children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, marriage, motherhood, parenting

Cruise (Part 6)

Mad Dog and me enjoying our time together.
Mad Dog and me

When you are a stay-at-home parent it is hard to put into words what it feels like to be away from your kids for four whole nights.  Our annual cruise without kids is something I look forward to all year-long.  Having to only worry about myself is liberating.  Being able to walk into art-filled stores and not worry about someone breaking something is a revelation.  Sitting at a leisurely meal enjoying a glass of wine (or several) and not having to cajole table manners out of my boys is amazing.  It’s nice to be at a table of adults who realize knives are for butter or meat, not for stabbing your brother in the face.  This time away helps me remember that I am more than somebody’s Mom.  It reminds me that I was a whole and interesting person before kids and it’s comforting to know I can be that again.

Our kids are not ours to hold onto forever.  The second they are given to us is the same instant we must begin to let them go.  It’s up to us to keep hold of ourselves and be who we are throughout this process.  Time away from them is a great way to do this.  It’s also great because when you return, you realize you were missed.  You realize that even boys who seem to need so little except their determination to make it in the world, do in fact still need their Mom.  Even T.Puzzle, my recently turned affection-resistant kid, easily gave up a hug or two upon my return.  Those hugs were some of the best hugs I’ve had in a long time.

It’s good to be home!