This is me on the beach in Chicago last Saturday during my solo getaway (wearing my favorite pair of sunglasses). It was awesome!! I had the best time. And I highly recommend that all parents of young children try to get away without their kids — with or without their partners — from time to time. I realized last year when we took an 8-month-old Jackson to Dominican Republican on our first family “vacation” that traveling with a young child in tow is not actually a vacation, especially if you’re a stay-at-home-parent whose full-time job is taking care of your child. At least if you work outside the home, you’re theoretically getting a vacation from your day job, even if you’re doing a different kind of work while you’re away. But stay-at-home-parents who travel with their kids aren’t on vacation — they’re just doing their day (and night and weekend) job in a different place.
So ever since our family “vacation” to DR last summer, we have not taken another true family getaway except to visit relatives. Instead, I’ve been to Chicago on my own several times and Drew and I went away for a weekend in early May (and plan to take another this fall, hopefully). And I have to say, that’s the way to do it! These trips give me the breather I desperately need and let me re-connect with people who mean so much to me (without the pressure of chasing around a toddler and tending to his every single need). Last weekend I got to see a bunch of friends, old and new (including Ms. Addie Pray) — some of whom I’ve known since I was 17. I went for a run in one of my favorite Chicago parks, took a private yoga class at the beach, drank margaritas in the sand, swam in the lake (before the booze), sang and danced my ass off at karaoke, celebrated two friends’ birthdays, a housewarming party, AND was in town during a dear friend’s labor (didn’t get a chance to visit mom and baby in the hospital, but felt great being near the action and celebrating with mutual friends). It did my soul good. Really good.
In a couple weeks, the three of us will be traveling to Missouri to see my parents and other relatives and friends and that will be good, too. Different than traveling on my own, but good just the same, and I’m really looking forward to it. In the mean time, we are sweating buckets in NYC during this crazy heat wave (heat index is 110 today!!), and doing whatever we can to find pockets of relief. This morning, I took Jackson to the library and we read 17 different books about trucks and then rode the escalator up and down and up and down until we were both sick of it. Then we had a play date with a friend and her little boy and then we collapsed once we walked the half-mile home (half a mile in 110 degree heat may as well be ten miles). I won a watermelon lemonade at a local cafe, and after I got jackson fed and down for his nap, I MAY have dropped a shot of vodka in that lemonade but I will neither confirm nor deny such things. It’s Friday, y’all. It’s hot. And it was a long morning.
How are you keepin’ cool on this hot-ass week/end?