Phil and I have been married for 22 years and we’re taking our 23rd honeymoon this week. We try to get away with the two of us at least once a year just because the pace of life doesn’t allow us much time together without distractions. Now that I think of it, we might have missed a few honeymoons in there when we just got too busy. But this year, we’re spending 3 days together, away from home, away from the phone. We don’t usually go all that far from home, just an hour or two, but we need the time together more than we need a huge bill for plane tickets and tourist attractions.
Our getaways weren’t always without incident. There was the time when we got a fantastic deal at a hotel with their “Lucky in Love” package. We got the second night free, breakfast at Denny’s each morning, a free dinner at the nearby casino each night, and $20 in quarters to spend in the slot machines. Neither of us had ever been in a casino, and neither has since then, but we got our free dinner, asked the nice man working there how to operate a slot machine (he looked at us like we’d just flown in from outer space, but complied with our request), spent the roll of quarters and left.
When we returned to our hotel room, the red light was blinking on the phone. Since we’d left our 2 1/2 year old and 6 month old at home with grandparents, we figured that blinking red light wasn’t likely good news. I called the front desk and retrieved the message to call home.
No parent likes to hear, “Now, don’t come home, but…” on the other end of the line. My brother explained that Mom and Dad were at the emergency room with Dallas who had broken his arm in a leap from the top of the stepsa tricycle accident a fall from the swing a tiny little jump from the footrest of the La-Z-Boy chair. Since my mom is a nurse and perfectly capable of caring for a child in a cast, we did stay on our getaway both nights. Please don’t think I’m a terrible mom. This is why parents write medical permission slips when they leave their children with relatives, isn’t it?
On the time we left our teenagers alone for the first time to attend a conference, it snowed 10 inches and they had the whole next day home alone on a snow day. Of course, my mind conjured images of all of the things they might be doing and I called home often. By that time, we’d installed padding around all of the La-Z-Boy chairs and put 911 on speed dial.
Before we leave tomorrow, I’ll stock the freezer with pizza and the fridge with Mountain Dew. I’ll make sure my cell phone is on and our teenagers can reach me, but it’s sure a lot easier to get away than it was back in the days when I had to pack up diaper bags, formula, feeding instructions, emergency numbers and special blankies.