We recently had the good fortune to get away for a few nights without the kids. I am very much indebted to my friend Jen for getting married and providing the occasion for the getaway and to my parents, who deserve a vacation of their own after spending four nights with our five kids.
When we landed in Palm Springs last Thursday, we realized that the R&R we often yearn for had finally arrived. We picked up our rental car and found ourselves stylin’ in a two-door cherry red Nissan Altima – which, as opposed to a Cheerio-cluttered minivan, was perhaps the ultimate depiction of our temporary reprieve of responsibilities. We were care-free in a car with no car seats, no sippy cups, no sanitizing wipes or tissues. There were no crayons, no sticker books, no race cars or dolls. And so, as we settled into the two-seater, our fun-filled wedding weekend began.
On more than one occasion, people we met commented on how relaxed we seemed; they marveled at how laid back and comfortable we were with our kids 3,000 miles away. The truth is, it was hard NOT to be relaxed; there were no dishes to do, no laundry to fold, no one whining or fighting or tugging at our legs. To the contrary, our days were filled with relative serenity. While Des played golf with the groom, I did yoga with the bride and got my nails done… a luxury that is rare indeed! We happily took advantage of all the outdoorsy options that would not be recommended with the junior set we left at home -- including a trip to Joshua Tree National Park where we hiked around boulders and cactus gardens in the 100 degree desert heat and a more adventurous hike up (and down!) some slot canyons … an outing that left me with a few bruises to take home as souvenirs but the view at the top was totally worth it.
The wedding itself had a fairy tale vibe with Hollywood-like scenery ; the desert and mountains glistened in the distance as palm trees swayed softly in the breeze. As our friends prepared to take their vows, the deacon who presided over the ceremony shared a poignant message. “You each have a story to tell and a new chapter begins on the day you get married.” Given how our story has evolved – and continues to – the message really hit home for me and Des. We never imagined that our story would include five kids in seven years of marriage Or that in the same time we’ve experienced life’s greatest joys, we’ve also endured our fair share of tragedy and sadness. It was just so nice to have a break from it all and reflect upon how lucky we really are… and imagine what the next few chapters of our life may have in store.
We returned to the chaos we call home reconnected, reenergized and ready to take on the five tots who were eagerly waiting. We have great memories and a sincere wish for our newlywed friends Jen and Roger; we hope that as they embark on their marital journey, they will always be happy to come home. Even if home is filled to the gills with screaming kids, dirty diapers and a smelly dog, the old cliché is true. Home is where the heart is and I am happy to be back. That said, Mom, Dad, if you’re reading this, we hope you’ll babysit again one day soon!