I can't believe this picture was taken less than 48 hours ago. It seems like it was months ago. Have we really only been home for a day and a half? The cruise was wonderful. The moment I stepped onto that ship, I Let Go. I did. I became another person. Or maybe just the one I used to be. For 4 days and nights, I was just Liz, not Mama. And we were just Us. And it felt so damn good that it makes me sad.
By the end of the trip, I was ready to come home. I was. It was just enough time away. I was ready to see the boys. I was ready to sleep in my own bed. I was ready to leave the all-day eating and drinking and go back to my carefully allotted Weight Watcher points and my gym time. We had read. We had slept. We had sunbathed. We had snorkeled. We had danced. We had laughed. We had talked. We had...you know...the other stuff. We had done all of it in excess. And it felt really, really, really good. And on the last night, while I was crawling into bed and realizing that That Was It...it was over...I started to cry. No, not cry. Bawl. Hubby was surprised by it, but not as much as I was. I don't usually cry at the end of vacations, because I firmly believe that if you make your Life, your usual Everyday Life, as good as possible, then you should be happy to get back to it. And I always am. And I still am. But when it hit me that it would be a very, very long time before we could be Like That again...just Us...for more than one night...it made me really, really sad.
Before we had kids, our biggest fear about parenting was the disruption of Our Cocoon. How in the world were we going to be able to allow another entity into this little space we created for ourselves? How would we be able to share each other with someone else? What would happen to Us? We were a Team. Partners in crime. Best Friends. Lovers. Soul mates. How would we reconcile sharing what we had made with someone else? Well, of course, after we had Ben and we fell in love with him too, we pulled him in with us. And later, when Aidan Kai arrived, we all squeezed in closer and squished him in there with us. We became a Team of Four. Hubby and I had been a family from the beginning. Now our family had just gotten bigger. But the cocoon...the original one in which there was only room for 2...I think I had forgotten what it really felt like in there.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful, either. I know how lucky we are, that we were able to go away by ourselves for a few days and leave our boys in very good hands. So typical...I feel guilty just for feeling melancholy! But it's almost as if I had forgotten...really forgotten...how it felt to be A Couple. I didn't realize it would feel so different...4 whole days. We have babysitting on a pretty regular basis, so we do actually spend quality time alone, but this was different. This was absolutely disconnecting from the world...from not only our kids, but our friends and families, our TV shows, our jobs, our daily household chores. It took me back to the old days when all we were responsible for were our little apartments and each other.
Now as I go through the luggage, every article of clothing, every souvenir, every photo makes me melancholy. I feel like a girl who has had a romantic vacation fling, and is now pining away at the memories of the dream guy. A little reminiscent of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", except I seem to have left my groove back on the ship.