I don't miss the kids.
My hub and I head to Vegas for our yearly jaunt where he works for 3 days and I generally have no responsibility whatsoever. The drive to airport was like a vacation in itself...there were no children in the backseat asking me for juice and requesting I tell an umpteenth story.
On the plane, my hub and I grew playful with each other in the way we usually reserve for the kids We ordered two cocktails and my husband began a conversation between his empty gin bottle and my empty rum bottle. The woman next to us looked disgusted. We played hangman, using all our inside jokes. The woman next us changed her expression from disgusted to revolted. Then we cheesily listened to Bob Marley and Neil Diamond songs, sharing one set of headphones, one ear bud in each of our ears. The woman next to us vomited into her air bag.
I read two books and laughed out loud, People I Want to Punch in the Throat and Spoiled Brats. I didn't have to take any children to the bathroom or share the peanut M&Ms I had stowed away in my bag and when my sister, sitting two rows behind, handed me a People Magazine I didn't have to explain to my children why, as Big A says of the skin-baring fashions "all the ladies look like they're naked"
Then we checked into our hotel, the Palazzo, and while all the other adults seemed to be numb to it's beauty I was amazed by the fountain, the sculpture, the giant floating leaves and giant pears dangling from the ceiling. Clusters of empty green wine bottles were hung from each tree in clumps and the fountain tinkled away, nearly begging for me to throw in a penny.
I really missed the kids. They would be in awe of this lobby. They would be amazed and inspired by fruit bigger than a couch and twirling, sparkling leaves seemingly suspended in mid air. They would freak out to see wine bottles growing on trees. I began to sniffle.
"I wish that Big A and Little D were--"
"Don't even say it!" Big G interrupted. It's 11 o'clock their time. Vegas is not the place for them."
My husband left to meet with some clients right after we got settled in the room and I ordered room service, including a daring bowl of new England clam chowder. I was wondering if maybe I had gotten over my shellfish allergy. What happens in Vegas...
As it turns out I am still allergic to shellfish.
I was so glad the kids weren't there with me to see the rushing tidal waves of clams and cream, along with a tomato mozzarella salad exit my body the exact way it came in. Vegas, baby. Go big or go home.
The next morning I do something I never do at home. I wake up and go to the gym with my big sister,. How different than sneaking out to go for a run before my littlest one wakes up and wants to snuggle the desire to exercise right out of me. We work out, my sister cracking up at me as I sing too loudly along with the music, drop her iPod off the treadmill, not once but twice, and try to mimic her weight lifting moves.
Now I have the whole day to myself. It will be 10 hours before I talk to anyone I know again at a cocktail party my husband's company throws for his clients. While I love the community of close friends in my life, I actually also enjoy being alone. I mean, I'm always hearing "That Natty...she's great company!" and I am usually the one saying it.
So I book some spa treatments and I'm happy, once again, that the kids aren't here to run screaming through my relaxation time or whine the zen right out of me. But then I visit the Bellagio gardens and the fountains and I wish the kids could be with me to enjoy them. I visit the Leonardo DiVinci exhibit and think that my 6 year old would have loved it. I go gamble and I'm happy, once again, I'm not looking after a wayward 3 year old in a dark smoky casino in the city of sin. We go out to a club and I drink my face off. Now I'm hungover for the first time in years and I am so ridiculously glad the children aren't here to make any noise that could exacerbate the jackhammer noises my brain is making all on it's own.
So I miss the kid and I don't miss the kids. It's not an either/or, it's a both/and. I'm happy to escape for a couple of days once a year, content and at peace that my children are happily being spoiled by their grandparents. But I miss having them around since they are generally my constant companions, and let's face it, they may be sticky but I actually like those little buggers.
I call them. They are having a ball with Grandma probably doing taboo yet Grandparent-sanctioned activities like eating Skittles or playing on an iPad for three hours or slogging through the indoor playground at Burger King or probably all three at the same time.
They come on the line. I hear there gorgeous voices and I miss them so much I want to climb through the phone and squeeze them. My children, in return, talk to me for a fraction of a second, saying what sounds to me like a very phoned-in "I miss you, Mommy!" before dashing off with laughter, presumably to get back to their Pixie Sticks.
The kids clearly do not miss me.