When Olivia was 6 weeks old and then 4 months old I took her to her grandparents' for weekends away. I did not enjoy this. I took her and put on a somewhat happy face because it was important to SLB and our parents, and it was important to me intellectually and philosophically. Viscerally, though, this was antithetical to every Mama cell in my body, and I cried both times on the way home and had to take a sleeping pill and some wine before crying myself quietly to sleep those nights. Pathetic, yes? Yes. We agree.
Then we went to Maui, and I realized that we didn't relax once the entire trip. Even in a tropical paradise with the pounding surf, warm air, and abundance of fruity rum drinks, we were still Mommy and Daddy and had to cater to our little tax deduction the entire time. So, I finally saw the appeal of a weekend without Livy on that trip, and we acted on it this weekend.
On Friday, I dropped Livy off with her Oma. On Sunday we picked her up. That's TWO WHOLE NIGHTS without a baby to care for, and it was AWESOME. Of course, we talked about her and thought about her almost the entire time, but in between those times, we did the following:
*Went to Quinn's for dinner and so enjoyed the meal and each other's company that we completely blew past our movie start time and missed it by a mile. I highly recommend the bone marrow appetizer, the frites, and the wild boar sloppy joe. I lukewarmly suggest the wagyu beef cheek cheesesteak and the chocolate mousse. Oh, and chat up the bartender to get a great beer recommendation. Thumb's up, all the way.
*Rented District 9 because, hey, it's a robot alien movie, right? That can't offend my newly sensitive heart. I mean, it's not like there's risk of painful separation from your beloved human family or alien baby, or vile torture scenes in a scifi movie? Oh, wait. Shit. Bring on the Kleenex, Mama's weeping again. I wound up having to watch with one eye while perusing the interweb to cut the tension. It's a great movie, but I can only tolerate saccharine pap just now, and so it was a toughie for me. For normal people, I recommend it.
*Shopped for high chairs and mattresses. (Hey, just because the baby's away it doesn't mean we can abandon all of our pedestrian consumer duties.)
*Watched Up in the Air. It's worthy of the hype. It's lovely and heartbreaking, but I didn't cry. It takes blasting alien weaponry, fake black blood, and bug-shaped creatures to do that, I guess.
*Ate dinner at Poppy and enjoyed every bite and slurp. The restaurant serves excellent Indian-inspired food in a vibrantly festive and fun environment. We had a huge tray of thali-style small bites (the best being warmly spiced chickpea soup and smoky lentils - I loves me some legumes), delicious cocktails, and wonderful desserts. The warm date cake with salted caramel sauce and banana ice cream stole the show, and I was happy to have it stolen from me. I can always get another show, but that cake was once-in-a-lifetime. Nummynummynummy good.
*Met our new little 9-day-old niece, Kylie. She's absolutely perfect. She has some bruises on her face from her birth, and it's a good thing that she does, too. If she didn't people might mistake her for a little doll and my brother and sister-out-law for the kind of lunatics about whom TLC likes to make sordid documentaries (See "My Monkey Baby," or, even better, don't.) She's a darling little lady, and we're lucky to have her.
Real baby? Doll baby? It's hard to tell...
Yeah, I love that tiny baby.
*Hung out with my family, and then went to Oma and Opa's for a big family dinner in honor of SLB's birthday and a reunion with Livy. She was almost as excited to see us as we were to see her, but she especially had eyes for SLB. She spent much of the night gazing at him with a huge smile on her face, patting his face affectionately, and cooing excitedly when we asked her where Daddy was. Those two are stupid for each other, and it's truly a pleasure being their third wheel.
This was a blue-ribbon weekend, and it was lovely to reconnect with SLB and to experience the sensation of missing Olivia. It seems counterintuitive to write that, but it's true. There's a certain pleasure to missing someone you love, even though it's painful at the same time. Being without Livy reminds me of how much I love her and how precious my time with her is even in its seemingly endless abundance. It's a cliche because it's true, but absence does make the heart grow fonder. And just when I didn't think my heart could grow any fonder of that little sweet potato...