Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

You know when you're presented with 2 equally great opportunities and you nearly kill yourself trying to make a decision? That's what I've been handed.
About a week ago I wrote a now-deleted-and-never-published post about NEEDING SOME ALONE TIME AND SPACE. I am really enjoying taking care of these sweet little boys, but between Luke's crazy work schedule and that particular day, I was feeling very hormonal and tired and whiny.
Well, I got my wish...about TIME FOR JUST ME.
Our church has been planning this Ladies Retreat since last Spring. I knew it was iffy for me to be able to go, but I thought I'd at least register and do all the garage sale stuff to be able to pay the registration fee. We don't know Luke's schedule more than a week in advance and since his work times change literally from day to day and he works nearly every weekend, it's hard to plan anything ahead. We've learned to just plan for something big and then be flexible if they don't allow the time off or it doesn't work out.
Hence, for the last 2 years, I've gone to family reunions and to visit my brother with just the 4 kids and myself. Only once has he ever gotten to go with us. On the EXTREMELY positive side though, Luke allows me to do this without making me feel guilty about leaving him for 4-6 days once or twice a year. He ENCOURAGES me to see family who I'd otherwise rarely get to see.
Well the tables have turned. Luke found our last week that the 3 days he put in for vacation so that he could keep the kids for the weekend and allow me to go on the retreat---he got. Not only that, but his days off for this week are today and tomorrow (Wed and Thursday) and then next Monday and Tuesday for next week. That gave him 7 days in a row off. That never happens! He was so excited and so was I.
Then he exclaimed, "let's all just go to Nebraska together to see your family!"
I stopped cold. We have only been back once to where I grew up and it was for a job interview when I was 6 months pregnant with Nathaniel. But, this year is the first year my whole family has been back to where I grew up since almost 9 years ago when Luke and I got married. Both my parents and my brother's family are missionaries, and this is the first year their furloughs have co-insided; and they are staying in the same town.
What's the big deal you ask? Just go! Well, I still had to babysit for 3 little boys for 3 of the days he was planning on being gone. Yes, I could take off, but when I ask the parents to sign a contract giving me 2 weeks notice before leaving someplace, then I need to do the same for them.
Also, I'd been planning for, working for, saving for and then asked to co-run the games for a 2 1/2 day retreat. Not really a big deal...unless you're the one who gets all the work dumped on you at the last minute. I didn't think my co-game helper would appreciate me for doing that to her or the leaders of the retreat who would have to cover for me and who have full-time jobs and families themselves.
I cried. We drove past the house I grew up in when we were there 2 years ago, but someone else was living there and I just pointed it out to my kids as we drove by.
This year, and it's another long story, my parents have ended back up in the house that they sold 8+ years ago and are now living in it this year again. Luke and I would be staying there in my old house with our kids.
I'm sort of a nostalgic sucker. I want to be the one who shows my kids where I grew up. Show them the walk-in closet that I would hide in the way back of when we'd play hide and seek. Show them the basement where we'd roller skate around or sword fight with pool sticks together as kids. Show them the dark and scary cellar that I was terrified the Boogy Man would jump out of and grab us. Show them the hole in the back basement wall that more than one snake crawled in and at least one skunk found it's way into. (We left him alone and he eventually left on his own I think).
I wanted to be the one to show them the railroad tracks that ran just 100 yards behind my house that my brothers and sister and I would walk down and challenge each other for balance when we'd play. I wanted to be the one to show them where I grew up.
I also REALLY WANT to have some time to myself--which I'll get this weekend. I've needed to re-charged and be filled-up spiritually. I've felt like I've been running on fumes, and although I can function decently well, it's not exactly healthy. I've needed SLEEP! I've looked forward to this retreat for months and hoped and prayed Luke would get the time off so I could go. HALLELUJAH! He did!
So, my kids and husband will drive the long trip to Nebraska (pray for him) without me. My parents were sad but understanding. I'm still torn, but I don't feel right about just leaving. Luke and the kids will have an awesome time and I WILL GET SOME REST (which I wouldn't get if I went there either. Long car rides are not rest full).
I've tried to make it as easy for Luke as possible. I made up about 24 little surprise treat bags for the kids to open at every 100 miles on the way there and back. I was short about 5 bags, but I ran out of little treats and trinkets to put in them and couldn't get to the Dollar Tree to find anything else. I just went around the house and found toys, tapes, notebooks and crayons and such that they enjoy but never think to play with. I've put it all within easy reach of Luke so he can hand them back to the kids at every 100 miles stop. It's around a 500 mile trip one-way. (You're brave dear!)
He is also stocked with about 8 of the kid's favorite movies if all else fails. They may be a little brain-numbed when he gets there, but they should all still be alive.
I am going to SLEEP IN tomorrow before my little babysitting charge arrives! I haven't slept in past 8am since...well, I'm not sure when. Watch me wake up early.
I'll let you know how it all went.

1 comment:

lauren said...

sleeping in sounds sooooooo good! enjoy! :)