I'm going out of town for a wedding this weekend. Just me. All by myself. Without D. Without L.
I used to do this kind of thing all the time. All my college BFFs are scattered about the country, so it was not unusual for me to pack up and ship out to wherever the wedding was happening. D somehow always had to work over these weekends, so I'd always just go by myself and have a good old time with my besties from college. And even though I missed D and wished he could be there with me, I still had fun.
Now that L is in the picture, it's a whole different story. I'm still very much looking forward to seeing my friends, but I'm also very much not looking forward to leaving him behind. The moment I decided I would be going to this wedding, I also decided that L would not be joining me. When I booked my plane ticket and made these plans, I was in the throes of post traumatic shock from having a new baby, and the last thing I wanted to do was take a trip by myself with a baby I hardly knew.
It would have been different if I was driving. Driving, I could handle. When you drive somewhere, you don't have to worry about your baby's shrieking and screaming bothering anyone else. You just have to worry about your own sanity.
But babies on flights seems to be a topic everyone has an opinion on. I've been in the shoes of the other passengers myself. Whenever you get on a plane and see a harried mom stumble onto the plane with her baby and all his gear in tow, you inwardly grown. And when the baby inevitably starts screaming because his poor little ears are full of pressure, you heave a huge sigh like the weight of all the world's inhumanity has just been placed squarely on your shoulders. Because everyone knows that the mom could get her baby to stop crying if she really wanted to.
So yeah, at the time I bought my ticket, L was maybe 3 months old, and I had a "stop-crying" success rate of approximately 60%. I wasn't really liking those odds, so it officially became a solo trip. Who knew L would change so much in just 3 more months? Who knew he would become a little sweetie who could sit unassisted and play happily with his toys for as long as I'd let him? Who knew that by the time I got to this point, a few days before the wedding, he would be such a good baby that my biggest worry about traveling with him would be having to carry all his gear by myself?
Yeah, not me. I didn't know these things. Had I known, I would have probably just said, "Listen buddy, you're coming with me." And he wouldn't have been able to say no because he's just a baby and can't talk yet.
Instead, I'm leaving him behind. And it makes me want to cry. D has to work this weekend, as I mentioned, and since my parents will be out of town and my mother-in-law is also working, some very good friends of ours offered to take L for us. I'm extremely grateful that they're doing this, and I have total and complete trust in them. Did that stop me from writing up an abbreviated story of L's life for them? Nope. And I managed to keep it to 3 typed, single-spaced pages. I wanted to write more, but I didn't want to be crazy or anything.
It's going to be a bittersweet weekend. I'm clinging to the silver lining. I'm really excited to see my friends. I'm really excited for the plane trip and subsequent trip on the metro to my friends' apartment Friday, because this means that I'll have at least 3 hours of uninterrupted reading time (something unprecedented these days). I'm really excited to see my friends get married and then dance my face off at the reception. Trust me, I'm really excited.
But I'm also really excited to get home on Sunday and scoop my little guy up and squeeze him in the big bear hug that always elicits giggles. I'm really excited to smother him in kisses and blow raspberries on his neck and literally feel the stress melt away when I hear his adorable belly laugh.
I'm really excited to go and I'm really excited to get back. It's a confusing emotion. I don't understand it. And I better get used to it, because I think it's probably something I'm going to feel many times over my career as a mom. Really excited but also dreading it and ready for it to be over.
So, hopefully I survive. D is worried about me taking the metro. Maybe I should remind him that I'm taking the metro in Washington, D.C. and not Gotham City. But I'm worried about L and he's worried about me and we are one big worrying family. It's cute.