Motherhood, Travel


Freedom (4 birds) by EyeSense Photography on Etsy

There are a few things I am studiously in denial about right now.

1. The length and amount of leg hair I am currently sporting. (WHAT? It’s winter! Almost!)

2. The hints, subtle and otherwise, Adam has been dropping lately about an imminent MacBook Pro purchase, where I have not expressly authorized said purchase.

And by “lately” I mean “for the last six months”. But the frequency, and intensity of these hints has increased tenfold in the last week, and I am concerned that we are quickly reaching some sort of critical mass for hint-dropping, where the hints accumulate to the point of morphing into full-fledged actions, and then one day I will come home and there will be this gorgeous white machine sitting on my desk and I will have no other option but to pretend that I hate it and want it returned, when really all I want in the entire world is to caress its sweet keys and make beautiful words with it.

and 3. Tomorrow at 5:30 I board a plane and fly to Vancouver. For two nights. Without Olive.

Let’s just…I mean let’s agree to ignore the possible purchase of that beautiful machine and the leg hair (WHAT?! I live in Canada. I need the added warmth. And it’s a feminist thing. Solidarity…or something?) and let’s just focus on that last one for a moment. That pesky number three.

Because I am an intensely complex and long-winded individual, I would like to take the time to detail precisely why I am both excited and crestfallen at the prospect of this trip.

First, the obvious: I’ll miss Olive.

I feel like these words are just the most redundant words ever, because of course. But she started walking on the weekend in the most dramatic way possible- Adam’s dad set her down to walk to me and instead she just walked past me. Like, she just…kept going. Away from me. My baby!

And I keep forgetting that’s she walking. I’ll sit her on the floor and go into the kitchen to get something, only to turn around and see this chubby-legged kid zombie-toddling towards me with this wicked grin on her face. She is so proud of herself, and so am I, it’s as though she is becoming a real little person right before our eyes.

And it’s not that I had doubts about Adam’s parenting abilities before, but him being a stay-at-home dad lately has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has this parenting thing totally in the bag. When Olive is with him she gets fed nutritious food, goes down for her naps, and – judging by the videos he sends me while I’m at work – spends the entire day laughing like a crazy person.

Furthermore, I honestly sometimes think that Olive would be happy with anyone who agreed to keep a full plate of food in front of her of all times and give into whatever she demanded by pointing at it and repeating, “Dshhh! Dshh!” over and over.)

So the heartbreak isn’t for her – I have absolutely zero concerns about this child. Guys, I am worried for ME.


What am I going to do with myself for two and a half entire days, and two entire nights? It’s a work conference, so I imagine that this will be a fairly easy adjustment for the daylight hours. I will talk and network and attend professional development sessions. I will listen and respond and make connections. But at night. What do I do with myself at night?

There’s no one to dress, or undress. No meals to feed, diapers to change, or sticky hands to hold as we walk to the potty. No baths, no pajamas, no bedtime stories. No hysterical laughter as Adam pretends to fall down over and over.

The answer to that question, what will I do with myself? is also, incidentally, the second part of this post. The Good.

Guys, there is no one to dress, or undress. No meals to feed, diapers to change, or sticky hands to hold as we walk to the potty. No baths, no pajamas, no bedtime stories! It’s JUST ME! With an entire hotel room to myself! A bathtub waiting to be filled with scalding hot water and luxuriated in for, well for hours if I so choose! An entire bed- maybe even two beds! you know how sometimes hotel rooms have two?!- to myself. To sleep in. All night. For eight ten twelve hours straight!

I can eat breakfast with two hands and drink all of the coffee I want, in fact I plan to devote two hours a day to simply drinking coffee – whole mug-fulls, one after the other. Shamelessly caffeinated, without any repercussions whatsoever!

I can read books and finish entire paragraphs, I can leave the hotel room at the drop of a hat. I can watch trashy television shows without worrying about the ramifications of trashy television show exposure on one year olds. Guys, I can finally find out about these Kardashian people!

In conclusion it’s not that I am excited to leave, exactly. Leaving Olive tomorrow afternoon will honestly be one of the toughest things I’ve had to do as a mom. I am steadfastly refusing to think about saying goodbye to her, trying not to fully absorb just how much of me will be consumed with missing her and all that she is to me.

So no, not excited, exactly.

But still…freeeeeeeedom!

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  • Reply mamabethbarnes November 20, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Oh, man. The tub. THE TUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m quite jealous of you and your impending scalding hot bath situation right now. What I wouldn’t do/who I wouldn’t SLAY for a long, hot bath every night instead of a 5-minute frantic lukewarm-because-there-isn’t-enough-time-for-the-water-to-heat-up shower before falling into bed. And I also may or may not be envious of your katching up with the Kardashians, too. Maybe. But probably maybe not… I think.

  • Reply knitlady57 November 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    The first time I “went to town” (90 minutes away, and we didn’t go more than once or twice a month) without my three preschoolers, it took me half a day to remember that I didn’t have to look around for little hands to grab every minute. I would panic for a second or two before I remembered.

  • Reply Jennifer November 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Oh Maddie – have fun! Really! You’ve earned it! Wish I was in Van to take you out for dinner or in PR to help with Olive!

  • Reply Helen November 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Vancouver! Hope the weather stays sunny and dry for your visit. You may think I’m crazy, but in the event that you are staying downtown, and if you happen to be in the mood for gelato (why would anyone in such cold weather), I feel an obligation to recommend Bella Gelateria by the Fairmont Pacific Rim downtown. It is DIVINE. perhaps a bit pricey. but seriously out of this world. Have so much fun!

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