After a week of back to back meetings and deadlines, it’s finally here! Today’s the day I’ve been dreading and anxiously awaiting for weeks now.

Tonight, sometime after we get out of work and finish packing, we’re heading off– but into different directions. As I send Jack off with my parents–for what could be the first of many week-long summer trips to Va.– Jeff and I are packing our citified selves, along with our dusty outdoor gear to go play Jack Sparrow with our friends.

Booze, books and boats–sounds like a day in the life of Jen x 10. Oh, what an interesting weekend it’ll be.

And of course, as if I needed anything else to make me feel guilty about leaving the kid for a week at this age, Jack came down with a fever for the first time yesterday. Jack, who is extra clingy when teething, greeted me yesterday with a half smile, followed by a big barf. He seemed fine all night, but moaned and whined in his sleep, which, as you can imagine, made my heart crumble with guilt.

For months I’ve been telling myself, Jeff and anyone who asked, that WE need this week. As in, Jack needs to “know” Va. just as much as Jeff and I need this time together to unwind. Fortunately for all of us, there are many relatives in Va. just waiting for Jack’s arrival. Fourth of July is synonymous with freedom, and this sort of “freedom,” like the one we’re celebrating, comes with a price.

When it comes down to it, I love our daily routine and cringe at the thought of racing home, only to be greeted by an empty apartment. I’ll miss my baby immensely; I’ll miss our family of 3. I’ll live with this guilt of leaving him for the first time. Being in the position to be able to provide him with the opportunity to get to know our roots, but more importantly, the time to actually enjoy his extended family, will certainly pay its dividends in the end. (my sanity notwithstanding)

As for Jack’s freedom, let’s all cross our fingers that his crying is minimal, sleeps in his crib, stays healthy and doesn’t eat steak and ice cream all week.

Have safe and happy 4th, everyone.

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