Prepare to be shocked, or at least to mildly “tsk tsk.” For almost three years time, my husband and I did not leave the kids and go on a grown-ups only vacation. All that changed last weekend, when we left the kids for almost 72 whole hours. [This almost three years lag violates all of those self-help happy marriage books that mandate weekly dates nights, etc., I know, I know.]
We’ve been busy with surgeries, injuries, recoveries, pain medicine infusions, making accessible bathrooms, etc. I think this just happens when you have a kid with a chronic health condition (and in our case, a progressive disabling condition – often for us faraway medical appointments and medical conferences become our “vacations” – not the same). But when you make it to 15 years of marriage the gauntlet is thrown and you must celebrate the occasion in some worthwhile celebratory fashion (or at least that is what my husband and friends tell me, just kidding, 15 years is awesome and a big deal).
But, I’m nervous to leave my son, Billy, with anyone other than me or my husband pretty much (and also school is okay). With Billy it is not a question of “if something is going to happen?” (e.g., femur fracture, spiral fracture of the tibia, breaking the ulna), it is a question of “when will it happen?” But I toughed up and made some plans.
The grandparents cleared their calendar with several open weekends, and I stalled. I didn’t want to travel too far away (because then it takes longer to get home if there is trouble). After several weeks of hemming and hawing, I remembered an out in the middle of nowhere cabin place I’d seen advertised for years and called about availability. Apparently, you should plan these things more than one week out because they were booked. I checked back in with the grandparents on the next weekend and finalized reservations and payment.
And then there is the issue of the dog. Billy has a CCI working dog named Picasso who helps him around the house and goes with Billy to medical appointments. He is no ordinary dog so I can’t just board him. Fortunately, dogs are welcome to stay at the cabins (dogs but no kids), yeah!
So we got the kids packed and dropped off at school on Friday morning leaving the grandparents with just one school pick-up for Friday afternoon. They borrowed my minivan because it’s easier for Billy and his wheels. [Grandparents told kids to tell me to clean my car – which I would have done had I known they would borrow it, yikes! It’s a mess.] After dropping the kids at school, Kevin and I start our drive to remote Mississippi.
As we got closer to the Homochitto National Forest and I could see I had no cell phone coverage in some spots and only emergency coverage in other spots, I did start to feel a little panicky. No phones or TV in the cabins – but the grandparents had two phone numbers for the caretaker. The caretaker had warned me that cell coverage would be tricky. I wondered, not aloud, if I could persuade emergency operators that checking in on the kids really is an emergency. [Kevin might say I worry too much.] I pretended to be cool as we settled into the cabin – unpacked the ice chest and checked out the creek. But by late afternoon, I really had to know that the kids got home from school safe and sound. And ah ha, I found a high enough spot to get a signal and call Grandma. She sounded disappointed to hear from me – she had made a bet with herself that I would trust them and not call. She lost the bet and the kids were fine. [Grandma might also say I worry too much.] The place was absolutely gorgeous. And we had a great time. I called, only once, to check on the kids on Saturday – all was fine. And then we rolled out of there on Sunday, late morning. All in all with the curvy forest roads it was less than two hours away from home.
In hindsight, I think I might be a little bit of an over-worrier, but still I declare the trip a success. Oh, and guess who has H1N1 less than a week after the trip, that would be Billy.