Scenes From a Weekend Escape

Several months ago, I was chatting with my friend Amanda at a networking event. She was thinking of escaping by herself for the weekend, and I suggested that I could tag along. At the time, we both just needed a break, and we were talking out loud. I doubted that it would actually happen. But then we got it together, and it did actually happen. This is how I found myself boarding a ferry on Friday afternoon, headed off to Victoria without my children or my husband.

Looking out across the inner harbour
Taking a walk on the seawall on Friday evening

We walked along the seawall. We visited a museum and took in the exhibits at our own pace. We sipped cocktails and listened to some, um, interesting jazz. I had my first proper martini, met up with the fabulous Melodie for lunch, visited what may just be the best shoe and handbag shops in the world, bought an eco-friendly tunic from an eco-friendly clothing store, ate all kinds of yummy food and went to sleep and got up on my own schedule.

You are here
“Here” was far from home, and child-free

I was away from my kids for longer when I attended BlogHer in San Diego last August. Even so, I was nervous about leaving. Getting on a boat and sailing away from your family seems like a big deal. But luckily everyone survived in my absence. In fact, everyone thrived. It’s a good reminder that my husband is a competent, loving parent, and he’s fully capable of taking care of his children. It’s a good chance for everyone to bond a little bit without me. And it’s a much-needed escape from my normal life, which I embraced fully.

Darth Fiddler
Apparently Darth Fiddler is a Victoria institution

One of the lessons of childhood is how you can go away, and find things exactly as you left them when you come back. The world doesn’t change just because you’re not in it. This is a lesson that I’ve had to re-learn in motherhood. When my children were babies and young toddlers, they had a strong need to be with me. I was their primary relationship, and even their source of food. But gradually that need changes, and the urgency diminishes. They need me – but they don’t require my constant presence. Once again, I can leave home, and find things just as I left them when I return.

In front of the BC Legislature
Look, I’m in front of the Legislature!

The world won’t stop spinning because I am not in it. I can choose to take a couple of nights away, sipping cocktails and window shopping and taking time at my own pace. And then, when it’s over, I return, eager to see everyone again. I come home, and scoop my children up in my arms, lavishing them with kisses. They rush eagerly to see me, talking over each other in their efforts to fill me in on the latest news. Then they head off to play, holding the gifts I bought them in their hands, continuing on as before. I see their increasing independence, and the way that my own independence increases in the process. I feel a little bit wistful, but I also really, really like it. It gives me the space to be find myself again, if only for a weekend.

Do you ever travel without your kids? I’d love to hear all about it!

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  1. i travel quite a bit without my husband but this trip was a first in a long while without the kid in tow.
    thanks for being such a fantastic escape partner, Amber. it was an amazing weekend.
    pomomama’s last post … not feeling crabby todayMy Profile

  2. “Look, I’m in front of the Legislature!” <– LOL!!!! πŸ˜€
    kelly @kellynaturally’s last post … The journey. The tantrum. The reboot.My Profile

  3. That sounds absolutely fabulous! I suspect I won’t be getting a weekend to myself for a number of years (my little one is only 5 months old) but it is certainly something I look forward to some day.
    Shana’s last post … Portraits! Portraits! Portraits! Squee!My Profile

  4. I love the photos! Looks like you had a blast! I was away for three to four weeks at a time when I was finishing up my NLP , energy and psychology trainings and it was hard. Harder on me than on my husband who was a stay at home dad for longer than I was a stay at home mom. I used to feel really guilty about leaving for so long but I realized that guilt won’t get me anywhere. I have a loving and supportive family and I am grateful for the ability to pursue my education and make a contribution to the world. And I agree, the world didn’t stop when i was away – it flowed along just fine and I slipped back in when I came back.

  5. I visit a friend for a week-end every fall – her ex-husband takes her kids for the week-end and we hang out and get pedicures and cook and eat and drink and watch movies and shop. It’s incredibly restorative. My husband travels a lot, and while I know this doesn’t make a man automatically supportive of his wife getting away, in this case he is, and he pushed me to go to BlogHer this year. I don’t feel the least bit nervous leaving my kids – my husband and my parents are more than capable of keeping them safe and happy, especially at this age. I still miss them fiercely by the end of a few days, though.

  6. I went away for a week for my mom’s 75th and my cousin’s wedding. It was the first time I’d left Theo even for a night. Mark stayed home with Theo. It was so weird. I just reverted to my pre-child self completely effortlessly. Mark said Theo kept saying “mummy coming?” every night. And then one day, I was there and he looked at me like he had seen me the day before?! It was so funny. He was only two and a bit so who knows how it all goes down for the little ones. Anyway, glad you had such a nice time!
    harriet Fancott’s last post … Smile, you’re at the dentist.My Profile

  7. I love seeing you how your photo of Darth Fiddler turned out. it was fun shopping with you and having lunch. I look forward to seeing a photo of you in your new tunic one of these days. Thanks for visiting when you were here! πŸ™‚
    Melodie’s last post … The Night My 7 Year Old Made DinnerMy Profile

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