It is always so extremely painful for me to leave my kids and go on a trip without them. Each time, right before my flight, my anxiety is so high that I'm physically ill and I swear I'll never ever leave them again. But then I do.... 6 months or 9 months or 1 year later....I make plans to go away with my husband for a day or two because I know it is good for a marriage.
Brad came home from work one day a few weeks ago, "I have to go to Seattle for a meeting next week." My instant thought was "I want to go". I knew we had an extra airline voucher. It would cost nothing. I called my dear friend and neighbor, Kate, who didn't even blink before saying yes my three kids could stay with her for two nights during the school week, doubling the size of her family AND her work load. The plans were made and then, like clockwork, my anxiety kicked in. The night before we left, I was irrationally and involuntarily angry at Brad. I kept having conversations with myself in my head about it - knowing it wasn't his fault -.that I had decided to go all on my own. But I still snubbed him. Brad is so even, laid back, understanding. And he knows me so well. As I'm brushing past him with my cold shoulder he says, "It seems like you're mad at me but I know you're just nervous about leaving the kids. It's really okay if you need to cancel the trip." I apologized and said "no, I'm just a freak". I had already called my mom to express my worries. She reminded me that she never took advantage of the times she could have gone with my dad because she never wanted to leave us kids. She regrets it now.....my dad died when he was 46. I asked my friend Brigetta what she would do. She said that as scary as it is leaving your kids....it is not okay to let fear control you. I honestly wasn't even worried about the kids (Kate is second mom to them - they were in good hands). I was worried about orphaning them by plane crash. Brigetta was right. Fear was threatening to make a decision for me and I couldn't stand for it.
|Me putting my gum on the gum wall.|
|Brad giving me his smolder at the rooftop martini bar.|
The next morning, Brad had to catch his early flight back home - my flight didn't leave until afternoon. Now if I had the choice, I'd have kept Brad with me but I didn't, so..... I enjoyed my morning of solitude. I packed up my little overnight backpack and headed downtown for some shopping. Living in our Whitefish bubble has many perks. Shopping is not one of them. I've never enjoyed shopping so I never really cared about lack of options in our area. My wardrobe has always been quite basic, even boyish. I knew it was time to expand my wardrobe when I was doing laundry a couple years ago and I hung up several of my beer tee shirts Brad had brought home for me from beer distributors (yeah I actually hung them up on hangers). The thought occured to me that I'm too old to dress like a college age boy - maybe a mother of three should not be wearing cargo shorts and beer tee shirts unless she is mowing the lawn. "Mom, what is Moose Drool?" Anyway......got off track a little bit....I got to shop....for myself. I only bought one thing. But the experience was lovely. I then hopped back on the rail link listening to my ipod and headed to the airport just in time to catch my flight home.
Back at the Glacier International Airport that afternoon I felt completely refreshed and excited as my kids each ran at me full speed with huge hugs and 'i love yous'.I was grateful to have them back in my arms. I'm grateful to have taken that time with my husband. I'm grateful for Nick and Kate for loving our kids like their own. I'm grateful I didn't let irrational fear make my decision.