Sunday, August 10, 2014

Snug as a Bug.

Perhaps it's a weird thing to discuss, or say, but when pregnant with Brock, I told Matt, that I could never love anything as much as I love him. To me, this is logical. I chose Matt. He chose me. We were not forced to be together. Though you create your child, there-by forming an incredible, amazing, loving bond, it is not the same as the husband-wife one. Your kids will grow up and become their own person someday. They will love someone else, more than they love me. It's the circle of life. So, it was with this mentality that I planned, and looked forward to an extended vacation with my one and only, O'Laughlin boy. I imagined these 6 days to be wonderful.  Full of adult conversation. Freedom from the hundreds of obligations that fill my days because of my 4 dependents. Sleeping until I wake up of my own accord. Eating and drinking when and what I want. In essence, a window back into those days "before children".
I quickly learned, there is no such thing as going back to the "before children" days, because, well, those children exist. I think it took more planning and coordination to leave 4 children at home, than is does to take 4 children on vacation.  I am sure my family and nanny were tired of emails, going over the plan and schedule. I had more than one panic attack, and had to have my friend and fellow mother of 4 young boys talk my down from cancelling the trip all-together. I cleaned and stocked the house. Found a puppy sitter. Scheduled activities. Despite all of this, once gone, I had still not fully covered all my bases, minor details had gone unexplained, such as Mitch's eating schedule.

Don't get me wrong. Matt and I had a fabulous time, once he got over his bout of food poisoning and I got over my ruined outfit on day one of vacay. We rented bikes and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. We enjoyed a sundae with the best hot fudge I've ever experienced from the cafe in Ghirardelli Square. We watched a bartender make at least 20 Irish coffees in less than 60 seconds, and sampled one too. We watched the baby seals play in the water, leaping out only to piss off their elders. We saw people swimming in the bay, viewed Alcatraz from afar, ate at Cioppino's on Fisherman's Wharf, took a selfie at the bottom of Lombard Street, rode a trolley. We stumbled into a restaurant called The Grove, and ate there twice it was so good. We saw people on drugs who saw...well, I'm not real sure what she was seeing. We watched a man take hundreds of dollars from gullible people betting on street games. We visited a winery. Then attended my cousin's beautiful wedding at another winery.

I showered without interruption. I brushed, blow-dried and even straightened my hair. I applied make-up twice in less than 5 days. I did sleep in. I spent wonderful, quality time with my husband. I enjoyed our conversations. But, I missed my little boys, the entire time. It turns out, for all the inconveniences, hard work, time, and energy that those little humans require, they, in turn, fill me with joy. I am now incomplete without them. Despite what I have been telling myself, or perhaps society has been telling me, all along, I don't actually need a break from the full time job of "mom". A nice evening out is more than enough to recharge my engines. I wanted to FaceTime them everyday. I enjoyed texts. I felt horrible, and helpless, and cruel when my baby had a fever and pain from teething. When my 2 year-old woke up and vomited. I felt bad for Matt's cousin who was trying to keep everyone alive, fed and happy. Something that required so much work on her part, but is near effortless for Matt and I, at this point. I know my children inside and out. I know what each cry, laugh, whimper, word, expression means.
I also learned that I don't need nearly as much "quality time" with my husband as I thought. Despite feeling as though we are pulled in a million directions at home, constantly splitting time and duties, Matt and I do a pretty fantastic job of staying close. Though I loved the uninterrupted time with him, it didn't feel necessary, or even new. We get all 4 boys to bed, every night, by 8:30 at the latest. This gives us 2+ hours together, nearly every night. We {I} text all the time. Email. Go on dates, almost weekly. We hang out with friends and family on the reg.
This vacation affirmed everything I have always felt to be true, but doubted because of society's implications. Not everyone needs a vacation from their life. Hard work can be fun, especially when it is for your favorite people in the world. Kids may make things more complicated, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They also make experiences more enriching. The entire trip, I would find myself viewing things through my children's eyes, wondering what they would think. Next trip, they are coming. And perhaps, a nanny too. The best of both worlds. But as for now, I am home, and my boys are sleeping. Snug as a bug in a rug.

Now, Matt just needs to come home, for all balance restored. I already miss him...

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