It’s amazing what happens when you have time to hang out with your husband and talk.
Chris and I went away last weekend to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We went to a bed and breakfast in Virginia and spent the weekend hiking in the mountains, eating yummy food, sleeping and talking. It was the talking that meant the most.
In our crazy day-to-day life, I’ll often think of something I want to tell him but forget in the brief moments our paths cross. Our exchanges are more about who needs to be where, what’s for dinner and who can stop at the store for supplies. We have brief conversations on important topics like how things are going at work and how we are going to manage getting three off to college, but there’s never time to finish these conversations. Essentially, we have very little time to talk and when we do have time, the stress of having to remember all we need to say often prevents us from saying much at all.
So to have a whole weekend was pretty amazing. There was no stress to remember what we had to say because there was plenty of time. We talked in the car, over meals and on our 3-hour hike up Old Rag Mountain. We touched on our jobs, our insecurities and how we feel we are doing as parents. We reminisced about our past — what we did before we had kids, and about how much life has changed even in the past five years as the kids have become teenagers. We talked about the things we like about our life and the things we wish were different. We reveled in the fact that we still had so much to talk about after all these years and that we still had so much in common.
Meanwhile, back home, our kids were left alone for the first time. I worried about this a bit since Maggie is a new driver and Jonah seemed to be getting sick, but it couldn’t have gone more smoothly.
They all stepped up to the plate — taking care of themselves and each other. They even had a bit of sibling bonding when they realized they could do whatever they wanted. No one was around to tell them “no.” So they lived on the edge and went out for ice cream.
We might just have to plan another trip away soon. It seems like it’s good for us and for the kids.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 15, Adam, 15, and Jonah, 11.