Fifty-two weeks ago right now, I was in the car on my way to my parents, driving alone with two sleeping kids in the back, on my way to a crazy adventure. I had made the last-minute decision to join the Knighthawks in British Columbia for the championship game, and I had to drag myself and the kids to Buffalo after a long day of work, just so I could be there and ready for a possible early morning stand-by flight. I ended up not getting any sleep that night, which was awful, but in the end the trip was amazing. I can't believe it's been a year. The only reason I remembered it was this weekend was because I flew back on Mother's Day, full of guilt that a) I was away from my kids on my first Mother's Day as a mom of two; and b) that my "thank you gift" to my mom on her Mother's Day was dealing with my two crazy kids. This year, however, the Knighthawks season is longer--two games longer, plus an extended playoff schedule. Now the last two rounds are two-game series across two weekends, so this weekend is only the first game of round two (they had a first round bye), conveniently in Buffalo. They will play again next weekend at home, and if they win both (or win one plus a deciding mini-game at the end of game two), they'll advance to another two game, two weekend series, wrapping up at the very end of the month. And trust me, the only way I'd go this year is if I was offered an all-expense paid trip. I have an event to attend on May 31st, and the two potential final opponents involve very pricey flights to Canada. Never say never, I guess, but the odds are slim.
Anyway...those two nights I spent away from the kids mark the last nights Craig and I have spent alone. Every night since that time we have had at least one kid in my/our presence. I love my kids, but that seems a bit excessive when it comes to my mental and marital health. I can't tell you the last time I had a good night's sleep...or maybe I can. It was probably 363 days ago. I went to bed at 10:30pm and woke up at 6:15am, which considering the time change wasn't too bad. It was a deep, restful sleep, and I felt like a million bucks when I woke up. I haven't had that feeling since.
I am tired. I don't get enough sleep. I go to bed too late because I try to cram all of my "me time" into the hours after the kids are in bed, and it takes longer than I'd like. I wake up early but hit snooze for quite a while because I'm just too tired. I've been craving naps on weekends for a few weeks now (though I'm hoping that switching my allergy medicine schedule might help with that), and I feel a deep-to-the-core need to rest and recharge without worrying about taking care of the kids or wondering who is going to wake me up first.
I also want to reconnect with my husband. All of this kid time really gets in the way of us. We're fine, I guess, but when you constantly have kids talking over you or shrieking through dinner, it's hard to have a normal conversation, let alone truly connect. We're usually playing man-to-man defense after dinner, and by the time the kids are in bed, we're both exhausted and content to veg out in front of the TV and our respective computers. Sad, I know. It's hard to get in the mood when we're so tired and when we know a kid could come running down the hall any second. I'm a lot less nervous since I installed a lock on our door, but it's still a challenge most of the time. We really just need to get away. I don't care if it's for a day, a weekend, or a week. We need it. But for the moment, Jacob's school and Craig's work are hard to work around. I eye up Groupons for Niagara Falls, and dream about a fancier one in Vegas or the Caribbean. Not now, but maybe someday. He and I need that adventure, that time to reconnect and make memories for ourselves that don't inherently include the kids. I hear too often about how couples grow older and their kids move out, and suddenly without that common bond they're not sure what they have in common anymore. I don't want to lose myself, or us, and put our marriage at risk like that. As hard as it is, it's important to get away and recharge, in so many ways. But right now that's just not in the cards, and it concerns me a bit because I feel that need so deeply right now.
While I accept that having two kids means busy days crammed into a no-frills routine, I still yearn for adventure. Not necessarily crazy adventure, mind you, but the opportunity to explore new places, or get a second, better look at an old place. I dream of places full of great photo ops, new activities, tasty food, and at least a little less responsibility than I manage on a daily basis. You just need some of that every once in a while to keep those juices flowing, and it's been too long. Even our illness-shortened trip to Toronto seemed like an adventure, and even that one didn't work out.
I don't mean to complain. We're lucky to have two boys and be so blessed in general, but sometimes you just need a little change of pace. And a little sleep. One of these days.