pre travel jitters

I think I become OCD before I go on a big trip.

I have pulled our passports out 4 times already and will do so 10 more times before we leave.

I always have the soap opera look, “Did I leave the stove on?” expression as I check, recheck and check again. I’m not a nervous flyer.  But, I do worry about leaving things that are essential.  Passport, credit card, children.

Of course this trip I am purposefully leaving a child behind. This has it’s tension.  I was up late wrapping little presents for his aunt and baby sitter to give him while we are gone.  Then I started thinking will he be wondering “where is mommy?” more when he gets a present from her?  How am I harming my child this time.   Finally went to bed hugging him next to me. His skin never seemed silkier, his breath never sweeter, his little hand holding mine.  The magic of holding his hand.

I warned Vivien, “When he leaves with Aunt Cecily today don’t cry.  He will follow our lead. We have to be strong for him.”  I was really telling myself.  I’m having my sister come before we go to the airport as I want him to feel he is leaving us, not the other way around.

The leave takings are always the hardest, and once a trip has started you lose yourself to the trip.  But, this is new ground for me.  One I purposely set out on, filled with misgivings.  Like going to grad school.

I pray Rex has a great, fun week playing with his cousins and friends, knowing his aunts and uncles  are there for him.

My mantra as I board the plane “it’s only a week.  It’s only a week.”  7 sleeps is what I said to Rex. 7 sleeps away from the soft skin, the sweet breath, the little hand.

My Boogie Weekend

So, I am gearing up to leave early this morning for my weekend away with my husband. I should be psyched, but I’m not. I always feel anxious when I leave Vivien.

Buffett's Cafe
Creative Commons License photo credit: ViNull

I know she will have a great time. My sister Cecily and niece Lily, whom she adores, will move in our house and take care of her for the two days I am gone. I have left detailed notes including what channels she can watch (no Disney), the nearest emergency room, and plenty of chicken tenders. I need to snap out of it.

Nearly 3 days (I took a red eye, so it wasn’t a full 72 hours) is the longest I have ever been away from her. I hear of mothers/parents leaving their kids for a week. I would find that very difficult. I met a woman on a plane once, nice woman, no horns on her head, mother of three, who said when her first baby was a newborn, she left him for six weeks while she and her husband went to Europe. Her parents took care of the kid while she pumped all over Italy and France. I am still struck dumb by that.

I have a one-day gig in San Diego next week for Fox and I’m already trying to figure out how I can take Vivien with me and go to the Zoo or Legoland and or something very Southern California.

When I have spent a few days away, usually in San Francisco or NYC, truth be told, I have a good time. Relaxing, having meals where I don’t have to give someone some crayons or stickers so I can eat. But leaving is so hard. And, let’s face it, post 9/11-travel ain’t what it used to be.

Oh, and you’ll love this classic male/female difference. My husband is already in New Orleans for work (he is attending Tales of the Cocktail – yes, a convention) and I asked, “How’s the hotel room?”

Mark: “It’s got clean sheets and a TV.”

Me: “Are you kidding?”

Mark: “No.”

Me: “So I am going to fly 4 hours, leave my child for 2 days, and I assume you want to have sex at some point – in a room that you describe as ‘clean sheets and a TV’?”

Mark: “Do you want me to move rooms?”

Me: “I think you will be happier if you do.”

Did he just meet me?

I have to put on some Zydeco and get in the mood.