I knew eventually, that the day would come that my husband and I would have an adventure together, alone, minus our child and dog. I just had no idea that it would be as emotional as it was.
Since it was our 10th anniversary, we decided, no gifts, just a trip. An adult only trip, to reconnect. You see, neither of us have ever been away from our son at the same time. We each have taken small trips here and there, but never together. I had somehow vowed, that I would never leave him alone with family to take a break. Maybe because I had been scared once at the age of 12, and I was terrified my son would feel the same sense of loneliness and abandonment. I worked it out. I made a plan.
My in-laws came in, we had packed up our carry-ons, and had left lots of instructions, i spent a week baking and making all my son’s favourite foods. I told he we wouldn’t be gone for long, and that he would have a blast building Lego and going swimming with his grandparents. It didn’t seem to faze him. He was going to get his grandfather all to himself, he told us he wanted us to go.
I was happy, he was in his own house, he had his routine, and he was good.
The day we left, he didn’t even hug us, he was busy downstairs in the basement building, and telling us he was fine.
I on the other hand, spent 6 1/2 hours on the flight to Lisboa, Portugal, praying we weren’t going to die. I have no idea who the heck I was praying to, but there I was, clutching my husband’s hand, tear-stained, and thinking every “what if” scenery if I died.
We landed, my husband had thought ahead and had arranged a driver to pick us up at the airport, I hadn’t slept a wink. The moment I looked out to the beautiful city, my worries, and fears, just disappeared. I was instantly, and completely in love with the city. I was charmed by an unknown pull. We were dropped off at our hotel, and handed some port at 8:30 in the morning. I don’t often drink, and have never had a glass of port, so I willingly took the glass and drank it down like it was water, only, it wasn’t water. It went straight to my head. So there I was, first time away from my child ever, and I was already morning tipsy in a foreign land, and told that our room wasn’t ready.
Oh dear, I hadn’t thought that one through!
My husband and I left our bags at the hotel, and decided to just wander the streets. It is rare for us to have this kind of alone time. To be honest, when we had our son with us, we mostly steal glances, squeeze each other’s hands, and then home our son falls asleep before us! Having actual time, that was all ours, was a culture shock we were ill prepared for.
We held hands, then we argued, we then sat down for food, and realized, without our son dictating our meals, we in fact had forgotten to eat for more than 12 hours, between the heat and the hunger, our emotions were running high! 10 minutes after eating, we laughed, and realized we were fine, we were clearly not used to making our own schedule. But, that is the beauty of taking a break, and travelling once again as a couple, and not as a family. For 4 glorious days, we hiked, walked, ate and drank our way through Lisboa, and frankly, it was so nice to be an adult, and not be a parent for that time.
Have you taken a trip without your kids?