The nicest thing about being away from my home and my family is the opportunity to miss them. I can understand when people say they could never bear to be away from their kids, and at the same time I think, really? I mean, have you tried it? Because it’s kind of nice, you know?

I don’t just mean the escape from parental drudgery, although let’s not lie, the chance to savor a meal — even a room service sandwich, or maybe especially a room service sandwich (IT HAD BACON) — without bolting it like a panicked wolf while simultaneously spoon-feeding a baby and fetching HEY MOMMY? MOMMY? MOMMY? MORE MILK PLEASE for a 3-year-old is fairly pleasant.

More specifically, I mean the opportunity to lie back in a quiet environment and just think about the kids. Just to conjure up their perfect faces and enjoy happy thoughts about them and ache a little — and sometimes a lot — for their presence. It’s nice, in a bittersweet sort of way. A safe way, I suppose, a way where you know you’ll be home in a couple days and while your arms miss the warm heavy weight of the baby and your ears miss the impish chatter of the toddler, this is only a temporary absence, and for now the room is hushed and your mind is free to think, hey, goddamn but I love my kids.



42 Responses to “If you never go away”

  1. Jen - Mom of 4 on January 5th, 2009 9:13 pm

    Wonderful post – as always. I have had the rare opportunity to be away from my 4, but I have to agree with you regarding the first day. I missed them, but it was nice to have it be so quite! By the third day I was more than ready to head home. Have fun and enjoy the bacon! Yum!

  2. Harper on January 5th, 2009 9:22 pm

    It makes the reunion joyful… I haven’t been away from my newborn yet, but, yes I have gotten away from my whirling 3 year old a time or two… it’s nice, very nice…

  3. Kristi on January 5th, 2009 9:34 pm

    Ah…sigh. The safe DISTANCE defintely makes the heart grow fonder. And also lets you feel like an adult for a bit. Enjoy it even though you have to work.

  4. Sarah on January 5th, 2009 9:37 pm

    I feel exactly this way. We had a night away from the kids a few days after Christmas, and it was heavenly to think about seeing them soon on the drive home, but also to enjoy the car ride sans kids.

  5. Lara on January 5th, 2009 9:49 pm

    Linda, you are such a wonderful writer. I don’t even have kids but your posts speak to me. Sometimes we have to step back and realize that the things that can exasperate us in our day to day life are the things that make life wonderful. My boyfriend isn’t around tonight and I love having the house to myself, but I miss him too, in a way I wouldn’t get the chance to if he was ALWAYS.HERE. Enjoy your break and enjoy your family when you get home.

  6. Summer on January 5th, 2009 10:08 pm

    Love the picture. Im new to your blog and love it. I just happen to stumble across it by true mom confessions. Anyways, my husband is deployed, so he knows all to well the bittersweetness you speak of. I havent been that lucky yet =)

  7. Tina on January 5th, 2009 10:10 pm

    What a great reminder! In two weeks we are leaving the kids (5&3) for 2 weeks. I already find myself hugging a bit more, holding a bit longer. I’m really looking forward to the trip, more then 2 days alone wtih my husband…but yikes, 2 weeks is a LONG time without Mommy. They’ll be fine! (I keep telling myself)

  8. sas on January 5th, 2009 10:11 pm

    Yes that old maxim: how can I miss you if you never go away? Also works for parents/in-laws and the man of the house.

  9. Ashley on January 5th, 2009 10:57 pm

    me=jealous, and doubly jealous you got above cloud level and actually SAW THE SUN!

  10. Kathy on January 5th, 2009 10:58 pm

    Business trips are seriously underrated!

  11. Kathy on January 5th, 2009 11:00 pm

    Hey Summer,

    I came here by way of TMC as well! Small internet, isn’t it?

  12. Lesley on January 5th, 2009 11:05 pm

    Makes sense to me! What’s that old saying? Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

  13. Victoria on January 5th, 2009 11:18 pm

    That’s a beautiful way of saying it :)

  14. Nicole on January 6th, 2009 12:47 am

    I think that is one of the reasons it seems like babyhood flies by so quickly- there is never a chance to sit back and just look at what is going on. When you are constantly dealing with the day to day, you don’t have any time to fix those memories in your brain. I am all for taking regular breaks from the kids, which sometimes makes me worry that I am not quite ‘in love’ enough with my kids. I have not even given birth to number two yet and last night in my bath, I was flipping through an article on spa holidays wondering which of my girlfriends would be able to come with me somewhere in May, when i suspect I may be in great need of a bit of space… Does that make me cynical or pragmatic?

