On Friday, George took our two oldest children (Eva, 7 and Vincent, 5) on their first ever camping trip with several other families from our elementary school community. G spent two days gathering bikes, canoes, and paddle boards from all the families to take along in his truck, along with tons of food, a tent, life jackets, and a picnic table. The children and G were so excited to go! I did not accompany them on the trip, because I have baby Valerie and there was no way she was going to sleep in a tent for three nights.
I was simultaneously excited for and dreading this weekend. G has never had the kids alone for this long of a time, and I was happy that they would have this time to bond, but I also worried. Worried about the lake, the campground, not being with my children. I know that camping is something G loves to do; he’s always been great in the outdoors. Not only is he a fishing captain, but he’s an Eagle Scout and well-prepared in all ways for anything related to camping or otherwise. I reassured myself that they would all be fine and they would all have fun.
Meanwhile, I’d stay home and enjoy the long weekend with my baby. I’d clean the house right off the bat, and it would stay clean. I’d invite my friend over to visit and watch a movie on Friday night without interruption. I’d read my book, rest on the couch, attend the Memorial Day parade and all of the Ski-to-Sea festivities my town offers.
And all of that is what I did, in fact, do. The one thing I did not anticipate was that I would not be able to talk to, see pictures of, or in any way be able to communicate with my dear oldest children.
“Send me lots of pictures!” I said before they left on Friday. “Call me!” I took their picture, told them how much I was going to miss them, and cried as they left, even though G warned me against doing so.
What I never expected was that I would have NO CONTACT with my children from the time they pulled out of the driveway until even now. They still aren’t home, and I have not spoken with or hugged any of them since Friday at 3:00 p.m. I never expected that they would be out of cell phone range this entire time.
My children have spent the night at their grandparents, and I was without them while giving birth to Valerie, but I’ve never been out of contact with them. Ever. Not in seven years has been there a day or even a moment when I could not reach, or see, or communicate with my babes. I have to say that I absolutely hate this. I’ve gone weeks without speaking to G, and months without seeing him, but never my children.
I’m never allowing this to happen again. It’s been pure torture! I could not sleep and woke up last night in a dark, lonely, and quiet house from 2:00 a.m. until 4:00 a.m. I read the news and even researched mysteries and conspiracy theories on my iPhone until I fell back asleep. I miss the way Eva wakes me up in the morning, telling me she’s “going to start my coffee.” I miss the way Vincent sneaks into my bed “like a ninja” and falls back asleep next to me. I miss the way we sit in our oversized recliner in the morning for one more snuggle before the day begins.
Next time, I am going, no matter what. I will have G rent a camper or RV since I am not a good camper, and I’m going. I don’t ever, ever want to be without my children again. I am sure they had a great time, a great bonding weekend with their dad, and all is fine. But they aren’t home yet, this is dragging on, and I don’t like it.
One night and one day of quiet and time to chill for a mommy is great, but more than that is just lonely. I want my family back!