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!

children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

The Two Mouseketeers

Posing in front of the Disney Dream

There comes a time in your life when you finally understand that while you may not always get what you think you want, you end up with exactly what you need.

This blog about motherhood has always been my attempt to make sense of what it means to raise two active and highly spirited boys.  I have learned that while I may never totally understand their temperaments, they are pretty amazing exactly the way they are.  There is great freedom and beauty in this acceptance.

I have never appreciated their personalites more than I did on our Disney Cruise over the Labor Day weekend.  It was an absolute blast.  The boys and their phenomenal energy and spirit only enhanced the experience.  Well, except for the few times we were confined to our cabin.  At these points, I may have appreciated considerably less energy as would any rational human being.  Despite the slightly cramped quarters, the whole cruise was fantastic.  And best of all?  I got to bring home two of the best Mouseketeers any Mom could hope for.

gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

More Vacation Lessons

1.  Champagne mojitos are still the way to go.  Trust me, I tried every variety known to man such as frozen, straight up, fruit flavored and what have you.  The golden (and delicious!) standard of the original Royal Carribean champagne mojito cannot be beat.

our first day aboard with Mad Dog's parents. They thankfully enjoy champagne mojitos as much as we do!

 

2.  Getting your hair braided in Coco Cay, Bahamas is just as much fun today as having it done in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico when Mad Dog and I got engaged eight years ago. 

3.  When you are a Mom who rarely gets time away from her kids, something as simple as walking down a street with no Hotwheels, animal crackers or wipes in your purse, or better yet, absolutely no purse at all, is extremely liberating.  It almost feels like your are breaking the natural laws of the world and it feels fantastic.

4.  Sometimes, after a few hours have slipped by, you may find that you kinda of sorta miss the kids you left at home.  This twingey guilt can be quickly remedied with another round of champagne mojitos (see Lesson 1).

5.  This vacation helped solidify exactly how much Mad Dog must love me.  He willingly posed for so many pictures, it is possible we may have set a ship record.  For a man who greatly dislikes being photographed, he obviously loves the woman he is posing with.  Thank you, Mad Dog!

one of the several posed shots taken by the ship's photographers

6.  This cruise was the best I have ever experienced.  I have several theories as to why this is.  The most likely being that if you have achieved a level of happiness and acceptance in the life that you are leaving behind for a few days, it only multiplies in a setting of rest and relaxation.  And this time, I was more content than ever to return home and continue my adventures of motherhood.  

It’s good to be home and even better to hug my boys.

picture taken at Picture Me Portrait Studios