Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Gift

It was one year ago this week that my husband and I were aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise headed for Mexico. Sounds crazy that the parents of 3 small children could afford such a trip let alone find the time and means to take it. It never could have happened without the help of two amazing people.

You are probably wondering why I am sharing this with all of you. Partly because my mind has been wandering back to that time with some frequency this week and also to share with you one of the greatest gifts that has ever been bestowed upon me. The gift wasn't the cruise or the money for the vacation but something far more meaningful, the true reason we were able to embark on such a journey.

The gift came from my husband's brother and his wife. They decided that my husband and I needed a vacation. This after spending some time with us around the holidays. I am guessing that our state of chaos and confusion was more obvious than we had thought. Of course we needed a vacation...what parents of 3 small children, of any children, doesn't. Lack of sleep, daily battles over eating and playing nice is excruciating at times. But the thought of getting away from it all to refresh and rejuvenate was nothing that we had considered...until then.

When my brother-in-law called to tell us he and his wife had decided that they would come stay with the kids for a week while my husband and I took a vacation we laughed. Who willingly agrees to take care of a 4 year-old and 1 1/2 yo twins? Not to mention they have their own child who was a year at the time. Four small children for a week? They really had no idea what they were la-la land after enjoying their own small getaway.

Apparently they were pretty darn serious. I would never in a million years have asked anyone to do this for us but could I really turn down the offer? My husband and I became giddy with the possibility of traveling to some new destination, eating real meals...while sitting...and doing adult things! Could it really be? We didn't waste any time. We got online fast and started to piece together our vacation.

Due to the fact that I spend every waking minute organizing my life and the lives of our children I wanted a trip that required very little thought and planning on our part. So we decided to try a cruise. We had always wanted to go on one but never had the opportunity before this. So after making completely sure that our kids aunt and uncle were totally up to this challenge we booked our trip! I think we were still laughing while we did this.....they had no idea what they were in for!

I emailed my sister-in-law a VERY detailed document outlining daily schedules, preschool times and rules, eating habits, family rules, and phone numbers for neighbors, friends and emergency personnel....I figured for sure the 10 page document would make her rethink her decision. But instead she sent me a reply thanking me for being so thorough and organized. She actually thanked me! I decided then and there that they were the most insane people I had ever met!

So a few weeks later my husband and I were saying goodbye to our children and family and embarking on a new journey. The journey to rediscover husband and wife and as individuals. I was not going on vacation as my kids mom but as myself. I wasn't sure who this was anymore.

So during my week of snorkeling, zip-lining and tubing I began to find myself again. For the first time in my life I wasn't caught up in the "who is doing what" but instead of just enjoying my time and the time with my husband. I began to really appreciate time, something that I had totally taken for granted before having kids. And in my quest to enjoy my time I found a better, more relaxed and easy-going version of myself. A feeling that actually lasted for weeks after our return home.

I am sharing this to you because this was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. It was the gift of time, of reconnecting with myself and my husband, of feeling freedom. This gift would never have been possible without the incredible generosity of two amazing people. Two people that I totally trust my 3 children to..there aren't many who fall into this category. So, even though the offer alone would have been enough, the offer by two people who love our children and care for them the way they do made it actually possible.

I share this with you because if you are ever given such a gift, take it! Don't hesitate and let the guilt of leaving behind your children talk you out of it....such a gift can and will make you and your family better for it. I know that not many will ever get such a gift which is why I am eternally grateful. I am also completely aware of how important it is to give such a gift to those you can. I know this may not be possible for most of us right now...but carry the promise with you, in your back pocket, and when you are in a different place in your life promise yourself you will take this gift out and bestow it upon someone you love.......


  1. Hi! Following you from bloggy moms. :) Beautiful blog!!


  2. That is quite a gift! :o)

    Stopping by and following from Bloggy Moms! Have a great day!