This past weekend Kennith and I escaped from our lives for a few days. It was not impromptu. I am not going to try to appear like we live these carefree lives, where we run off into the sunset like teenagers and drink gin and tonics in the afternoon. Nope, this was a weekend away sans kids that was planned down to the last detail.
It was the first time I was going to leave my 7 month old baby, so that was quite traumatic for me. I was convinced I was going to pull out at the last minute, and end up giving Kennith an ultimatum about not going without her. I managed to wave goodbye – albeit with much difficulty and a large lump in my throat – on Friday morning as we headed to Cape Town International and risked life and limb flying with our airline of choice (financial not personal).
By the time I got to the check in queue I was a little tearful – both because I was about to fly and because I had left Isabelle behind. Almost on cue a woman appeared behind us with a tiny baby in a pram. This little thing was bleating at the top of his lungs. As the baby cried, the more I started to cry with him. I also started to release milk, which is not the ideal look one is trying to pull off in the airport.
I managed to compose myself sufficiently to eat an extremely yellow lemon-and-poppyseed muffin and drink some bad tea, before we found our rather narrow and cramped seats on the large green carrier.
There were three kids on the plane – none mine – and I really felt sad when I heard them cry …. in the beginning.
I realized that I might have 30cm width to sit in and the guy in front of me practically in my lap, but the little space I had was all mine. I managed to bend my body like a contortionist to get my book from my bag, and then sat with my book reading. Now if I had a child anywhere near me, this would have been a totally different picture. I would be imagining reading, and would have been sorely disappointed when reality played out – with kids going wild within the confines of the metal box I was flying in.
I would be stressed from the three hour preparation to get to the plane. I would be sweaty and exhausted. Further agitated that the kids would have played with all the entertainment I had brought with to keep them occupied for the duration of the flight – the plane had not even taxied off yet. Things would be looking terribly bleak for the next two hours or so.
I would be wondering how I was going to get the air hostess person to serve me a bottle of wine before 9am!
I would further be stressed by the looks I would be getting from my fellow passengers – who would be travelling without kids – because like captive buck, they would be looking at me nervously wondering when my predators were going to strike.
Instead, I looked down and continue to read my book. A certain bliss and peace came over me. It was shattered as soon as our pilot, who no doubt got his license from a correspondence college and had not completed the practical leg of his course successfully as yet.
We spent the weekend acting like we had no children and drank way too much – all because we knew that there was not going to be a snuggly bug coming for a cuddle at 6am, or my daughter announcing to me at about 5:30am that she was going to the bathroom. I browsed book stores, we hung out with friends, and we even managed to sit and stare at the television uninterrupted on Sunday morning watching Fawlty Towers – it was all quite idyllic.
It was great to act like we were childless and care-free! Of course we missed our sprockets, and when we finally got home around 10:30pm it was lovely to find them all knotted up in their duvets oblivious to us giving them good night kisses.
Maybe being a mommy is not so bad, if I can run away from home every now and then.