, if not several times a day. Yet she told me she liked those trips, just as she was glad when he returned.

It's funny to me how I longed for a husband and family for years, and now I need a respite from them ... but only a brief one, to be sure. Because they're my home. They are my terra firma. And I can't imagine my life without them, nor do I want to.

I wonder why it's so hard to recharge when the kids finally get to sleep, or on the date nights we try to schedule once every couple of weeks. The breaks are nice, but still, after four years of pretty much day in, day out parenting twins, I need something a little more extended. Still, I feel guilty somehow. Good thing I called back east, because every friend I spoke to today whom I plan to see on my 3-day escape all say it's a very, very good thing I'll be doing.

It'll be hard to miss my man next to me in bed (not to mention the cat curled up in my legs), and the soft cheeks and little arms of my kids hugging me close. I'll probably still feel a little guilty knowing Late Blooming Dad will be dealing with all those meals, bathtimes and bedtimes without me. But given how good he's felt since he returned from his break -- who is this happy guy? -- I think I'll be feeling pretty good too when I return.

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