Better Than Before

This weekend I went to Des Moines for a girls’ trip, a rare phenomenon, as I haven’t been on an overnight getaway sans kids since – oh, I don’t know … 2012 maybe? And boy, had I forgotten how one tiny break in routine makes me feel all the feelings.

First, my best frenemy – anxiety. When someone tells me I’m going to be three hours away from my kids for a day, I hear this: “You’re going to Mars and you won’t see your kids for fifty years.” Egads! How will they survive without me? What if there’s a tornado or the house burns down or Geoff can’t find the mac n’ cheese and everyone starves to death? (If there’s one thing I’m thankful for during times like these, it’s my cool, calm, collected brain. Seriously … the logic overfloweth.) So, you know, while anticipation was there – uninterrupted conversation? yes, please! – it was temporarily overshadowed by fear.

A few hours into the trip, those rational concerns thankfully morphed into excitement. We ate dinner and drank green beer outside (a thousand hoorays for spring weather and Saint Patrick’s Day weekend!) and meandered through downtown Des Moines with nowhere to be and all night to get there. By the time we’d requested at least seven different Spice Girls songs and (accidentally?) pulled the fire alarm at a fully packed bar, I remembered something I forgot: I need my friends. Spending time with them is not an unnecessary “extra,” but a vital component to a happy life. It’s cheesy, I know, but sometimes I like to embrace the cheese.

The next morning was, er, rough but we loaded up our stuff and laughed the whole way home (or at least, Alicia and I did … right, Tara?). When we got to my house, the door was locked and no one was home so we topped off the weekend with a clumsy cheerleader lift through the kitchen window. (What can I say? We like our finales grand.)

Moments later my sweet, precious, yeah-we-missed-you-but-can-you-make-us-lunch-now girls and their daddy came home so I peppered them all with big, slobbery kisses (until Savannah sharply informed me that she’d had enough) and thanked God that I not only made it back from Mars in one piece, but better than before.

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