  15. Hillary on January 6th, 2009 4:22 am

    When The Boy was 8 1/2 months old, I went away for a week on a work conference. I thought it would be awful, and I did miss him and my husband, but really, I had a wonderful time away. I used my brain for more than just remembering when the last diaper change was. When I’m at home, even when I’m at work, mom stuff always creeps in. That didn’t happen when I left, and coming home was wonderful.

  16. Shannon on January 6th, 2009 5:50 am

    I know what you mean, completely. I went away in September and left my 10 month old and 3 year old with my husband. Me and some other Mom’s rented a beach house on the Gulf Coast in FL for a long weekend. It took me six hours to drive there, where I listed to MY music at top volume and rolled the windows down on the highway (no one begging for kid music or that the wind was TOO MUCH). I spent the weekend laying on the beach, going to dinnner, and dancing the night away. It was SO nice….but come Sunday I couldn’t get in the car and drive home fast enough to see my husband and babies….It was just the break I needed to appreciate what I have waiting for me at home….

  17. Amy on January 6th, 2009 6:43 am

    Just last week I was in Seattle for my brother’s wedding. I brought my 9-month-old with me (he’s still nursing) but left my 3-year-old with my Mother-in-law. I missed my 3-year-old a lot and kept seeing things and thinking about how much he would like him. Yet when we are together there are so many times I wish he had a mute button. Wouldn’t that be nice? If children came with remote controls and you could mute them, turn down the volume, change the channel, turn on sleep?

    I hope you have a safe trip and enjoy the room service.

  18. Summer on January 6th, 2009 7:30 am

    Yes Kathy it is a small internet!! I love TMC as well!!

  19. Sharla on January 6th, 2009 7:56 am

    Beautifully written! I agree with you. It is SO nice to get away from the kids every now and then. My husband just informed me last night that he has some vacation time built up at work. I’m thinking, let’s ditch the kids with my mom and spend a nice week away at a condo on the beach (we live in FL). Just thinking about it makes me so excited I could pee my pants. Of course I’ll miss them, but I think I’ll be able to manage my kid-cravings just fine.

  20. Carolyn on January 6th, 2009 9:33 am

    Hi Linda,
    I gave you a lemonade award for your blog. As a previous recipient, I can attest that it comes with no boost in status or cash prizes, but I’m a regular reader of yours, so there you go.

    Enjoy your trip, and Happy New Year!

  21. Eric's Mommy on January 6th, 2009 10:51 am

    Very sweet

  22. Wendy on January 6th, 2009 11:01 am

    I couldn’t agree more!

  23. Bianca on January 6th, 2009 11:35 am

    While you’re here, here are some things you might enjoy that aren’t too far from Moscone (yes, I recognize that they’re all food):

    1. Tom’s Cookies – There’s one in the basement of the Union Square Macy’s as well as the basement of Bloomingdales. They’re Mexican Chocolate cookies are amazing. Oh and if you’re there in the morning, get a cinnamon roll.

    2. Hotel Utah – How do you feel about cheese? Because if you’re into it try their fried provolone sandwich.

    3. This is going to sound weird but some of the best french fries I’ve tried in San Francisco are from Ayola. A little Greek/Mediterranean place on New Montgomery. Get some!

    Hope you enjoy SF!


  24. Jennifer on January 6th, 2009 12:41 pm

    That photo of the SUN just makes me weep. I can’t remember what it looks like anymore. And look at all those clouds below you, that’s the pouring rain that we’re getting right now!

    I hope you have a re-invigorating time away, fun chatting with MacWorld geeks, and a grand reunion on your return.

  25. Lori O on January 6th, 2009 1:43 pm

    I didn’t know airplanes now had roll-down-able windows, b/c DANG that photo is clear!

  26. Trenches of Mommyhood on January 6th, 2009 1:47 pm

    Lovely. And YES.

  27. Sleepyita on January 6th, 2009 3:31 pm

    I haven’t had a hot meal for 2.5 years – I am envious.


  28. Sarah on January 6th, 2009 3:58 pm

    What a beautiful sentiment! And you’re right…I’d REALLY enjoy that (especially a room service sandwich with BACON)

  29. Emily on January 6th, 2009 5:35 pm

    have time for a massage? my favorite body work guy is in downtown Oakland!

