Here’s a really rare thing — my husband and I just went to our friends’ wedding in LA and we didn’t take the kids with us. In fact, it was the first time during our 13 years of family life we had ever traveled together, without the girls. I was anxious about it (What if our plane goes down? Should we fly on separate flights? What if the kids get sick? What if, what if…). I had to let go, take a deep breath and just leave. The kids would be in good hands – my sister and brother-in-law were in charge and ready to spoil them with a visit to downtown Chicago to see a play, pizza dinners and a trip to the mall to get new earrings and frozen yogurt. This getaway was a happy, fun thing for us to do. I decided to stop making myself so miserable and just jump in. We chose to fly together; we did organize our will with an attorney before we left (couldn’t leave that open-ended). Everything was covered — the house was in order, the fridge was stocked, the girls’ schedules were written out — the only thing left to do was have fun.
And now, here I am. I’m back at home, all went really well. The first day was a little tricky – my younger daughter kept calling me and crying (it was like a strange form of emotional torture), but my sister did a wonderful job of cheering her up and keeping her active. After 4 hours, the phone calls eventually stopped.
When we stepped out of LAX and into the California sun, my husband and I felt ourselves defrost. We were instantly relaxed and excited at the same time. We checked into our hotel and the pre-wedding activities got us rolling right away. We laughed, celebrated, hung out with good friends, stayed up late, enjoyed amazing food and weather — everything was incredibly lovely. We had planned to tack on an extra day to splurge and spent a night at Chateau Marmont. On our last day there, I didn’t want to leave (not kidding at all). Turns out traveling without the kids is not only OK, but now I think it may be a mandatory part of family life. It takes a few hours to adjust to the oddity of it being just the two of you; there is a weird “did I forget something?” sensation that eventually wears off. If I can grab a few trips here and there with just me and my husband – we’ll all be better for it. We returned refreshed, the kids and the dog were happy to see us – it was a real lovefest. I’m thinking of where to go next.