I've two words for you, ladies: Business. Travel.
If I could do anything for mothers everywhere, it would be to grant them all a twice annual business trip. Just overnight, and nothing fancy, but time away from home and hearth. It would soothe your tired soul and rest your weary bones. It would restore your sanity and remind you of what is most important. Exhibit A:
On Thursday morning, I awoke, helped Mr. Mary Tyler Mom get Mary Tyler Son off to the babysitter by 7:30 and kissed goodbye to the husband by 8. Breathe. I was not expected to leave for the airport until 11:45. That is three hours and forty-five amazing minutes of quiet. And solitude. And space. Alone in my own home. Honestly, how many mothers get to experience that?
I did laundry and showered me and my plants and packed. Packing was a breeze. Forget about the stress of wondering what you want to wear when. You're packing for overnight, girlfriend, you'll be home tomorrow! Pull on your airplane pants, pack your favorite dress, and you're off. I did forget the little 3 oz bottles necessary for carry-ons and that sucked. I mean since when did a trip with kids NOT involve checking luggage? I opted to forget the facial scrub and chance the extra dead cells. Slough those puppies off tomorrow.
At the airport there is just you and your carry-on. Now mind you, I kept searching for where Mary Tyler Son had run off to, bad habit, but that was always followed by the relief of knowing I was alone. The travel was smooth as pie. No problems. No little one to entertain for two hours. No little one to fight over the iPad with. No snacks in a diaper bag. No strangers looking at me with contempt because my little one dare have a need or voice on an airplane. Aaaaaaaagghhhhh.
I arrived late in the afternoon with nowheres to be until 9am the next morning. I am anonymous. I get to listen to what I want to listen to in the car. No Wiggleworms happiness, for me, folks, just some station that plays M.C. Hammer and then John Denver. I am loving life right about now. Next I arrive at a hotel that I did not pay for. It is impressively hip for Cleveland. For reals. Huge tee vee, though I opt to not even turn it on.
Instead, I freshen up, and head to dinner and a movie. I am dating myself, folks, and I gotta say, the attaction is instant. I am one hot mother. Out of the blue, an old friend calls while I'm at the bar sipping on sangria. The sangria truly sucked, but who the hell cares? I am at a bar, alone, feeling as cosmopolitan as one can in suburban Cleveland, which it turns out, is pretty cosmopolitan. I laugh with my friend who worries she might be interrupting me getting dinner ready. Ha! Not my problem tonight. After dinner I head to the movies. I let my facebook friends decide what to see: Super 8 or Horrible Bosses. It's Super 8 by a nose, and I am satisfied.
Home to the hotel. Hotel rooms alone are amazing. Delicious, really. I sleep, awake, miss my boys, but I'm off to why I came to Cleveland in the first place. Work. Hard to believe, but the work function was totally worth my while. It was six hours of talk and discussion that will help me move forward on my next project. There was actually a point to this trip. Coolio.
I zip back to the airport in the pouring rain, but I don't care. I am in my bubble of quiet and peace and solitude. Get to the airport, appreciate the light flirtation from the Brit sitting next to me on the car rental shuttle, get x-ray'd in security, and don't give a whit about the radiation I've just been exposed to. My bubble rocks. During a brief flight delay, another light flirtation with the architect sitting next to me. My mojo clearly appreciates a night away from home. Forgive me, Mr. Mary Tyler Mom, but it's you I fly home to, you I will spoon. I so used to envy my man for taking off on business trips. Now I know that envy was justified.
The 50 minute delay sitting on the tarmac at O'Hare upon arrival doesn't phase me either. That's just 50 extra minutes of time to read without interruption. I've already missed Mary Tyler Son's bed time, so I'm chill. When I do get home, I tiptoe into his bedroom and am met with the sweetest child in the world, my boy, clutching the love note I had left for him the day before, deep in his sleep. He loves me. He missed me. I swoon. This is so much better than flirtations with handsomish middle-aged British strangers.
So that, ladies, is my wish for all of you. An overnight business trip to Cleveland. And you thought I didn't love you. I heart you all.