Friday, February 1, 2013

Ahead of the First Overnighter

Today is my husband and my 11th anniversary! Not wedding, but what I call our "organic" anniversary--that of our first date. Some people may stop counting this anniversary after they get married; to me, this is the most important anniversary, the one that sprouted up of its own volition, not the one that is special because I chose a date. Also, Hubs and I were together for 5 years before we got married, and we lived together for most of that time; our life together started long before we got married. I'm not going to erase those five years!

To celebrate, we are going back to Where It All Began--Gettysburg. We're staying at a wonderful little locally owned hotel in their "Majestic Suite"--King bed, jacuzzi, the works.

And, we're not bringing Munch.

Tomorrow night will be the first time I've stayed away from my son overnight. Hubs, because of various work and family obligations, has had to stay away a few times over the past 22 months. I have been with this child overnight and every morning of his life. And, he was with me constantly for 9 months before that.

This is going to be hard, but it's also going to be good. For both Munch and me.

As a child of divorce, one of my biggest priorities is to keep my marriage, the partnership between Hubs and me, strong. Kids are a stressor; I try to ignore all of the articles on studies showing that married couples with kids are inherently unhappier than couples without kids. I would argue that it's a different type of happiness. Kids enrich your life in ways I could not have foreseen; but, you also have a LOT less energy and time for one-on-one devotion to anyone else, even the person you are desperately in love with.

I feel so blessed that Hubs and I were together for over 9 years before we had Munch. That is a long time to focus solely on one another. Our relationship was solid by the time we caused the massive sea change that comes with bringing another life into being.

That being said, since Munch was born, we've only stolen away for a few hours at a time, even on special occasions like anniversaries. And I know it's important for us to take a solid chunk of time to focus on each other, reflect back on some of the best moments of our life together, and recharge. It will make us better parents, and a better couple.

Staying all night with his grandma and grandpa will also make Munch a stronger person. He's already so strong--staying at daycare all day takes strength. But coming to understand that Mommy and Daddy can go away sometimes and that he will be alright, and that we'll come back for him, is a critical lesson to learn. And it's better for him to learn it early. I want him to have fun and find staying with others overnight to be a grand adventure.

This is another lesson in trust for me--trusting myself to go away and enjoy being "me"; trusting myself to not fall into some common emotional and melodramatic pitfalls; trusting our family to take care of this most precious being; and trusting Munch to work through some separation anxiety and come out the better for it on the other end.

Wish me luck!

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