Our weekend is almost over and I don’t feel like I accomplished much. Sure, I kept up with the dishes, folded five loads of laundry, led worship at church, and took care of my kids — but my rug which I vacuumed on Friday is filthy again, the kitchen floor is disgusting, and the bathroom is showing the affects of a household with four members of the masculine gender. And tomorrow the routine starts again — school in the morning, housework in the afternoon, and find time to plan music for our Women’s Bible Study on Wednesday. I’m feeling in need of a break. I love my kids, and I love being with them, but every once in a while I need some time without them to recharge.
Every fall our denomination has a weekend-long women’s retreat. It’s always been a huge time of refreshing and rejuvenation for me. I leave the kids home with Kevin, leave on a Friday, stop in Spokane for shopping with the gals, and spend the weekend at the retreat center being fed from the Word, engaging in worship, and laughing and talking until my jaw aches and my cheeks hurt. This past fall, I was not able to attend Women’s Retreat. The price went up, and it was not financially feasible for me to go. I missed it.
Each January, my husband and I use a little of our tax refund and go away for the weekend. It’s our one time a year when it’s just the two of us — like it was before the rugrats came along. We catch up on sleep, and — ahem — you know , and conversation. We talk about our dreams for the future, the joys and fears of parenting — things that seem to get missed in the daily conversations about how the kitchen sink is plugged again, and Jonathan and Josiah have been fighting all day long , and this bill is due, and on and on and on… This year we decided to postpone our weekend getaway until the end of March. Two reasons — we wanted to go for three nights and needed to save up since our tax refund went toward the loan on my van; and our 10th anniversary is March 31st. I wanted to make it special — not just dinner at a restaurant chosen from our little town’s extremely limited repertoire.
Now it’s the end of February, and I am feeling wrung out and tired and in need of time with my husband. It’s been over a year since we went away together and over a year since I’ve had more than a few hours away from the kids. I am counting down the days until March 31st. Of course, the kids are, too, since Noah will be spending the weekend with his best bud Daniel, and Jonathan will be spending the weekend with his best bud Dylan, and Natalie and Josiah get three whole nights and days of undivided Grandmama and Papa attention. They think it’s for them!
It reminds me of a conversation I had with my friend’s daughter at church a few weeks ago. My friend and her husband are almost empty-nesters — they were for a while and one of the baby birds has come back to roost for a while. Their oldest son is in Kuwait — on his way back from a year long tour in Iraq. They celebrated their 25th anniversary last summer, and have been saving for years to take a trip — a real trip, not just a weekend away. They left two weeks ago for Cabo in Mexico for 12 days. I was so excited for her to have this time with her husband, especially after a year of worrying over their son in the Army. I saw their daughter at church one of the weekends they were gone — she was up visiting from college — and asked her if she’d heard from her mom yet. She said, “Yeah, they got there ok, it’s 80 degrees there! I don’t know why they didn’t do this two years ago when I could’ve gone!” I laughed and said, “I think that’s kind of the point.” She looked puzzled and then knowledge dawned and she said, “You’re probably right!” The idea of her parents wanting and having time of their own without the kids around was astonishing to her. It probably won’t be very many years from now that she’ll have little ones at home and understand how important that is.
Only 32 days to go!