Coach and I have been married for almost 17 years. We have left the children for brief overnight stays when we headed to out of town weddings or to celebrate an anniversary. Those occasions are few and far between. Last year, my sister took them to sleep at her house so we could host a St. Patrick's Day party at our house. I can't recall though when the last time was that we actually went out of town, since the wedding invites that once peppered our calendar have been inherited by some other younger couple in the wedding-celebrating-stage of life.
A few months ago, Coach mentioned that he wanted to attend a continuing education class in Denver. He suggested that I accompany him on the trip, since the hotel room would be paid for anyway. There is nothing I desire more than sitting in an empty hotel room or relaxing at the side of the pool. The promise of boredom was too much. I agreed to investigate what we would do with the kids. The gang was in ear shot of our conversation of course, and they were instantly on board. They envisioned sleepovers with friends, escaping the confines of the family, and experiencing a bit of freedom.
I asked around. I would never ask my mom to handle the entire load of a weekend with my Shenanigans, but she was on board for a partial assignment. Next I asked my friends if they would each be willing to take a kid apiece. I was going with the divide and conquer plan. I figured spreading the love was the best chance I had at successfully heading out of town. As I prepared for the trip, I joked that I hoped these women would still value my friendship enough to speak to me when I returned.
For weeks we anticipated the trip. I started a list of things that would need to be done in advance. Everyone was excited. There would be no tears shed or pleas from the kids not to leave them. Absence would make the heart grow fonder, or in our case . . . absence might make the kids beg us to go away again soon.