Not long after my class finished earlier this month I found myself in my typical end-of-year funk, which seems to arrive at the exact moment I realise that my break from study will involve almost no leisurely-lying-in-bed-reading-novels-and-forgetting-to-eat, and instead lots and lots and lots of child-wrangling. I love my children infinity (as Mo and Hazel like to say), but I miss the days when sleeping in was a thing and I didn’t have to spend quite so much time, guilt, and brainpower figuring out how best to keep two little people healthy, happy, and engaged.
It was around this funky time that Moses complained to Alan and me: “It’s not fair that Mummy gets to go away for sleepovers, and Daddy gets to go away for sleepovers, but we don’t get to go away for sleepovers.” Alan was on the phone to his parents that very evening, and the plan we’d been vaguely daydreaming about for months finally fell into place: Mo and Hazel would spend a few nights with Nanna and Poppa after Christmas, and Alan and I would spend a few nights somewhere else, relishing our freedom, reacquainting ourselves with uninterrupted sleep (no one slept well while we were in Queensland), and watching episodes of Parks and Recreation whenever we felt like it. (Although we’d leaned heavily on the “You guys are going to have so much fun with your grandparents!” line, the night before we left Moses said to us, “You won’t have to worry about Hazel or me doing anything dangerous, or about getting us food! You’ll be able to do anything you want!” Obviously our efforts to mute our dizzying excitement had been unsuccessful, arousing Mo’s suspicion that possibly he and Hazel weren’t the only two benefitting from the arrangement…)
It was the first time in the five-and-a-bit years that we’ve been parents that Alan and I had spent more than a night away from our children together; as we ate dinner on the first evening we marvelled over the fact that we didn’t have to rush home to pay a babysitter! We could get home any time we wanted! (We got home at 8:30pm.) We stayed in a gorgeous mud-brick cottage in a valley near Blackheath, and filled our days fauna-spotting, bath-taking, cheese-eating, DVD-watching, lovemaking, book-reading, talk-having, wine-sipping, blog-writing, bushwalking, podcast-listening, in-colouring, and sleeping. It was exactly as glorious as it sounds.
Even more glorious was the happy reunion with my babies, and the precious, complete feeling that came with having them close again.
I reckon it’ll last until... Monday? Maybe? Then I’d like to do the break thing again.