Paradise and Parenting / The Getaway

By Leza Warkentin

Mothers can be some of the most egotistical people. They plan a night away from home with their husbands, and of course they immediately begin feeling guilty because they imagine that their children will cease to function the moment they leave, even if grandparents graciously offer to babysit.
Thus, they are strongly inclined to stay home to foist this guilt upon their children for being unable to survive without them. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
However, it was becoming glaringly apparent that I needed a night away, because of the following:
1) I began referring to my husband and children as “you three”.
2) I had to pull over to the side of the road on my way to an evening meeting to try to remember if I had left five minutes before or five minutes after the babysitter arrived (Naturally, it was after.
We even had a conversation. The fact that I needed at least 15 seconds to recall it is reason to include it on this list).
3) My son told me that he loved me nearly as much as he loved his dog Max and I almost cried. I managed to smile in spite of the fact that Max has never once had to take an hour -long roundtrip bus ride to pick up a stuffed animal named “Beavie” from a preschool cubby at 9pm.
4) We were beginning each day with a search for our remaining set of car keys and every day they turned up in a place more random than the one before.
Conveniently (I mean, romantically), it was also our wedding anniversary. Some people would find the prospect of an anniversary getaway to be exciting.
In my case, I gnawed my fingernails down to nubs, worrying over what will possibly go wrong to cause us to cancel and lose our deposit, sending me to some type of expensive therapy instead. I also worried about whether my kids would miss me, or not miss me, or try to convince their grandparents that they always roast marshmallows on the gas stove.
Regardless, I packed a bag of things people need when they don’t travel with children. In other words, I was lost after I packed the toothbrush that I was pretty sure was mine.
We hauled the nearly empty suitcase to the door and said our goodbyes. My parents told me the usual things people say to guilt-ridden mothers such as “It will be fine” and “Don’t worry” and “If you don’t leave now we will cut you out of your inheritance”.
We left and drove to a gorgeous little hotel in Sayulita. We had margaritas. We danced.
We ordered food for ourselves for the first time in months.
We talked (about the children). And, best of all, we slept past 6:30am with not one person asking what their Minecraft password is again. My cup was full.
And then, at 12pm the next day we checked out, headed to the shops and picked out some things to buy (for the children).
We went home to discover that our kids were not only very much alive, but combed, fed and (sniffle) very happy.
Guess they can actually survive a day without me. Wonderful discovery, that.
And you know, with all the sleep, good food, and carefree time with my husband, I feel once again that I may be able to keep track of the car keys. Ha ha, no, not really.
But, perhaps more importantly, I did start calling my husband by his first name again.