I’d first gotten word of my sorority sisters’ summer trip plans months beforehand, and at the time they sounded awesome. A girls’ weekend at a cabin on a lake, with old friends, fancy cheese, and the opportunity to put my feet up? By the time the trip came around, my baby would be almost 16 months old — surely, I’d feel ready to get away by then, I thought. I was psyched; where do I sign up, etc. I never thought I would be one of those moms who had a hard time being away from her kid. My emotions about healthy separation would be the picture of, well, health, naturally. That was my expectation.
I felt, in addition to confident about my readiness for a baby break, lucky that I hadn't had a reason to go away sooner. To this point in my son’s life, I had not had work needs or family emergencies or any other incident that required solo travel. Every trip I’d needed to go on, he'd been able to come with me. But still, this trip with my friends left me feeling a little... heavy, in anticipation of it. I think the fact that it was my choice to take a girls’ trip is perhaps one reason why it weighed on me a bit more than I expected — I didn’t have to go. I mean, there were going to be six other women. Surely they wouldn’t miss me that much.
Besides a baby, I had deadlines! I had a home project that I was leaving semi-completed! I had a newsletter for a volunteer position due in less than a week and I hadn't started! In addition to all the family reasons tugging at my heart strings, I had some legitimate things to do that were getting put on the back burner. All told, I almost cancelled. In fact, had my best friend from college not already bought her ticket to fly over and then drive with me the rest of the way to our destination, I definitely would have.
Well, since you’re reading this, you already know I went on the trip. Allow me to share with you the emotional stages that took over as I prepared for, and ultimately spent, a night away from my little.