I love our kids, in fact its more than that I just adore our children with every bit of my soul. The thought of travelling anywhere without them was incredulous for me. I love going away with them, spending time exploring with them, discovering new places and things alongside them, so never has the thought of leaving them behind even been entertained. We go as a family or we just don't go, is pretty much my philosophy.
When we were invited to a cousins wedding in Australia, my initial reaction was to tell Wayne to go alone. We haven't budgeted or planned a trip to Sydney with the kids and it seemed logical for just him to go for a short trip. We gave it a little more thought and he offered for me to go too! "No I can't....could I? No really thats silly I can't......or can we? How could we do it? Who would have the kids? How long do we go for? No, what am I thinking we can't....or shall we? Why can't we? If we can get the kids sorted we probably could...? Ok lets just do it!"
Booking just 2 return tickets was scary enough, Mum agreed to come down and have the kids - oh bugger she'll be here for her 65th birthday - sorry mum, I'm sure she will be spoiled when she gets home - eek sorry again! Packing was a breeze - plan was to shop for christmas presents and a new wardrobe. Oh wait on, am I getting excited? Oh yep definitely getting excited. Spreadsheet was done with after school activities, preschool timetables, school camp info, homework days, dog groomer time. Shit!!! What am I thinking, I can't leave mum with 3 kids and a 3 page spreadsheet of events/responsibilities/schedules. Really is that what our life is like in writing? I must look at this when I get back - its too much! Ok mum isn't working during the day she could cope!!! Sorry again mum!
Kissing the kids in the morning as they left for school was not cool! Bye my boys, be good for Nana, will miss you, one more cuddle, remember to be good for Nana, another cuddle, will miss you, help Nana, look after your brothers, cuddle, miss you........ Thank goodness for the school bus arriving, for the boys sake!
We arrived at the airport parked and queued at the check-in counter. Just the two of us, no kids pulling on the stanchions, banging the trollies into strangers ankles, running amok, arguing with each other, arguing with us. We just stood, talked, waited calmly. We smiled, relaxed looked around, saw other stressed parents and smiled again. The actual check-in process was awesome, just 2 passports, 2 bags - oh yeah no prams, no carseats, no 4 bags, no stress......yay. Chatting to the lady at the counter and she offered us emergency exit seats - oh my god another perk - leg room - yes please boom!!! Departure forms - oh yeah only completing mine and not the usual declaration 5 forms I have to do, juggling 5 passports, temporarily misplacing the 5 boarding passes, completing the forms but getting one wrong and starting all over again. Customs, easy as! Waiting for the plane consisted of 2 glasses of wine, a browse of the book shop, trying on perfume and sitting, I'm loving this travel without kids thing already - HEAVEN!
Boarding was Wayne and I, in our lovely seats with our extra leg room. Our own hand luggage with no toys, nappies, bottles, bribes. Glass of wine with lunch - don't mind if I do - have already had two but I have no responsibilities. Movie, oh my GOD, yes please, I will and I did! A movie and a read of the new book - first time in 8 years that I was able to watch a movie on a plane, instead of entertaining my kids like a deranged lunatic, trying in vain to avoid disturbing any fellow travellers. I reached a level of bliss, total relaxation so early in a holiday - unheard of - or perhaps that was the effect of three glasses of wine before 4pm!
Customs at the other end was just as magical - I never thought I would say it but queues? - who cares! We have all the time in the world, don't have a thing to worry about and so that was the euphoric start of our holiday.
The proceeding 8 days followed on pretty much the same. We were on our own schedule, sleeping and meals when we wanted, shopping without worrying about another soul. Mums reassurances that all was going well at home certainly helped and we appreciated how well she handled everything. Never have I had a more relaxing break, but never before have we been so ready to come home and see our gorgeous boys. Love them more than the world but a break away was superb, and we will definitely do it again, sometime in the future, one day!