As I enter the final stretch of my pregnancy, I am enjoying the last few moments of NOT being a parent of a newborn. My son will be three soon, so there is a freedom that comes from passing the baby stage. And, one of the of those freedoms is being able to leave my son with my parents for short visits! So, when my best friend asked me and my husband to join her in Vancouver for a few days, I was thrilled to say YES!
I spent months planning our two-day trip. The plan was to go down on December 31st and return January 2nd. This meant we would be child-free on New Year’s Eve. Lately, it feels like so many of my friends are having “quiet nights in” when I want a “loud night out”. So, the first thing I did was google “New Years Eve in downtown Vancouver”. And guess what, there were things to do in Vancouver! I ordered our tickets for the Hotel Vancouver NYE’s party. As I plotted my outfit, hair and hotel, I realized that my husband and I were spending the weekend as a bunch of DINKs (double-income, no kids). And better yet, we were spending it with my best friend, a SINK (single-income, no kids).
We arrived on December 31st and settled into our hotel room that had a large bathtub. I think I spent about 2 hours in the tub, reading, watching TV and exfoliating. I needed to prepare for the evening that started at 9pm. Normally, I am settling in for the night at 9pm—not applying makeup and poorly styling my hair. Finally, after a late-night snack, we headed off for an evening of partying (alcohol-free for me).
Walking out of the hotel room wearing heels and a fancy dress reminded me that there was a time that my appearance and social life were priorities. Although I am often told to “take care of myself first”, it honestly feels like just one more thing for me to do. Up there with folding laundry and cleaning the litter boxes. That night, I danced, people-watched and enjoyed live music until 2am. And as I settled into bed, I felt no guilt that I was not with my son. Although, I did feel a little sorry for my mother who was probably up with him several times during the night!
The next morning, our child-free weekend continued. We went to an early-afternoon movie, enjoyed brunch with friends and leisurely napped. We met my friend for dinner and headed off to see the Vancouver Canucks. An evening spent with my own bag of popcorn—what a luxury! And, the Canucks won in an overtime shoot-out. The evening made perfect with a win.
The next morning, I woke up when I woke up. No alarm and no child in the bed. But, I will admit that I felt it was time to go home. My weekend away from my son was made better because I knew I would soon be seeing him. But, one final “child-free” luxury was in store for us. Our return ferry ride would be enjoyed in the Seawest lounge—the “quiet” zone of the ferry. No TV, no toy boats and no goldfish.
The next morning, life went back to normal. And that is a good thing.