Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Travel and No Regrets

Jim and I have been married for nearly 25 years.  Aside from our honeymoon, we went on only one other trip alone together before we started our family. Jamee arrived almost exactly two years after our wedding and then.....well..... life continued to happen.  We had another child and then another and another.  Then, when we thought our family was complete, adoption happened.

In the 22 years since Jamee's birth, we've traveled a lot.  We've seen wonderful, beautiful places.  We've visited cities and mountains and beaches.  But we've never traveled alone, just the two of us.  We never took weekend getaways or attended marriage retreats.  And, shockingly, our marriage is very much intact and very happy sans "dates."

I usually avoid telling people that getting away alone is something Jim and I have never done since we became parents. It seems to be the general opinion of our generation that a marriage without regular date nights and romantic getaways can't possibly be a good one.  If I do happen, for whatever reason, to mention this omission, people look at me in utter disbelief.

But here's the thing.  I've never felt like we've been missing out on something vitally important to the health of our marriage.  We didn't have the time nor the finances to take some trips with the kids and some without, so we chose to take them with us. We love, truly love, traveling with our children. They brought such excitement and wonder to every trip.  I have always been of the attitude that there will be time for Jim and I to travel together when the kids are gone. But the truth is, getting away alone is likely never going to be simple for us. We have two children who will, always and forever, need total and constant care.  I know that we will find ways to make it happen but it won't be frequent.

Last week Jim and I went on the closest thing to a get away that we've ever had.  Just one little catch.  Kruz went with us. 

Jamee was scheduled to run her last races of her career at the Atlantic 10 Championships in Fairfax, Va.  Jim and I booked flights for last Thursday and spent several days in DC and Virginia together. We made time to get to the track meet on Saturday and Sunday but otherwise spent the time together, with Kruz in tow.

Preparing for the last race of her 12 year running career. 

And just like that, it's over.
She finished her career year with the best times of her life.  A second and sixth place finish at the championships.
It's happy and sad.
 Kruz is quiet and laid back and an excellent traveler so he certainly was no problem to have along.  He doesn't talk back or ask too many questions or hear things we'd rather keep private.  He sleeps a good twelve hours at night and rarely cries and is, basically, the best little boy that I've ever known. So while we weren't officially childless, it was the closest thing.

He was totally and completely infatuated with the little friend he found in our hotel room mirror.  Most of the time in our room was spent right here with his buddy.  Poor child desperately needs playmates. 
What we found was that, while the time together was fabulous, we missed having the kids with us.  We had traveled to DC a few years ago with the four older kids, and the city brought many fond memories.  We made countless "remember that" comments.  "Remember eating with the pigeons on those steps?"  "Remember Grant doing this?"  "Remember how we laughed at that." We missed the girls' quick laughter and the boys' sense of adventure and watching their growing minds soak up all the things that they were learning. 

  And as we look back over the years and the many, many trips we've taken with our kids, we have no regrets, not one.  If we had it to do over again, we'd take them with us every time

God is good, all the time

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