It's about that time. Time for a break. When I can count the number of days on one hand that I have not been responsible for a child for an entire 24 hour period, it's that time. In fact, I really only need one finger.
It's not like I haven't had vacations from parentdom. There was the second (third, eightieth) time I had kidney stones-wonder if anyone else in the world sees a kidney stone as a form of vacation...Seven months pregnant with a girl. I had no idea who she'd be- just a girl. A toddler at home and a kidney stone lodged somewhere in my mid-section. It's late. The normal hospital entrance is closed. Dark. I'd never seen the entrance dark. All new arrivals, regardless of arrival method, must use the emergency entrance.
My husband stresses about where to park and what to do with the small person in the car seat in back. We agree it's best if he goes home. He was probably a little, tiny bit glad he wasn't going in with me. The time before, I threw up on his shoes. He pulls up and I get out. In front of the dark hospital. And he drives off, as I watch, with a toddler in the back or maybe it was two toddlers in the back. I forget. I was still pregnant with a girl. Number Two and Three were both girls. I find my way in. Hustled to maternity, monitored, and tucked in. I stayed for five, morphine filled days. Then I decided to go home. I had had enough. Called my husband to come get me. Except I couldn't find him.
My brother offered to drive me home only to find out I was locked out. It never occurred to me I didn't have a house key. I ripped off the screen to the dining room and climbed in the window. Seven months pregnant.
It's time for another vacation. Kidney stone free. Pain free. Free from children and hysterics about them being locked out and iPhone text rants that begin and end with "YOU ARE THE WORST MOTHER EVER". Free from trying to convince a nine year old that the school said no bikinis in swim class-not me, free from threatening, cajoling, begging, and guilting a teenage boy into brushing more frequently. I remind him often that I could be driving a CAR for what I've spent on orthodontic work. Free from finding petrified home fries in my daughter's closet. Free from the guilt of leaving them.
And there's the rub. The kids and I are in this together. Where I go, they go. It's different with their father who travels for work. When they come home from school and say, "Where's Dad?" and I say Dubai, Italy, England, Germany, Connecticut or Poland, it's okay. This is what he's done for as long as they can remember. He travels. I don't.
The kids can be in Switzerland while he's rifling through our house in Connecticut, after working a 12 hour day, desperately searching for Number 19 in the Magic Tree House Series as requested by the smallest expat, as long as I am with them. It's okay.
And it is. I am with them. We are in this together.
However, I have heard you can board the kids at their school for a pretty reasonable fee should the child's parents need to go away. In an emergency, like to Prague, to go flea marketing.