  30. erin on January 6th, 2009 6:36 pm


    Some of the best advice I got as a parent was from Kelsey (at mdwestmom.blogspot) who told me it’s good to get away from your kids just to realize how much you miss them. Great advice.

  31. Jan on January 6th, 2009 7:14 pm

    We moved to a new city a year and a half ago and knew not a single person. The closest a relative or a friend lives is a six hour drive. I have an almost 3 year old and a 10 month old. My husband works obscenely (sp?) long hours and we rarely see him. It is just me and the kids. ALL. THE. TIME. I think it is important to get away and rejuvenate. I am at the point where I need a break and now. I can feel my mental health deteriorating rapidly!! So, yesterday for my birthday my husband gave me the gift I’ve been needing.
    He is sending me here
    I get to spend one day and night away – by myself. I don’t have to share a bed or get up 3 million times a night for the baby-who-never-sleeps, and if I’m really lucky I might just read me a book!
    Like you I’m sure I’ll miss the kids but I think they will appreciate having a mommy who is a little more relaxed and well rested.
    So enjoy your time away and look forward to the best hugs and kisses when you return home. Then you can plan your next escape!

  32. wordygirl on January 6th, 2009 11:24 pm

    Lovely post. I feel that way about my Gwen sometimes when she’s napping. “GODDAMN, I love her!” Yes.

  33. StephanyW on January 7th, 2009 9:55 am

    I’m so glad to see I’m not the only one who ALWAYS gets a seat on the wing! Always.
    Great post, as always… reminds me of our trip.
    This summer I discovered that I can take only 4 nights without my child. Hubby and I were on a trip for a week… the last 3 nights were awful. First 4 days, I was free as a bird and loving it! Last 3 days, cried my eyes out and wanted to get on the next plane home.

  34. StephanyW on January 7th, 2009 9:56 am

    mmmmm… bacon!

  35. molly on January 7th, 2009 10:30 am

    Linda – There is just something about room service bacon. The best.

    Jan – Can you have your husband call mine? I need a night away from my one-year old (today he turns one and he celebrated all night long by standing in his crib intermittently and wailing for mommy, paci, bottle) and almost three-year old who is miserable because she is FINALLY getting her first two-year old molar.

  36. Holly on January 7th, 2009 12:29 pm

    I don’t have kids (yet) but my boyfriend is out of town for 2 weeks (eek!) and I thought I would be so bummed, and actually it has been sort of a controlled melancholy. I have had so much time to myself it has been great, and even though I miss him, I definitely feel gratitude that I have something so wonderful to miss. If that makes any sense at all???

  37. Jae on January 7th, 2009 8:37 pm

    I hope someday to feel this way … i know i need a break. I hope to get it healthily! :) Thank you. :)

  38. amber on January 7th, 2009 8:57 pm

    Great photo! I wish I had your skill with a camera.

  39. Ellen on January 7th, 2009 9:03 pm

    I always have such mixed feelings about being away from the kids. As a working mom of two kids, one of whom has disabilities, I NEED IT! But, then. I miss them. And damned if I don’t feel guilty! Can someone please invent an anti-guilt pill?

  40. Lesley on January 7th, 2009 10:34 pm

    The real bloggy awards is accepting nominations

    I nominated Sundry in these categories
    Best Writing of a Weblog and Lifetime achievement (nominees are required to have been writing since 2004 for LA).

  41. Bianca on January 8th, 2009 11:54 am

    Glad you were able to try out Hotel Utah. I love that place and while I’m here I should really just say thank you for all the awesome things that YOU’VE introduced ME to. Hope in a Jar and MommyTags (for my sis) being some of the best.

  42. honeybecke on January 14th, 2009 9:29 pm

    I’m catching up on your blog because I’ve missed a whole week(!) of reading due to the fact that my husband and I escaped for one week to Kauai just the two of us. So this is a fitting entry to read. Yes, yes and yes. We’d never left our children before, even for one night and didn’t know how badly we needed it. We knew we needed it,but not how badly. It was heaven. We did whatever the eff we wanted, when we wanted. We never would have appreciated the alone time like we did if we didn’t have kids. Cause man, we cherished every moment of not hearing any whining or wiping any butts or whatever.
    But yes, I know what you mean about missing them. It was nice to hold the thoughts of them in a space where you can miss them and even ache for them a little (I found a little car in my purse and did shed a tear…) but then just go and be and do. Alone.

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