Singapore Sans Family
I was there for less than 48 hours…but I did it: I ventured to Singapore sans-family.
It was AH-mazing, even with a few significant traveling hiccups. Let’s rewind.
A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend of mine (who I knew when living in Dubai) mentioned that a crew of our Dubai friends were going to be passing through Singapore and that I should try and come meet them.
As tempting as it sounded, I was pretty convinced that I wouldn’t be able to make it work. I mean, firstly…the money. We are supposed to be saving our pennies to buy a house this summer. An impromptu trip to Singapore didn’t really seem to be in the cards. It seemed a little too indulgent; even for me…and I am fluent in the language of spending money.
Also, I have two children. While they are generally pretty adorable and sweet, at times they can mimic the destructive paths and psychotic tendencies of tornadoes and terrorists, respectively. They can be hard work. I couldn’t leave them with Brado for a whole weekend. Not during March Madness. That is grounds for divorce.
And of course the most significant reason I would not be able to make the reunion was that a certain 10 month-old is still pretty attached to me. Like, literally attached. Let’s just say that, for better or for worse, our little lady prefers her milk straight from the source. Which means, I cannot just take off to Singapore at a moment’s notice.
Or can I?
Turns out, when you have an rock-star husband who insists that you go spend time with your girlfriends —-even in the face of all the obvious reasons you really should just stay home —- you can. I love him. And I love the way he loves me.
So I went. All. By. Myself.
And I had the best time. I read (almost a whole book!). I wrote. I shopped. I laughed. Boy, did I laugh. I wore a dress. I stayed out late. I slept in. I lounged. And I briefly remembered what it was like to be an independent entity; belonging to and responsible for only myself.
It was awesome, in all the predictable ways.
But, that being said, it was also remarkably disorienting in ways that, genuinely, shocked me. To give you an example, the moment I said goodbye to my kids to take off to the airport, I burst into tears. Seriously? What is wrong with me? This marked the moment I was finally free…the moment I had been longing for. And I was a emotional mess.
That was the theme for the weekend; regardless of what I was doing and how much fun I was having (and I had A LOT of fun), I had that constant nagging feeling that I did not belong there.
I belong in sweatpants and bouncy castles. Not heels and hotels. I belong to other people; another place. The whole time I just felt like something was missing. Or, rather, that I was missing something. Moments. My moments.
It is crazy what motherhood does to you. Daily, it brings you to the edge of insanity. And some days, you seriously consider jumping. But then, in an act so perfectly timed that it seems to single-handedly prove the existence of God, you are given a parachute.
So you use it.
And after a glorious, safe and necessary free fall you find yourself at the bottom of that cliff. The place that, only moments ago, you so desperately wanted to be.
You breathe. One deep guttural exhalation.
And then, without thinking, you methodically make your way over to the side of the cliff and start desperately scaling it’s walls to get back up.
It was so nice to momentarily soar. But I belong at the top of that cliff. The view is simply better there.