Ah, brief respite!

Poet Anne Shaw says, “Fond as we are of our loved ones, there comes at times during their absence an unexplained peace.” This is undeniably true.

One of the few advantages I had as a single mother for many years is that my children’s father lived 1500 miles away. (No, not because he was far away! Though that was a blessing, too.) This meant that the girls could go visit him/his mother every summer for a number of weeks. From the time I tearfully put them on the plane until I welcomed them home, I had an amazing amount of time to recharge my personal batteries, worn down to an extreme after 10 months of single, working parenthood.

So now I’m not a single mother; the Cabana Boy and I are solely responsible for our three, who create a huge need for respite. As I’ve discussed previously, it’s hard to find someone to watch the children because of their issues. Even people we absolutely trust find they have problems. While my father lives in town, he has never been much of a grandparent–it’s just not his style, unless it involves teaching pinochle or bridge. That, he’ll do. He could never watch them for more than 30 minutes while they’re glued to the television. So we get stretched pretty thin.

The Cabana Boy’s mother has taken the children each summer since we married, I think the first summer because she was a little wary that this cougar would steal her grandchildren away along with her son. But since that time, and since the diagnoses, she’s been more reluctant to actually take them. Last year’s proposal was that she could take one for two weeks and then the “other” two for a week. Never mind we kept trying to explain that Little Miss and Ditto Boy made a MUCH better pair to visit than any combination involving Captain Oblivious.

As it turned out, camp hours basically forced us to send them for the same two weeks, all three of them. No major tragedies, unless you count Captain O’s blatant verbal attack on some certainly very nice Southern Baptist people in a hotel elevator as he informed them in no uncertain terms that he was an Atheist because Bill Nye said there was no God and they were wrong. I understand my dear MIL nearly fainted dead away, as she’s a steadfast Sunday school teacher. Oooops.

This year, because of gas prices, we all agreed that they’d go together. So Friday we’re taking them down to South Carolina for another summer visit, two weeks without the children. The Cabana Boy and I are seriously hoping to find some time to destress and reconnect, do all those things we can’t do when the kids are here. Maybe even eat dessert first occasionally. We do want to make the trip to Lilydale and consult a psychic. We will also visit K, and taste some of her fabulous cookery at culinary school.

And then we’ll hope that the rule is not that out of sight means out of mind, but that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Really.


10 thoughts on “Ah, brief respite!

  1. My son comes home during the summer and the activities associated with that (plus we now have one computer) has been creating havoc with my blogging.

    A psychic. Wow another interesting element. Can’t wait to hear about that visit.

  2. gracious of your MIL to tackle the job… everyone needs some downtime, and i don´t know how you maintain the pace you do, firing on so many cylinders at once! things will be fine! hope you can recharge, reconnect and relax!

  3. I just had my down time towards the end of summer here at home (glorious days without the boys, who would’ve thought that was possible?) and it went absolutely well. Finding respite time for ourselves is tough, finding relatives who’d volunteer and willingly sacrifice time and energy for our kids even tougher. I found that as my son with autism grew older, people were more reluctant to take him on as a responsibility. Still, despite their apprehensions, their kind hearts prevailed. My kids had a great time without mom hovering around them all the time, and my parents and sisters enjoyed their loving time with them. At the end of the visit, they were so sad to see them come home. So relax and enjoy- you and your husband absolutely deserve it!

  4. When I was a single mom, I had more downtime…getting a husband (don’t get me wrong, I totally love spending time with him) really decreased my “me” time. Now when BsDaddy takes her, I am with the husband…different, but nice. But I did so enjoy that down time. What a mixed bag divorce and remarriage brings!

  5. I can’t wait for you to come to the restaurant!!!! I’ll be serving not cooking but I’ll tell you what dishes to get based on who IS making them.

  6. I hope it’s absolutely wonderful, and MIL thinks so, too, so she’ll continue it each summer!

    And really, it WILL make the heart grow fonder. You’ll be dying to see them by the end of the two weeks!

  7. Do have a GREAT time. We have six days without Sayer when he goes to a sleepaway camp for kids with autism. His teacher is the head counselor and he insisted he wanted to go so off he’ll go. Our older son will be in DC visiting relatives for a few of those days – ah, a childless home. I am torn between doing a bit of entertaining without kids around, and just hanging with Dan on the deck with vodka slushies. Mmm? I may have answered my own question there!

    Kudos to your MIL. Dan’s cousin watched our boys at our house when we went to Hawaii last November and it was wonderful. Relatives like that are precious!

  8. I hope your trip is going well. I can’t wait to hear about it. Did you take a Barney cake?

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