We give our all to our children and our careers and our friends and our homes and our schools and our communities, but we struggle mightily to give to ourselves. And when we do, we feel guilty because it feels like we are wasting our time or could be doing something more productive or should be taking care of someone else.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... there was a couple. Who were simply just dating. Who were without children. Who dared to have serious conversations, uninterrupted, while enjoying a meal that dared to be warm at the time of consumption. Who slept - on a whim - for ten uninterrupted hours at night. Who spontaneously ... did things without having to book a babysitter three months in advance. Who ... went out to brunch on Sunday mornings and ordered Bloody Mary's instead of firing up the minivan to go to soccer practice, then to wiffle ball, then to swim lessons, then to a birthday party, etc. Who debated about whether to eat dinner at Rainbow Dragon or Farragut House, instead of whose night it was to make pasta again and pack lunch boxes.
Then the couple got married. And had kids. The end.
However, there is that once a year opportunity for THE WIFE and I to turn back the clock. You know that trip I'm talking about. The re-connector. The "just the two of us" getaway. The "oh yeah, this is why we love each other" weekend. The two or three days when you ditch the kids with grandparents and possibly come home with a new addition to the family, assuming you were procrastinating on that vasectomy. This much coveted, temporary, time travel away from reality is also know as ... the Weekender.
THE WIFE and I have our annual sojourn coming up soon. And it got me thinking. I need to prepare accordingly.
There are some classic do's and don'ts I follow when getting ready for a Weekender. Here is a sample of the refresher course I read to myself in the mirror during the countdown to escape...
In the days leading up to a Weekender, it's important to maintain health at all costs. Specifically, in the week before the trip, boost up the immune system. DO take Vitamin C supplements and echinacea. DO drink plenty of fluids. DO get some extra rest. In other words, DO wear a hazmat suit, if possible, when interacting with your kids and especially when conducting any pick up or drop off at day care or schools. Then disinfect said child(ren) thoroughly upon returning home. If outright quarantine is possible, by all means take advantage.
[I unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way shortly after arriving at the Chatham Bars Inn a few years ago. A 24-hour stomach bug struck me just as we got settled into our hotel room. All I remember from that weekend is watching Inception on demand while wrapped beneath a comforter as THE WIFE ordered room service. Good times!]
DO avoid engaging in athletic or outdoor activities that you do not typically perform. Sustaining a lower back injury during a first time cross-fit workout or pulling a groin during bikram yoga can severely impede late night - or God willing maybe even afternoon - activities.
DO make a little extra effort in your appearance for the weekend away. Wax that back or nair the shoulder hair. Manscaping is a good way to show your lady that she's not married to Wolverine.
DO NOT consume foods that cause chronic flatulence. The rest of the year may be filled with unrestrained, spontaneous gas triggering dirty looks or wide eyed facial expressions, but the Weekender calls for impromptu morning cuddle sessions that DO NOT include Dutch ovens.
DO limit conversation about the kids and child rearing during meals to ensure that there are other topics about which the two of you may focus. For example, one's favorite Yo Gabba Gabba episode or whether Tilly is ready to sleep without a pacifier, are discussion pieces to be avoided. Instead, focus on fun topics like "did you read anything interesting in Us Weekly today when we sat by the pool?" Or perhaps, "Should we have red wine tonight or bubbles? Or both?" Then reminisce about the wine we drank during our honeymoon as we stared out towards the caldera.
DO NOT get jealous when THE WIFE begins to speak about how talented Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake are. Although the seemingly innocuous statement is easily misunderstood code for "I would definitely swap you out for said performer and seven seconds of heaven," you must recognize that the observation could also mean "I want you to dance with me if we hear one of their songs when we go to a bar later this evening."
I would write more but I can't because one child is swinging from light fixtures and the other two are entangled in WWE techniques. Get here soon Weekender.
Originally posted on waitingforbabyt.blogspot.com on May 15, 2015.