Congratulations, you’ve won an all expenses paid vacation to Cancun, Mexico!
Who doesn’t want to hear those words?! I was so excited when I received my email from work telling me I had won a vacation for my husband and I.
Then reality set in; I was going to be leaving behind my 11 month old son for four days. Four whole days of no snuggles, no giggles, no baths or bedtimes. How on earth would I survive that? I checked in on Harvey using our Nest camera multiple times a day just to see him playing on a daily basis. And now I was expected to not see him for three whole nights?! Four whole days!
As our vacation got closer, I became more anxious about leaving him. I knew he was in good hands; my parents would watch (spoil) him for the entire time we were gone. We were in the process of baby-proofing, and he wasn’t completely mobile yet.
He would be safe, get lots of attention, and eat many french fries.
The morning we flew out, we loaded up our Jeep in the cold and rain. With our shorts and tank tops packed in our luggage ready for the warm weather and sun, I should have been more excited. Instead I sat in the back seat holding my sons hand and crying. I took photos and videos of him smiling and holding my hand in return. I kissed him close to 30 times as we grabbed our stuff and my parents drove away with my son.
With tears in my eyes, we made it through checking our bags and security. And then my mother started sending me photos of them at the Airport Diner in Manchester, NH. My son eating the biggest pancake he had ever seen. Pictures of him wearing a silly hat that the waitress gave him. The last picture before we boarded our plane was of him sleeping because of his belly full of pancake.
Panic started setting in before the plane took off. What if something happens? What if that was the last time I kiss my son? No one can take care of him like his mommy and daddy can! Who needs to take a vacation anyways?
I’ve never worried about flying, I actually enjoy it quite a bit. The quick take offs. Your stomach rolling and feeling like you’re on a roller coaster. The views from the window seat as you fly over all the teeny tiny buildings. Its exhilarating! But this time, it was different.
This time, it felt like I had so much to lose if something were to go wrong.
The plane ride consisted of me going through all the videos and photos on my phone from the time my son was born, to the last photos my mother had sent me. We’d been gone for 5 hours and I was already missing him terribly.
Once we arrived at our hotel, we sent pictures to my mother so my son could see us. He didn’t care that we were exhausted from spending most of our day in airports and airplanes. We were sweaty from the 90 degree weather and adjusting to the sun still shining bright at 7:30 p.m. But he smiled when he saw a picture of us waving and saying hi, and thats all that mattered.
Over the next few days, every morning we checked the Nest camera when we first woke up. Due to slow wif-fi we were unable to FaceTime with him. My mom would hold Harvey up and we would talk to him, telling him how much we missed and loved him. It didn’t get any easier, I missed him the entire time we were gone. I was counting down until we flew home and I got to snuggle with him.
The one thing that I looked forward to leading up to our vacation was getting a good night’s sleep. Surely, I wouldn’t wake up because I heard my son tossing and turning in his crib. Or hear him crying, or the cats running around down stairs, or the dog hogging our blankets.
I’d finally be able to sleep through the night!
Our son had been going through a phase of waking up between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. the week leading up to our trip. And wouldn’t you know it, the three nights we spent in Mexico, I woke up at exactly 3 a.m. What are the odds? But it was nice being able to roll over and go back to sleep almost immediately.
The morning we left to fly home, I was so excited. And nervous, because of the plane ride. But we made it! Every time I had service, I was texting my mother to check in. She sent me pictures and videos of her saying ‘Mama and Dada are coming home’ to Harvey, and his face lighting up with a big smile.
Of course our flight landed at 10:00 p.m., and when my parents picked us up, Harvey was sleeping. I sat in the back with him, and held and kissed his hand almost the entire ride home. He woke up a few times and gave me a sleepy smile, then curled back into his carseat and went back to sleep.
We had an amazing trip; Mexico was beautiful. We went ATV’ing and zip lining and enjoyed food, drinks, dancing, and good company. But none of that could distract me from missing our son. As parents, we need to make time for ourselves and make sure we do things that still make us happy.