MacDaddy took this picture a few months ago in a pretty little town we stumbled upon by chance. I like this photo. One, because I don't usually like to leave things to chance. (and its a good reminder that I should!) And two, because I love that this could very well be me and MacD in a few decades. Less of the coif, less pounds, hopefully. But you get the picture.
Eleven years ago, MacDaddy and I promised to have and to hold from that day forward. We also promised to go on adventures together. And we did. But then the boys came along after six long years and I was hooked, in love, deliriously happy and perfectly contented with staying put. I couldn't even think about leaving them for a night. I guess you could say I became that "hovering" kind-of-mom. Ahh there, I said it. Hi. My name is Nana. And I am a chopper mom.
I left for a weekend eight months after they were born. The temptation of watching my favorite band was too hard to resist. The trip was quick and relatively painless. I felt brave enough the year after that to go on a two-week trip. While MacDaddy and I were away, I called home a lot. I worried a lot. But I also managed to enjoy a lot. When I got home and found out Mak had a fever I cried all night - guilt mode on turbo - kicking myself for leaving and not being there for them. Let's just say this chopper was temporarily grounded for a very, very long time after that. Later (rather than sooner) Macdaddy and I went on a trip with his family. The boys happily checked in at their own hotel moved in with my parents. I called home so much MacDaddy said our phone bill could have paid for extra plane tickets. Still, we all had a blast in the end. The boys included. False starts, bumpy rides aside, the chopper learned to fly again.
Some tips and two cents:
Involve them in the planning. I know it appears heartless to be yakking about a trip they aren't taking, but the boys enjoy helping out while I search online for possible hotels and places to see. That and think of the extra lessons they get in geography. "Mama, I only like the room with that bath tub." "Mama, can you climb the Eiffel tower like Spiderman?"
Bring out the baggage. I leave empty suitcases lying around the hallway a week before we leave. A chance to air out the luggage, condition their minds and better prepare everyone (me included). The boys' bags are brought out too so they're reminded they're going on a little adventure of their own as well.
Prepare an Itinerary. Let the kids keep a copy. That way they know where you are, what you're possibly up to and when you'll be back.
While away, call, text, e-mail or instant message. I have a sneaking suspicion this is really more for the parent than for the child but hey, whatever helps ( and dare I say all of the above ). It's a great and fun way to keep tabs and stay in touch.
Come home with tons of pictures and stories. Self explanatory. They'll have tons for you too.
Be grateful. For grandparents who are only too happy to babysit, for aunts and friends all set to entertain them in your absence, for yaya who looks after them, for the husband who can still manage a smile after the phone bill arrives and for the coolest kids in the world who understand.
It's that time again. I'm nervous, wee-bit guilty about missing the Mak-Tatos' first day of school but excited and absolutely psyched for this year's "we- time" . We've picked a pretty city by the bay with some family to see, a brand new place to explore that's oozing with good music and food and a little side trip to the city where our own little story began. An adventure promised. This chopper is ready for take off.