In four and a half years, my husband and I haven’t spent a day alone together. Yes, we have left the kids for an entire day and evening to attend out of town parties or something, but just the two of us? Nope. Well, this year for John’s birthday, I told him that we were going to get out of town together. No friends coming along, no friends to meet up with, just us. We LOVE water parks but know it will be years before we can really enjoy one with our kids, so I told him we would pick an amusement park with a great waterpark and go nuts, just the two of us.
So I picked a day with the sitter and then the craziness that was July hit. As the big travel day neared, that busy July continued to weigh us down and we both started to wonder if we should go. We both had a lot of work to do and we wondered if we should really be spending money on ourselves. Then there were the thoughts of how I’ll miss the kids and oh man, I think I’m coming down with something… We were so lame! Oh and the weather was supposed to be gross. So at 6 AM on the morning of the big waterpark day we sat on the stairs, phone in hand, ready to cancel the sitter, debating whether we should go. It was seriously the lamest moment of the year.
I decided to down some coffee, hit the shower and make the day happen, bad weather forecast or not. So we forced ourselves to leave our adorable children, and headed out to the grocery store to pick up tickets to our last minute decided upon destination of King’s Island amusement park, three hours away. As we pulled up to the grocery store I said to John, “I’ll run in super quick to get the tickets.” It then dawned on me that OH MY GOD, WE CAN BOTH GO IN THE STORE TOGETHER! No one has to stay in the car with the kids! It hit me in that moment that we had a type of freedom I had completely forgotten existed. From that moment on, the day was so incredibly amazing!
That day, spent together with the freedom to do as we please, walk by stores dripping in Angry Birds merchandise and candy without having to constantly do the, “We aren’t here to shop” speech felt as amazing as a honeymoon. (And that is saying a lot considering we went to the most amazing island ever on our actual honeymoon.) We had so much fun that we were just giddy with happiness. We ran around parents dragging tantruming toddlers and sped past moody teens dragging their feet to hop on roller coasters and scream down water slides. We hung out in the make out section of the wave pool, ate crappy food and didn’t have a plan. We felt like the day was made for us! It was a day to remember what it was like to be US and not ALL OF US.
I LOVE my family so much and feel so incredibly blessed for the pack we have built in our home, but it really was so refreshing to just peel back all the layers of parental responsibility and find who John and Betsy were again.
People have always told me how important it is to make time for just you and your spouse once you have kids, and I thought we had done a pretty good job of doing that. After really getting away yesterday, I see that it helps to really get outta town and really take time to reconnect.
A couple of parting thoughts:
Do NOT trust weather.com. We almost canceled our day because it promised a stormy day. It was GORGEOUS all day into the evening. Yay!
You will always want to cancel a trip at 6 AM on the day of if you are exhausted and feeling gross, so don’t even give yourself an out.
We did talk about our kids all day long, but duh, we love them so much! Of course we did!
Years ago I had sworn off roller coasters, thinking I was too old. (A particularly jerky one at Holiday World gave me the worst headache of my life for two days.) I rediscovered my love for them and I can’t wait to go back! Yay! I’m not too old!
As a parent, I couldn’t help but think to myself on each ride that I’m NEVER letting my kids ride any of those rides. Too dangerous! Ha!
With that, I’m shushing. Just had to share our great day and perhaps encourage some of you fellow nose-to-the-grind-stoners (ok, I guess calling myself a name with the word “stoner” in it doesn’t fit so well, but I’m gonna keep it) to get away for a bit and rediscover a part of yourself you had forgotten.