Friday, September 23, 2016

No Mom Guilt Here!

OK that title isn't quite true.  It's what I'm working toward.  The current situation is Brad and I leave for Germany in less than a week.  For 17 days.  Without kids.  During their birthdays.

*read the title, Lori*

Taking deep breaths.  It sounded like a great idea at the time!  We haven't been away, just the two of us, for years.  And this is REALLY away.  This is so away that if anything happens back home, there is nothing we can do.  It still IS a good idea!  It's just been a bit of roller coaster of emotions for me.  (And I am only speaking for me.  Brad has zero Dad that even a thing? Not around here.)  He had to make a trip to the lovely Augsburg, Bavaria for work.  FOR WORK....key words.  That means his flight, a week of hotel/car/meals are covered.  So all I need is a plane ticket and a few bucks to join in!!  How could I say no?  Then Brad went and threw a side trip to PARIS in there.  He sealed the deal.  We were there for a weekend 3.5 years ago when we lived in Germany for a short time.

I fell in love with Paris.  I know how cliche that sounds.  But it's in my soul.  I absolutely loved that city!  Even though we were there in Feb. and it was frigid out.  Brad knows the way to my heart, he always has.  He knew I would never let my Mom Guilt take over and prevent me from going with him.

He has always had a good understanding of needing to have dates and spend quality time together for our relationship.  He knew this would help us connect.  That's not always easy.  While it gets easier in some ways because we have older kids, there are still work stresses and family stresses and parenting an adult child with special needs stresses and aging parent stresses that get between us.  There have been times we weren't sure we would even make it.  But lately it's been good.  Even though we are past the huge issues (for now....hopefully forever, but let's be real....) we still don't always talk every day.  I mean REALLY talk. About our dreams for the future.  About our goals.  About US.  I never want to hear him say again "are you even happy? Because I am not happy." We have to do this for us.  Which actually IS FOR THE KIDS! That's why I am trying really hard to fight that Mom Guilt.

We leave on Lainie's 19th birthday.  We most likely won't see her that day.  She is living in the dorms at school, and it's only a few miles away.  But with her classes and us packing and getting to the airport, we probably won't be able to see her on that day.  We fly home the day after Lea's 22nd birthday.  That end date of our trip was non-negotiable.  Since Brad is flying from Germany to Hungary for a business meeting and not returning until the night before her birthday, there would have been no way we could have made it home anyway to see her on her day.  (Our start date could have been flexible, but ticket prices are much better on a Thursday!)  Anyway, I have never not seen their faces in person on their birthdays.  Never.  Mom Guilt....

They both agreed that they would be fine with this whole trip. No guilt necessary! But here it is, a few days away, and it's creeping in....

I need to keep in mind what my friend just told me.  She just went on an amazing vacation with her husband, something they really needed as well.  She said they connected in a way they hadn't done in so long.  She said she would pray the same for us....that we would find the same connection on our trip.  Wow, that warmed my heart! I know people will pray for our safe travels, and that is fantastic, but to know someone is praying for our LOVE....well, that made my day!

Life is good.  Brad has a good job that he does well with, and a recent promotion to keep him challenged.  My business is the most fun thing I have ever done professionally.  Our girls are amazing loving wonderful people.  Our parents love us.  But we all have stress, right? Brad lost his step dad and his dad within a few months of each other. I have blogged before about Lea's struggles with depression.  That hurts us, too.  Lainie has her own struggles...trying to be grown when she doesn't always feel grown.  My parents live in our house.  (SIDE NOTE: this is an incredible blessing in more ways than it is stressful!! But it's still stressful....) My dad's dementia is from the devil himself.  Sometimes it's hard to just chill out at home when there is all this on our minds.  And let's get down to it, People.  When you travel to fabulous places, without children, you are gonna have some great sex.  (I warned my kids not to read this....if you went against my wishes, Girls, this is your punishment. hahahaha)  Who couldn't use that? That is not always an easy thing, being at home.  While I am now blushing, I will say we all know it's true.  Part of that great connection between Man and Wife is sexual.  If you need to get away to get that part right, then by all means, GO!

OK this has taken a turn that is slightly uncomfortable.  Back to the Eiffel Tower...

We will celebrate our 24th anniversary in much a dream come true that I can't even fathom it!  We will spend so much time together that we have to come back better connected!  And possibly a little sick of each other.  But I will take it!!  We will get to visit some of the greatest people we know that live over in Germany.  True friends, and by deepening our relationships with them, we deepen our relationship with each other.  We get to visit our German "daughter" Anne, whom I love almost as much as our biological daughters!! Someone who changed our family's life forever.  I know there will be some disagreements.  We ARE Brad and Lori after all.  (OK seriously, in all honesty, you may be shocked to find out that I am not always easy to live with.) I can already predict that we will argue about my Mom Guilt...I will tell him at some point that we shouldn't have come, it's so hard for me to be away from them and leave so much responsibility to my Mom and literally a team of friends to help Lea get where she needs to be.  He will tell me to just not think about it.  I will tell him I can't.  But then he will give me some chocolate or a Spezi (my fave German drink ever) and I will look into those blue eyes that still take me down...and I will be fine.  I will remember it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but you need the rain to remember how great those things are.  I will probably remember how we really almost lost each other a few times, but we kept fighting for us.  And I will remember that the greatest gift we can give our girls is for us to be happily married.  To each other.  haha.   Even if we have to miss birthdays and open gifts via FaceTime.  Even if Grandma wants to kill us by the time it's over because she has to take care of these monster dogs of ours.  Even if I have to give up control of things here for 17 days (but who's counting.)  He is worth it.  WE are worth it.

It's you and me until the end, Poopie.  (sorry that is your nickname. too late to change it now.)

Bread is really good in Europe.  This has nothing to do with connecting to Brad.  But I will also connect with Bread.