Eddie and I have been married for seven years, and we dated for four years before we got married. Considering that we're both only 29, we've spent a significant portion of our lives together. The funny thing is, we've had very little opportunity to go on vacation by ourselves. It seems like we're always taking our time off to see our families, and while we'll sometimes go somewhere fun with them, we haven't been away together for more than a night since our honeymoon (which was only a three-night stay at a resort about an hour from our house since we got married between semesters in college).
As part of his internal medicine residency Eddie is allowed to go to one conference where the residency program pays for everything (well, not for the spouse, but for the resident). After months of weighing our options and trying to decide where to go, we finally decided to go to Mackinac Island (in Michigan). We figured that we had to go somewhere this summer or else we'd be taking a nursing baby along with us. So we recruited my mom and grandma to come to Minnesota to take care of the kids and headed out last week for four nights of uninterrupted sleep and activities that didn't include the Children's Museum and the zoo.
I'm the type of person who was never homesick at summer camp, counted down the days until I left for college (starting at day 200, I think) and loves to go to new places. As a college student I spent two months in Europe working in a grocery store in Belgium and traveling around on the weekends with anyone who was up for adventure. I've also been really eager for a break from the kids--I'm sure everyone who has more than one child realizes how draining it can be to be a stay-at-home mom to a two year-old and a four year-old, especially my extremely active little ones.
It's funny, because whenever I'd call home my mom would say that the kids were fine, not asking for us, and behaving well. When I thought about the trip before we left, I had imagined Eddie and me relishing the time without the kids while my mom struggled with two preschoolers who wanted their mommy. Instead the opposite was true.
Even though I was homesick (for the first time in my life), we had a really fun trip. It was nice to sleep through the night without my two year-old joining me and snuggling up every night (which has become less bearable as I've gotten bigger and hotter at night). It was wonderful to eat in nice restaurants, lingering over appetizers and desserts (instead of bolting our food so we'd be done before the kids started acting up). We loved riding bikes around the island each morning (which would have been harder pulling two bored kids in a burley behind us). It's a trip that would have been a lot more complicated with the kids, but I still missed them.
On Sunday we arrived at the airport to return home, only to wait for a few hours and learn that our flight was cancelled. We had to stay at a stinky Holiday Inn (dinner served from a vending machine) and I thought I might lose it at the airport when they announced the flight was cancelled, since we had already been rerouted to a different airport and delayed by seven hours on the way up. Our bags arrived a day after we did. At that point I didn't care anymore about sleeping with a little heater or getting up at night to take my four year-old to the bathroom--I just wanted to be with them again.
So much for the stoic who never gets homesick. I think I'm beginning to understand why my mom was so upset when I started the countdown to college more than six months before I was leaving home. I'm so excited for baby Isaac to join our family--then I'll have one more reason to keep me from wanting to leave home.
Until next time,