My Family Left Me….

July 9, 2012 by Michelle

I am completely alone right now.  Given that it’s a Monday morning, this isn’t that unusual, but I was alone last night, too.  And all day yesterday.  In fact, I’ll be alone for another nine days.  My family went on vacation without me.  Seriously.

It didn’t start out that way.  This wasn’t supposed to be the plan.  Earlier this year, Mister Man did an inquiry unit on US landmarks where he focused on Mount Rushmore.  He loved learning all about it and asked my husband if they could go there someday.  My husband thought this was a brilliant idea.

And so the germ of an idea formed.  They announced they wanted to drive to Mount Rushmore this summer, and I told them to have fun.  I’m not a fan of road trips for a number of reasons, and I get really twitchy when I’m in a car for more than four or five hours.  The plan was for Mister Man and my husband to head there for two or three days in July while Little Miss and I hung out at home and had fun.

Then I went out of town to Blissdom.

When I came back, the idea had changed.  It had grown.  It was now a monstrosity, and I hadn’t been consulted.  My husband had talked to my dad about how Mister Man wanted to go see Mount Rushmore.  Between the two of them they cooked up the idea of renting an RV and going to see Mount Rushmore.  And Yellowstone.  And then they decided to add Devil’s Tower to the now ten day road trip.  My parents were now going, as were both the wee ones.

I can’t do an RV trip.  I just can’t.  Yes, I can get up and move a little, but the idea of being in an RV for over ten days with five other people gives me the heebie jeebies.  I went on an RV trip when I was fourteen with my family, including some extended family, for three weeks through the west.  I swore I’d never set foot inside an RV again after that.  I was claustrophobic in it after awhile, and we didn’t sleep in the RV.  My knees don’t like it when I sit still very long, and being just a liiiiiitle bit older now, this is more of an issue.  Oh, and I need my alone time.  I can’t be around that many people without a break for that long with no space to retreat and be alone at some point.

Apparently my husband and parents thought I was joking when I’d said I wasn’t ever doing another RV trip.  Driving across the country is just not a vacation to me, and I will admit that this is selfish. I was not thrilled that all this had been decided upon and presented to the wee ones as a done deal without anyone consulting me, but how do I tell them that I’m going to take this away from them?

And so they’re on their way right now.  They were excited when the RV pulled out at 6am yesterday.  A smaller one than we had previously.  And they’re staying in campgrounds – all five of them sleeping in the RV.  And showering and cooking and eating and living… for ten days.  They plotted out the driving, and in those ten days, they’ll be driving for well over 40 hours.  Each day they drive, they’ll be driving for between six and eight hours, sometimes more.

Heading Out For Mount Rushmore

I don’t know how long that excitement will last.  Neither of the wee ones sleeps well with noise.  Or light.  And they aren’t exactly quiet.  I’ll be interested to see how the trip turns out.  Before they left, Mister Man was already planning next year’s RV trip to the Grand Canyon and other destinations, but I’ve put the kibosh on that for the moment.

Am I selfish?  Probably.  At the same time, I know it’s better for all of us that I let them go and have their vacation and that I stay home where I can catch up on work and sleep and not be crabby.  When they come back, if their visions of a trip where Little Miss spends time fishing and catching more fish than Daddy are shattered by the reality, I will feel badly for them.  I don’t think this vacation will turn out quite the way they expect, but I hope they’re all happy with it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to catch up on.  They won’t recognize this house when they get back.  Ignore that disco ball hanging in the foyer….

What’s the most selfish thing you’ve done as a parent?

    Comments

  • Tara R.


    That's a lot of 'me time.' Enjoy the peace and quiet, and the disco ball. I bet they will all have wonderful stories to tell when they get back.

  • Melisa Wells


    I love the picture (your mom looks adorably sassy!)…but I want to see the picture of the five of them at the END of the trip! haha!

  • Tami


    'Me time'? What is that? Never heard of it. LOL
    I'm sure the family will enjoy the trip immensely, just as you will enjoy YOUR stay-cation.

  • Sandra


    I totally hear you. I am so not a road trip person. Anything over 3 hours, I'm done. The space, the people, the camp sites, I'm totally with you. No can do. But I don't think I've ever been away from the kiddos, and that's why I said you all were brave. But I do recognize that I'm in the minority when it comes to being apart from kids. So.

    Oh, but to have 10 days, ALONE. That in itself sounds heavenly. ENJOY your time and your to-do lists and the disco ball. Have a blast! I do hope the wee ones have a good time, though, but you'll hear about either way. =)

  • Patty


    I hope they have fun! That's a very ambitious road trip! Enjoy those 10 days alone…you deserve it!

  • Michelle


    Tara – It's funny. One of my friends made the joke about the disco ball, and Little Miss kept asking me where I was hiding it. I think *she* wanted to play with it.

    Melisa – That's my mom… and OH yes, I think I need to capture that picture, too. Thanks for the idea 🙂

    Tami – I'm enjoying my time, mostly. It's amazing how much I'm able to get done when it's all on my schedule with no one else to worry about!

    Sandra – Keep in mind that I traveled for work when Mister Man was a baby and was gone most weeks. And we've done trips before, though usually shorter, including Italy for almost 2 weeks last year. We know they're in good hands always, so that helps.

    Patty – I agree that it's pretty ambitious. More so than I'm willing to do anyway 😉 So far so good from what I've heard.

  • Pat


    What a fantastic trip your kids are having, not to mention the bonding time with their grandparents. Kids that age don't mind the cramped quarters and I'm sure they are loving this adventure. How fantastic, too, for you to have ten days to yourself! I always enjoyed my alone time when Jerry would have his annual National Guard active duty week and the kids were grown and gone. I'd always get lots of projects done and he'd be surprised to see new wallpaper in one room or another, or new paint in a room. But I never experienced staying home while Jerry took the boys somewhere on vacation–he's too dependent on me for moral support.

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