Goodbye Florida. It has been fun, but it is time to go back home. It turns out that 2-3 days is enough time for a vacation without the kids- at least for the first one. We miss our little ones and our crazy life. We feel rested, reconnected, refreshed, and ready to tackle a busy, fun-filled summer. It was so nice to have this little time-out together. We confirmed what we already knew on some level – we are still Les and Jess. Sure, we are mom and dad to our three kids, but first and foremost we are individuals, and husband and wife. We have taken time away individually over the past five years for work trips, vacations with “the guys”, or my recent trip to see my sister in Germany. I know those trips were very therapeutic and re-energizing for each of us, but those trips also put the burden of parenting and running the house on the other partner. We have tried to allow and encourage each other to take time away over the past five years. Parenting can be hard work, and everyone deserves a little break to remember who they are as an individual. It also reminds the person at home how much they value and rely on the other person. Parenting is definitely easier and more fun together. I admire single parents, because I know it can be very challenging and sometimes quite lonely to do that job alone. Of course marriage and co-parenting has its share of challenges too, but I know Les and I appreciate each other and the role we each play in parenting.
I don’t think either of us doubted that we still had it as a couple, but it was just nice to confirm that we are still crazy about each other after 16 years together, 10 years of marriage, and three kids. We still have plenty to talk about (other than the kids), we still love each other’s company, and we still have that spark. This vacation not only made us excited for our next trip away together, but also made us more excited for our next family vacation. There were so many times on this trip when some of the experiences we had felt a little bit empty without the kids. We would comment how much the kids would love to see this or play with that. For instance, “the kids would love all the shells on this beach” or “they would have so much fun playing in this pool.” We are in a new phase of existence as a couple, one where we can’t necessarily separate the “us” of our marriage, from the “us” of our family. We love this phase and are immensely grateful for the family we created. We just have to remember that without the “us” of each other, we would never have the beautiful family that we do. I guess we’ll just have to get the babysitters on reserve and pick a date in 2013 for our next trip together. We wouldn’t want to forget what made it all possible, right?