I just returned from a 3 day girls weekend in Vegas.
It was a wonderful weekend in honor of my friend Toby's 40th birthday. It was one of those weekends that you laugh so hard for so long tears spring from your eyes and do not stop. It was the kind of weekend that leaves memories to last a lifetime and stories that will keep you the main entertainer of a party, any party. I would share it all but, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...right?!
My baby girl Nava is almost 9 months old. We have been attached at the hip since her birth. I have been doing what all moms do to keep new babies alive, healthy and happy. Nursing, changing, playing, napping and repeat, and repeat, and repeat! I also have a 3 1/2 year old who somehow seems to eat less than Nava even though he is twice as tall as her. He also needs to be dressed in the morning for school. Though he loves to put on his velcro sneakers, that is about all that he can do by himself and his school really frowns upon a 'Sneakers-only' fashion statement. He plays longer and harder than his sister and as of late wants me to join in for every bingo/zingo game and puzzle playing activity. As far as napping goes, it has been a year since I have successfully gotten him down for a nap though I still do try time and time again.
With all this mommy business, I get so much joy from little miss Nava and her big emoji cheeks and sideways smile. Kol is full of jokes and songs and makes me smile daily and I am consistently fascinated by the way his mind works. He loves numbers and will drop everything and anything to have a jam session with his dad. He humors me when I offer to jam and tries not to look too annoyed when I can't seem to get the right drum beat. I in turn thank him for his kindness.
The love between the two of these loves makes me giddy. Every morning Nava gives me a great big smile and as I lift her out of her crib she whips her head around and around until she sees Kol who says in a high pitched voice "good morning Nava", then she squeals and swats at his face. He squeals back at her in a similar sound and I am pretty sure they are somehow communicating in their own language like seals or dolphins.
Despite all this happiness and love, I was still quite excited to go away for the weekend. It was time. I needed a break because everyone needs one. As wives and mothers, we manage to get breaks where we can. It can be in a cup of coffee, in a square (or bar) of chocolate; while hiding from your kids in a pantry or behind the kitchen door. In a walk by yourself while the housekeeper watches your napping baby. Even with all these mini breaks, we still need the great big break every once in a while.
Even though I believe this to be truth I have friends and acquaintances who completely disagree with me. There are so many mothers I know who think, they do not deserve a break. Or that it is not right for a mother to leave her children overnight when the kids are young. They get so wrapped up in being the main caregiver that they can not see what a toll caring for others can really take on oneself. When you are tired and have not given yourself any time or love then your toddlers stories of his class room seem to become dull. The sound of your babies gurgling at nap time is not cute anymore but exasperating because, "honestly when is she going to fall asleep"??!!
I come from a home of 11 siblings. I come from a home of a mother who understood she needed to take a vacation to keep her sanity in order to keep the rest of us healthy. So, I went on a 3 day break to Vegas and it was glorious.
I am lucky enough to have an incredible partner who not only sent me off with his blessing but did not call me once to complain how hard it is to care for two kids alone. And we all know that it is really hard!
I returned last night when Dov was in the middle of putting Kol to sleep. I walked in and the feeling that surrounded me was cozy. Kol was in our bed as Dov was singing songs to him. Kol sat upright when he saw me and a smile spread across his face and lit up his eyes. I attacked him with thousands of kisses and he never tried to pull away as he giggled into my cheeks and ears. We spent the next 10 minutes recapping his weekend and he asked me questions about mine. He glowed when Dov sang his praises for being so well behaved and I glowed from being rejuvenated to really enjoy every word of every story he told me.
Today I woke up to Nava babbling at 6 am. Without a grunt, I got up and gave her a bottle. She gave me a bit of attitude; no smile, no squeal but then as I lifted her up she lay her head on my shoulder and that's when I knew she was glad to have me back since I usually only get a cuddle when she is too tired to keep her head upright.
Today was beautiful! It was full on, no housekeeper, and with Nava teething and a cold working its way into Kol's system both kids were a bit cranky. And I was here, I was present. Able to give love and comfort and loving discipline when needed. My greatest excitement when I go away is the thrill of my return. To be surrounded by my family is my greatest joy and yet I still need to get away sometimes, and that is okay. The happiness and relaxation that stays with me long after the memory of sleeping-in is gone, is something that I and my entire family benefit from. And so I leave only to come back as a better version of myself.