Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bye Bye Baby

I wouldn’t say I am an adventurous person. I don’t go on roller coasters. I find the idea of parachuting out of a plane nauseating. I don’t even drive on the highway.

But I have my moments of grand adventure. I went para sailing. I hiked up a rain forest and swam in a waterfall…when I was 6 months pregnant. I even wore white shoes after Labor Day. Just that once, though.

But what I am about to do. What I am EXCITED to do. What I have been waiting months to do-could shock some mommies to the core. Could frighten you beyond reason. Could make you think things about me that I certainly wish you wouldn’t.

I am LEAVING my daughter.

Well not for long- a week. And not with like social services, but with her Baubie and Zadie.

You see, my husband and I are going on a cruise. A little vacation-just him, me, 4,000 passengers and the Southern Caribbean. And it seems so innocuous, to actually WANT to go some place special with just your husband. The man you married. Fell in love with. Spent every moment of your life wishing you were with…until you had a child. Then that love is there and growing and all, but often you wish you got to spend more time with the bed. You have fights over who gets to change the next poopy diaper. You know he is slightly fibbing when he tells you he thinks you are sexy and you know you haven’t showered in a week or bothered to put on lipstick, let alone deodorant.

Why not spend some good quality time with the Mister, right?

But let me tell you, to some people-it’s poison.

Surprising as it may seem, there is a trend of not actually wanting to spend alone time with the man you married. I’ve been asked, “How can you think of doing anything enjoyable WITHOUT your child?” I’ve heard, “I can’t imagine leaving my child with anybody but me.” I know people who won’t even let their child stay with a babysitter for a few hours so they can go out on a Saturday night. But rarely do I hear, “You go girl!” (unless it’s in relation to how I managed to do 100 sit ups while finger painting at the same time).

I am all about doing special things as a family. You NEED to, it’s so very important. Building a bond with your child as a parent, is fantastic and necessary. But I think that maintaining a relationship that created the child is just as important as maintaining the child.

I also don’t think it has to be a fancy cruise-it’s just my birthday and my husband knows how to pick gifts. I think time alone together is time alone together. And if it’s a movie or sushi or anything that doesn’t involve diapers or boogers or cleaning gum out of the dog’s hair it has to be good. Making that time, that moment, will teach your child things about relationships that she can’t learn everyday and that, unfortunately, not all children are privileged enough to have the opportunity to learn.

We are going to go and have a romantic, stunning, relaxing time. Our daughter is lucky enough to have grandparents we trust. That she loves. That she wants to be with. That she is close to. She is also lucky to have a Mommy and Daddy who are deeply in love with each other. That still cherish and love and respect alone time. I’m going to miss her like crazy. I’m going to buy her way too many souvenirs. I’m going to think about how great it’s going to be to have her with us in our big family trip next June. But I’m not going to feel guilty. My husband and I will be too busy swimming with giant sea turtles to have time for that.


Maya said...

That's weird that you're getting flak about leaving your child for a week. I'll be in Israel for 6 months, starting in January, and the first question people ask me is, "are you taking your daughter?" She'll only be 12 months old when WE leave. Anyway, happy birthday. If you stop in Curacao you MUST see the Sephardic synagogue.

Anonymous said...

You go girl!