In my head were plans of the schedule I was going to type, the meals I was going to pre-prepare, the outfits I was going to lay out, and the post-it notes I was going to put all over the house (no sippy straws in the dishwasher, almond milk stains clothes please use bibs, bedtime checklist, stuff like that).
But when it came down to doing laundry and packing my own stuff, the time kind of got away from me and all the non-essentials got pushed aside for later... and never got done.
We left my mom with nothing but a few spoken reminders and a stash of diapers.
As we drove away from the house toward Sky Harbor Airport, I had major anxiety about all the things that would happen in our household whilst we were galavanting around union square and wine country. Even though Penny would be with her grandparents and aunt, in her own house, all weekend, there were still so many things that could go wrong.
So many things in only my head that only a mother could know, that might be crucial to the success of the weekend without me. Like how she's more likely to eat a better dinner if you let her dip something from her plate in something else on her plate. Or how we don't say "Penny, do you want to do such-and-such?" if such-and-such isn't an optional activity. Or how in the morning she's happier out of bed if you let her be alone in her crib for a little while after she initially wakes up. Or how our dishwasher only cleans things thoroughly if you rinse them really well before loading it. Or how to tame the dogs when they get rowdy at 7am and 5pm. Or how the thermostat sometimes resets itself... you get the idea.
Then I got to thinking about what it was like to be a kid spending a weekend away from mom and dad. Stuff went crazy, routine went out the window. And it was awesome. And I turned out ok.
So I let it all go, trusting that the logistics would sort themselves out accordingly, and our child would survive without us just fine.
At the airport on the way out, there was a little girl in an umbrella stroller about twenty passengers ahead of us in the security line. Every time we roped around and passed her family, I looked at her and thought of Penny and burst into puffy boogery tears. It was pretty humiliating, big pregnant lady crying uncontrollably in a slow-moving line with nowhere to escape to.
I think my face returned to its normal peach pigment by the time we reached our gate. I was so excited that we didn't miss our flight, and that there was a Tammie Coe cake stand literally next to where we sat waiting for our delayed plane, that I stopped thinking about abandoning our child and started getting excited about our trip.
And that was it for the waterworks. We sighed, we made it. Then Dan taught me how to play chess on the way there.
Throughout the weekend, we didn't really talk to each other about how we missed our daughter, although we both did I'm sure. We didn't check in with her various caretakers, assuming they'd reach out if they needed something. Surprisingly, I didn't worry at all. And when we got home, it was clear that she didn't miss us, not one bit. And I was glad.
|watch out SF, I might not be drinking but I'll be taking pickshures.|
|Us with the bride and groom before their gorgeous and classy wedding at SF City Hall. |
Side note: the robot arm doesn't really work for me, what do all y'all preggers do with your arms in formal photographs?
I liken visiting San Francisco to being in college again -- social opportunities happening everywhere, every hour of the day -- but surrounded by grownups with jobs and money. "Cool people are up to cool things here," Dan said. [I'll save my reflections on the polarity of the city's extreme success vs. extreme dysfunction for private conversations]. I imagine living there would be exhausting (and would certainly break our bank) but we enjoyed three nights and three days of being a part of the frisco whirl. It helped that the wedding festivities included wine tasting, a trolley tour, and a fancy dinner and such a fun group of people; and that Dan's bro works at a super happening restaurant, which you should all try to get in to if you're ever in the city.
When I would tell people we were planning a trip without Penny, it was funny the responses I got. Some people couldn't mask their shock that we would want to leave her behind "this young" (uh, she's almost two), while others preached about how important it is to leave your kids with other people overnight on a regular basis at a young age so they learn to be adaptable. I'm in neither of those camps. I think every kid and every family are different. Certainly I won't make a habit of up and leaving the kid(s) all the time, but I sure am glad we went and got this last trip in, just the two of us, before baby number two comes. Twenty-five weeks and counting!