Monday, May 4, 2009

Coming Home

So, we survived. All of us. Will, M, Grandma. And me.

Saturday morning, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I had packed Will on Friday, but I packed and repacked twice more that morning, just to be sure that he had everything that he might possibly need.

After dropping the dogs and their favorite boarding place (really, it's like a hotel for dogs, they LOVE it), we headed the hour north to Bellingham, WA, where my in-laws live.

Bellingham is special to M and me, because we both were students at Western Washington University, and that is where we met our senior year. When M proposed, he took me back up to campus. His plan had been to propose to me in the same classroom where we first met. He had even called ahead to make sure it would be vacant at a certain time. However, when we got there, a class was in session. I remember laughing because I was pretty sure what was up and he got all upset when there was a class in the room. . . I had to gently remind him that it is a school, after all! I just remember how nervous he was and that he took his coat even though it was a warm day, since the ring was in his coat pocket. Since M never takes a coat anywhere (he is a shorts and sandals guy the minute it turns March), I was even more suspicious. So, after the classroom mix up, he took me all over campus, trying to find other "meaningful" spots. Finally, we went back to our car, and he was thinking about taking me to my old apartment and proposing in the hallway where we first kissed. But then he saw it. . .

Probably the least romantic spot for a proposal when you think it terms of aesthetics. There was an old cement tunnel that connected the campus to the commuter parking lots. This is where M first asked me out on a date by saying, "Do you have plans for tomorrow night?"

So, when we got to the tunnel, I suddenly knew that this was where "it" was going to happen. Sure enough, he proposed to me right there, surrounded by cement, chain link fence, weeds, and a little of our own history. He asked me, "Do you have plans for the rest of your life?" It was a perfect moment. I don't think he could have picked a better place. About a minute after the ring was on my finger, a passing student offered to take our picture.

Gosh, we were so young there.

Clearly, Bellingham has some strong ties for us. It's also really convenient, because M's family all lives there, so we even had some babysitters in town. In particular, M's mom, who has been begging and pleading for the opportunity to watch Will for a night. So, in we came, with bags of food, clothes, toys. . . oh, and of course, the baby! We got everything set up, and based on the advice of several friends, we didn't linger. While Will was happily stuffing his face with his latest favorite food (homemade mac & cheese), we kissed him good-bye and beat a hasty retreat.

We stayed at this nice hotel, the same place where we stayed the weekend that M proposed to me. It is located within walking distance of a historic part of town, Fairhaven, where there are lots of shops and restaurants. We walked around, ate a fantastic lunch, and then did some wine tasting. After that, we went back to the hotel to relax a bit, before heading out to an amazing dinner.

It was a really good time, and there were moments where I *almost* forgot we even had a baby (not really). I didn't get teary eyed when we left and we didn't even call once (okay, so I texted once and she sent a text video, but that doesn't count. . . right?). It was what we needed to reconnect and focus on just each other and remember why us two crazy kids even fell in love in the first place.

The next morning, we woke up early (it's a habit by this point), had breakfast, and went to get Will. I was like a little kid, bouncing up and down in the seat and clapping my hands in glee. M laughed at me, but I was so excited to see Will that it was ridiculous! He was asleep on his grandma when we arrived, so I had to wait a little longer to get my eager hands on him. But when he woke up, oh, what a smile he gave me and he leaned towards me with his chubby arms outstretched. And that was when I cried. When he was in my arms again and his little body was curled into mine, I lost it a bit. Not rivers of tears or anything, and with Grandma, Nana, and M watching (and laughing at me again), I kept my emotions mostly in check, but oh, it felt like heaven to have that little boy in my arms again. It felt like home.

But I think that's the best part about going away, even for less than 24 hours. After a rest and some adult time, I was so ready to have him back. Not that I was really ready to give him up, but being a full time mom 100% of the time is more wearing than I think I even realize. I don't think I know how "on duty" I am at all times until I am not. I am eager for this responsibility, don't get me wrong, but I think it's only human to need an occasional respite. And I truly feel as if I am rejuvenated and a better mom for it now.

Of course, I need to keep this in mind. I turn (shhhh. . . .) thirty this year and M has planned a two day weekend trip for us three whole hours away from Will. I get nervous just thinking about it. This weekend was kind of a training exercise for the big event that happens in just a month's time.

But considering how well this weekend went, I think I will be ready. Or at least be able to fake it.


Lori said...

So glad you had a great night away. I understand about needing the time and then when you have it you can't wait to have the baby in your arms again!

Was your anniversary on the 3rd? Mine is the 5/3 and we celebrated our 6th year together also. Happy anniversary again!

Gibson Twins said...

I'm glad you had a great time away! I have yet to leave the twins overnight, everytime I try to, I come up with a reason why I cannot. This summer we're taking the plunge and leaving them with the great-grandparents for 4 nights while we go to Vegas. At 2 1/2 I know they are secure enough to be fine for the week (actually they'll think they're in heaven a whole week with the great-grandparents spoiling them like crazy!). It will be hard, but it's so overdue for us to get away.

PS- I love the pic of you guys- it's such a great memory!!

Mel said...

What a fun trip... sounds like it was a wonderful anniversary. Precious memories.
I am so glad you are back with your baby and all went well... absence makes the heart grow fonder is an absolute understatement.

K @ ourboxofrain said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip on a lot of different levels. I'm glad you were able to rekindle a bit -- so necessary in these early days of going from a family of 2 (plus dogs!) to a family of 3. I'm also glad you survived the time without Will -- we have yet to leave Harry for the night, but know we'll have to (or want to) at some point, so it's nice to see someone else struggle with it and survive.

The picture of the two of you is so sweet :)

Amy said...

Um, first off you guys are adorable!! Second, the older Will gets the easier it will be to be away for a few days. And third, 30 ISN'T OLD!!! Love ya!

Mrs. Piggy said...

Nice post, left me all mushy inside :)
Especially at the part about you reuinting with him. Funny how in my last comment I said I was never away from the twins...but yes i was, when i had my gallbladder out two months after they were born. i desperately needed it too, until the nurses kept waking me up every 2 hours for vitals...i thought, son of a bitch, this is just like being in the hospital after you have the babies. you get crap for sleep! So it wasnt even worth it. but oh did I miss them SO much...but the break was....nice, especially when you're in the thick of it!!

Fertilized said...

CONGRATS!!!! I am so glad that you had this time!

In Search of Morning Sickness said...

Wow, what a wonderful and beautiful time you guys had! I think it sounds like it was just perfect timing to reconnect with your Love. And I "get" the whole crying when you had Will back in your arms... Makes perfect sense to me! So happy for you guys!

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time! :) Good you for you!!!

Amanda said...

It sounds like you had a beautiful anniversary. Your story is just so sweet it brought tears to my eyes! I'm so glad you got to reconnect.

Tim had to be away for a little while recently and I was so relieved to see how the boys lit up when they saw him again (after 8 days). We're going to Disney World in a few weeks and I'm beginning to get really nervous about being away from the boys for 5 night. I know they'll be fine since my parents are coming to stay at our house to take care of them, but understand.

Adriane said...

Sounds like you had a great time!! It is so important to get some adult time away, that's for sure. So glad you had this opportunity!

Debby said...

I turn thirty this year too! We also have a big trip planned - but ours is for 5 nights and across the country....i know I'll miss him like snot by the end, but also know it'll be good for us to get away. So when you're gone for a few days and are a few hours away, you can just feel good about your mom skills because you're not gone as long or as far as me. ha! :-)

So glad your first overnighter went well!