Travel and Priorities

Written last week in Nanaimo, British Columbia...

Snuggled under a soft, dreamy, cream-colored blanket, my book and laptop sits upon my lap.  My toes are being warmed by the fire in front of me and the guy I'm doing this life thing with sits to my right.  My ever expanding belly bulges before me as a place to rest my hands.  I am staring out a massive picture window at the sea with islands littered beyond it and raindrops falling slowly, almost silently on the water. 

I am calm, centered, free, and uninterrupted.  I am cozy, breathing deeply, peaceful, and (almost) bored.  As a pregnant mom with two littles, I never really thought I would be bored.  But, here I am, 1800 miles away from home, tucked under a blanket (almost) bored.  My littles are at home with Grandma and Papa having the time of their lives while my husband and I reconnect, dream about this baby, explore and experience new places, and read big, thick books, uninterrupted.  

Traveling is our 'couple thing'.  If you've been reading for long, you know our family enjoys travel whenever we can get it, and Kevin and I try and take a vacation, just the two of us, as often as our time, schedules, and little ones will allow. 

If I'm being honest, I was hesitant about this trip.  It's much easier to stay home and do daily life together as a family.  Plus, I always get this queasy feeling just as we are about to be apart.  I like when our family is together, a puzzle with all it's pieces intact.  I don't like the idea of being scattered, some of us on one side of the country and some on the other.  I like us together, as a unit.  So, as I readied us all for being apart, something nudged at me and started to make me feel guilt for leaving Luke and Lily at home.  It made me feel like a 'disconnected mom', a mom not winning, but failing at this motherhood thing, a mom who needs to retreat for a few days to recollect herself.

That feeling and those thoughts sloshed around in my head and my heart and as I said my good-byes to my littles before we left, I couldn't help but feel like a 'bad' mom.  

But, as He always seems to do, God reminded me as soon as we reached our destination why we do this.  Why Kevin and I travel.  Why we pour time and energy into our marriage.  Why we make sacrifices and humble ourselves to ask for help from grandparents.  Why we make this a priority.

It's because our marriage is important and a priority.  It's because we want to not just survive, but thrive.  It's because I want to be the best mom to my babes, and getting away for a few days allows me to do that.  It's because I want our kids to see their parents love each other well and someday know what a strong, thriving marriage looks like.  It's because adult-ing and parenting is hard stuff and sometimes time away is exactly what is needed to refresh the spirit and mind and rewind the patience.  And also, because we enjoy it so so much. 

And you know what?  I feel like a better mom and a better wife, in this chair, feet up, listening to the rain fall (not so silently now) while Grandma and Papa care for and love on our kids and Kevin reads next to me.  I remind myself that this is good, good for our marriage, good for our kids, good for our family.  And it is. 

I sit and bask in the stillness of this place with no noses to wipe and no meals to prepare and no books to read to little ones on my lap.  But, I miss them and that is good.  Because when I wake them up on Sunday morning after this trip is a memory, my reserves will be replenished and I will be a better mom and wife for the days I spent away.  I will wipe those noses without a sigh and prepare meals with love in my heart and read books to my littles with the kind of energy they both deserve.  

And when, inevitably, Luke takes a toy from Lily or Lily screams the high pitch shrill that only us and dogs can hear, I will remember this place, this cream-colored blanket, my toes being warmed by the fire, count to ten and do the parenting and adult-ing that needs to be done with patience and joy accumulated from the time spent apart from my babes.

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