Moon Over Miami . . . ZZZZzzzzz 

by Linda M. Sharp

When my husband came home and announced yet another business trip that would take him away for a week, I hardly blinked. (I tend to stop blinking when staring daggers at him - much more effective and frightening.) He quickly added that spouses were not only invited, the company was paying the way! Yippee! Hurray! Wa-WHO! Wa-WHO? Yes, Wa, as in the sound you make when you cry, because WHO would watch our three children so that I may accompany him and revel in the glory of my spousaldom? It just did not seem to be "in the stars".

For many parents, it would be a no-brainer. Call Grandma, pack suitcase, board plane. We have many friends who enjoy the luxury of having their parents live, if not within a stone's throw, at least within a local call. No such luck here. Having moved so many times, it seems inevitable that eventually we should end up living near a grandparent or two, right? Wrong. This blue marble we live on is a big place and we have yet to touch down within 300 miles of a blood relative. 

And as far as friends watching our kids? There is a huge difference (and payback) involved in asking someone to watch your children while you run to the post office and allowing Curly, Larry and Moe to move in for a week. Besides, I value my friendships and nothing can strain them quicker than a cranky three year old who gets "bowel movement amnesia" at two in the morning. 

But, in this instance, the moon must have been "in the seventh house" and Jupiter was certainly "aligned with Mars" because lo and behold, Grandma Marilyn and Grandpa Rudy were already planning a trip to see us! (Not US actually. THEM, as in the grandchildren.) They would be happy to watch the girls in our absence! And as for the little ladies? Were they upset, distressed, uneasy at the thought of Mommy leaving for a week? Give me a break. In their minds, the warden was leaving and the prison gates were being left unlocked! Don't let the door hit you in the a**, Mom! Oh yeah, and don't come back without presents! 

As our plane lifted off the runway towards Miami, we toasted each other with orange juice (we had the decency to wait till our second plane at 8 am to drink wine!) and kissed and snuggled like newlyweds embarking on their honeymoon. With three small children, time alone is a precious commodity. When that time alone takes place in another time zone, it's almost as good as being given a shopping cart and the keys to Fort Knox. We talked excitedly about what we would do, see, where we would eat, etc. Meetings and dinner commitments aside, we were staying two extra nights and we're going to really live it up! (I hear you all laughing. Stop it right now and keep reading.) We figured the time change would work in our favor. We were going from PST to EST, thus we could party till midnight and still keep our bedtime of 9pm in Oregon. 

That plan worked well the first night. We hit trendy South Beach, drank in the atmosphere, the nightlife, a lot of wine. We did not make it to bed until almost 2am. No big deal. Our bodies were happily chiming only 11pm. Unfortunately, our bodies (nor our wine marinated brains) had thought about morning when he would need to be in meetings at 7:30am EST, which translates to an ungodly 4:30am PST. (PiST is right!) Being a good wife and partner, I dragged myself out of bed when he did. Actually I dragged myself as far as the nearest pool chair and promptly fell back asleep. 

The reality was that our bodies just could not handle the pressure. On our first free night, post meetings, we got dressed up, enjoyed an early dinner and went back to our room to call home and decide which hot spot we would hit. Our options were many. I mean this was Miami, home of Latin rhythms, spicy food, Ricky Martin. We lay back on our bed to discuss nightlife and woke up two hours later. We needed to get moving. We moved several feet towards the pillows and promptly fell back asleep again. Jet lag had hit like a bag of wet tortillas and we were Livin' La Vida Snooza.

On the flight home, no one could have mistaken us for newlyweds. We looked exactly like what we are, parents who had tried to make up for eight years worth of parenting with one week's worth of partying. Oh well, as I readjusted myself against his shoulder, wiped my sleep weary slobber from his shirt, I opened one eye and smiled up at my dozing spouse. We might be pathetic, but we were pathetic together. And that's really what it was all about after all. 
Other Momscape articles by Linda Sharp:
Falling BACK in Love with Your Spouse
Mom, the Glamour Queen

It's Spring Break Alright, But Just WHO is Getting the Break?


Copyright 2000 by Linda M. Sharp. Reprinted with permission. 
Linda Sharp is an internationally published humorist who writes regularly on the joyous and frustrating world of parenting. Her work appears across the Internet and wraps around the globe in parenting publications from Canada to Malaysia.
Linda is co-creator of the award winning website,
Sanity Central — A Time Out From Parenting! Located at http://www.sanitycentral.com, it is totally irreverent, hysterical and packed with enough laughs to brighten even the weariest of parents! As a mother of three children (four if you count her husband), she firmly believes that laughter IS the best medicine. She may be reached via email at lsharp03@aol.com.