I have also had brain space. Time to consider, time to regroup and ponder.
Holidays took on a different shape when I was with Husband. I can see the pattern now, though it formed over time and became part of the 'routine'. People ask you, before you go away, "Are you looking forward to your holiday? Are you excited?" I would always say yes, just to be polite but in reality I can't remember feeling that excitement, not for a very long time.
Had I forgotten how to get excited? Perhaps there was not much to be excited about. Sometimes time away with children can be just as hard work as being at home. All the same chores, just in a different place especially when they were little. I didn't get excited, in fact I didn't get anything. I went through the motions, packing and planning, clothes and food, games and essentials, all the things that made the holiday a success for everyone. But what about me? Did I forget to enjoy myself? Was there any enjoyment? Perhaps I forgot to pack the fun?
The morning of the departure of the family holiday was always stressful. Time constraints prevailed, even if we were only going the 3 hour journey to Cornwall by car, Husband had to be on the road at a certain time, a time chosen by him. There was much huffing and puffing if the rest of us dragged our heels. The car was packed to the gunnel's, the house emptied, or so it seemed! Weeks of lists and precooking (to save work whilst there so I could enjoy myself) came to fruition, off we would go.
There was no anticipation, there was no sense of fun, there was no excitement, just a feeling of exhaustion and the knowledge that life would continue, just the same, in another location.
Then there was what to do whilst we were away, day trips and the like. My "I'd like to go to..." was often ignored, "I'm not doing that" or "Well, we're certainly not going there" would be Husbands retort. In the end I think I forgot to say what I wanted to do at all. I was scared, not frightened, but scared that I would loose myself, forget what I liked, what I wanted to do, who I was - is that what it is to be a Mother? Sometimes I do have a wish to see something or go somewhere, and to have that wish dashed hurt me, it hurt inside, a very real pain and I held it against him, silently.
Did the children have fun? I hope so. What will they remember? Their own normality I think, for none of us knew any different, at the time. This was how it was, the holiday thing, I thought, this is how it is for everyone. But no, it clearly isn't. People get excited about their holidays, look forward to them, they "Have a Lovely Time!"
I know what was missing now. It is not what you take, it is not in the planning or the lists, it is not in the timing or the weather. Not entirely. It is the company you keep. To love someone, to care for them and enjoy their company, to be cared for, that is what it's all about. The fun is attached to that, a bit like Buy One Get One Free! It's a part of the whole, all there to be enjoyed.
When you return to work after a holiday it is customary for people to ask you if you had a nice time, someone always does. Over the last years I have always gone through the motions of saying "Yes, thank you." But not this time, this time I experienced the excitement, the enjoyment and the fun. I can say, in all honesty when they ask me, "Yes, I had a fantastic holiday, thank you".
(Thank You x)