The past few months I have had what can only be described as a severe case of travel envy. Oh sure, we travel. We have been to Los Angeles, Ohio (many times), Maine and Manhattan in the past year. But we have not really TRAVELED.
When we first had children, I promised myself that I would not be like my parents. I would not leave my tiny children for weeks on end to go to remote ends of the Earth (and bring home Hepatitis, thanks Dad!) while leaving my children to watch Guiding Light in the company of grandparents. I remember how that that felt, how much I missed them and how much a doll could not make up for their many absences.
Now here I am, the parent. And my friends are going to Brazil and Prague. They are traveling to Japan and Paris. My own parents (the traitors) have been to Italy, France, Israel and Jordan all in the past calendar year and that is not counting countless business trips out of the country. Meanwhile R and I are feeling just a little landlocked.
I blame my parents, truly. My wanderlust was forced upon me like a religion or value system. With a father like mine (who spends upwards of 5 months out of the country any given year), there was no choice. I traveled the world as a kid and have found myself literally itching to go somewhere non-local, ie. non-United States. And soon.
But how can I even contemplate leaving my baby? I cry every T and Th morning after I drop her off at daycare. My days without her are sad and lonely and I miss her after she goes to sleep. She is my constant little companion and (sad as this sounds) my tiny best friend. The thought of leaving her even for a night or of being that far away from her makes me feel a bit queasy. And yet, I miss traveling. I miss time alone with my husband. Did I mention how much I miss traveling? I fear I am in danger of becoming one of those bitter women who lashes out at her friends who travel unless I also get to leave the country at least once a year.
With a fifth wedding anniversary this June (HOW did this happen???) we want to take a trip and we have decided on Guatemala and Belize. Not too far away, ie. not Istanbul and Dubai, our second choice. Not too strenuous for a pregger who will be seven months at that time. And not too hard with time changes. The trip would be one week. That is one week away from my child. One week I fear I would spend crying and missing her. What is the point if I do not enjoy myself?
So, what am I supposed to do? I think this trip would be great for us. My parents and sister will be home and will take her. It is not like we are leaving her in a kennel. So what is my problem? I need this. I really do. So, how do I shake the guilt and the fear? Or is this just part of being a parent?
***My April column is out