So it was our 12th anniversary this past weekend. Jason and I were lucky enough to be able to celebrate it with a weekend trip to the beach. Alone.
It mattered not that it rained the whole time. It was our first trip alone, sans kiddos, in NINE years. Count them – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8……9YEARS!
That’s three thousand, two hundred, and eighty five days!
From those in my immediate circle, that’s practically unheard of today! “You seriously haven’t been away together in nine years?” is the most frequent comment we received. “Wow. You need this!”
And we did…and boy were we psyched!!!!! Bring on the champagne baby!
The best thing about our trip? Well, besides being alone together, was just how easy the whole trip was. Two adults = less packing, less noise, less commotion, less mess, no whining or fighting, minimal clean up.
How did we spell relief? N-O-K-I-D-S!
But, know what the worst thing about our trip was?
Yep. No kids.
We missed them. Terribly.
Now don’t get me wrong…it was great to have time just the two of us together. We slept in – well in between the slew of morning texts from our early rising seven year old.
But wait – we also got to go out for an amazing celebratory dinner with our even more amazing friends (we love you Troutmans!) to Kathryn’s Bistro and Martini Bar (not an affiliate, but try it!) without having to hurry home to relieve my mom or a sitter.
We photographed the unbelievable coastal flooding of our dock where the water was well over our feet making it look like we were miraculously walking on water.
We sipped our piping hot, freshly brewed, coffee leisurely in our pjs as we gazed out our picture window at an enormous brown heron wading in and eating huge fish from the pond.
We enjoyed a romantic evening walk on the beach reflecting on the wonder of our marital journey up to this point and guessing, planning, dreaming of where we’ll go from here, as the emerald waves crashed onto the sand…
And like everyone said, it was so great without the kids for a while…
I happened to glance into their room, that for once had remained perfectly decorated and in tact – no loom bands or legos strewn about. There was no messy bed, no dirty, wet, sandy, clothes that needed picking up…
Then, I heard their brave little “Mom, I really miss you” voices over the cell line…
Then, I missed their robust, two arm, nightly kiss/hugs that can go on for-ever…”just one more Mom, just one more!”
Their passionate thrill of greeting each new morning and sharing in their daily delightful life discoveries.
And I realized again that they’re growing up way to fast. And we have a very finite time with them as children.
Every day we’re apart, is one day less we get to be with them – as children. And the day can’t be made up or ever come back.
And one day, as fast as these nine years have flown by, another nine will. And my darling Jack will be off to COLLEGE. Joseph will be DRIVING (brace yourself world!!!).
And that’s about it. We’ll be on the road to our commotion-less, mess-less, noise-less empty nest. And all the childish giggling, snuggling, playing, laughing, wrestling, bickering, crying, growing, hectic race we call raising children will be done. Then what?
I don’t know.
But whether we end up traveling millionaires (ha!), or win the volunteer of the year award for some great cause, or run for some political office, or spend our time entertaining our friends and family, nothing – no nothing we do will ever bring back 9 and 7 year old Jack and Joseph. And I painfully realize we’ll never chase 4 and 2 year old Jack and Joseph around again, or 1 and 3 or…well you get the point. And I’m oh so reminded of just how precious these childhood days, weeks, months, and years truly are.
Which may be, for us, the biggest benefit of our anniversary trip in the end.
And we’ll travel again one day I’m sure. But more often than not, it’s gonna be with our kids.
While we’re still lucky enough to have them.