My older sister, who has been a mom for a whole lot longer than I have, always told me that when I had kids I would realize that everything changes, including traveling. Traveling is right up there on my list of priorities. There is nothing, not even shoes...not even designer shoes...not even comfortable designer shoes...that I'd rather spend my money on. I am fortunate enough to have a mother who not only takes care of my kids while I'm working, she takes care of them when I want to go on vacation. (Yes, I know soooooo many of you out there would never--gasp!--go on vacation without your children. I do. And I'm okay with that. Feel free to post an indignant comment.) My sister always told me that when you go away after you have kids, you can never really "let go" like you used to... I would scoff. Ha! That will not be me! I will be able to let go. "Trust me," I said. Uh, yeah, NO. I was so wrong. She was so right. (And for those of you mentioned previously who are just waiting to finish reading this so you can post those comments about what a terrible mother I am: no, it is NOT because I feel guilty for leaving them behind and miss them oh so much. It is because I worry that they will get sick or misbehave.) My sister was so right, in fact, that I will take it a step further and say that not only can you not really let go the way you used to during the trip, you can not even enjoy the time before the trip.
We are staying with a family friend this weekend up in Melbourne, and hubby and I are hoping to leave the boys for one night with her while we sneak away to Orlando. We have not even allowed ourselves to get excited, to pack, to even think about an alcoholic beverage sans kids, because our 3 1/2 year old had a fever for the last 3 days...which means...yes, those of you who have multiple children know where this is going...when will the baby come down with it? We are so paranoid that Aidan Kai's gonna catch it and we will have to cancel our plans, that every time the kid coughs, we rush to feel his forehead. And rather than be disappointed (the way we were a few weeks ago when our Valentine's plans were cancelled last minute due to a rampant stomach virus that could only be compared to the bubonic plague), we are on "mental and emotional standby." And all this just for a 24 hour adventure! It has gotten to the point where sometimes I am relieved when there is absolutely nothing of note coming up, because then, and only then, can I relax and not worry about the possibility of it being ruined by another preschool-caught illness. Birthday parties? Oh, no, I hope he isn't sick! Disney World? That wasn't a sneeze, was it?!? A babysitting night? Who's got diarrhea?!?
We have a trip coming up in the summer....a cruise...our first "real" trip (yes, no kids...more fodder for your comments) in a couple of years, and I just know that I will absolutely not be able to "let go" and enjoy myself until I have my first (or seventh) pina colada. Vacations used to be relaxing, but then I had kids.