It’s the small things…
A few weeks ago I had a few nights away in Barcelona without my husband and kids. I was helping a friend run an event and spent four nights in the beach facing, 5* W hotel. And it was every bit as fabulous as it sounds.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family with all my heart and some of my happiest memories are from holidays spent with my husband and kids. It’s not normal for me to go away without my family. But on this occasion I did. And it was bloody marvellous.
The fabulous feeling of freedom started as soon as I got to the airport. Normally I hate airports with a passion. Any excitement about going on holiday is ruined by trying to navigate through a maze of holiday makers with two children and a visually impaired husband. To be fair, I am a terrible traveller. In normal every day life I am extremely laid back and would be the first to admit, timekeeping is not my greatest asset. But at the airport it’s like someone flicks a switch and I turn into a complete mentalist. And in a weird, ironic twist, my normally time conscious husband turns into the most lackadaisical person you could ever meet. Or in other words, me when I’m not at an airport!
The first argument usually begins before we’ve even left the house and is normally over what time we need to get to the airport. I’m an ‘err on the side of caution’ kind of girl and aim to get to the check in desk at least two hours before departure time. My husband is literally the opposite and doesn’t see the point of getting there until the last possible minute.
To be fair, as the driver, I normally get my own way. But the arguments don’t stop there. When we arrive at the terminal, my husband insists on pushing the trolley. I realise that’s because we don’t normally take our guide dog Gibson away with us and the trolley acts as a kind of barrier between him and the other holiday makers. But unfortunately, due to my husband’s severe lack of vision, the trolley quickly becomes a lethal weapon. Any child that wanders into his path is fucked. So trying to stop my husband mowing down somebody’s loved one whilst simultaneously keeping an eye on my own kids and trying to read the information on the departure board is by no means an easy feat.
Arriving at Stansted airport on my own was a new experience for me. Any feelings of uncertainty were soon replaced by the most awesome feeling of liberation. I quickly checked in my case (two hours before departure time obviously) and spent the next hour and a half blissfully wandering around the shops. I took a leisurely stroll through duty free, bought a handbag that I didn’t need and very nearly bought a pair of trainers that were far too cool and trendy for me. Unfortunately (or fortunately as it happens) they didn’t have my size. And the pièce de résistance, I was able to enjoy my Starbucks Frappaccino WHILST SITTING DOWN. Surely that’s the holy grail of parenting?
The rest of my airport experience was equally as enjoyable. Even the security check was uneventful and stress free. With no children, bags containing forgotten liquids and a blind husband to hold me up, I literally sailed through to the departure gate and was the first passenger to board the plane.
Whilst I sat smugly in my seat, waiting for all the latecomers to board, I realised the only people I wanted to talk to about how much fun I was having was my husband and kids. And that’s when I realised that as wonderful as it was being on my own (and it really was wonderful), I also kind of missed my family. I even missed the arguments when my husband decides he absolute has to find a toilet just as they have announced the last call for our flight*
So the moral of this story? Appreciate the small things. But love the big things more.
* does anyone else’s partner do this? Mine does it every single time and it makes me want to kill him. Literally