In a matter of twelve short days, I will be on my way to Orlando, Florida for Blume, a conference centered around missions for teenage girls (and leaders). While I am VERY excited to attend, as the conference is only once every four years, I am also a little nervous. I am nervous because I will be leaving my children for four nights. My husband has graciously offered to stay home with them so I could go and focus on the conference. But this will be the first time I have ever been away from them for more than a couple days. I had to go on a mission trip to Savannah, Georgia for a week when I was pregnant with Evan and I took Ian with me because I didn't think I could have made it a whole week without seeing him. I now realize it was probably just the hormones. I probably could have made it just fine -- because I was so busy and wouldn't have had time to wallow in the missing. My husband had a lot harder time than I did because he was home alone and hadn't ever been away from us for that long. But now it's my turn to do the missing. But I will be busy and will call and talk to them, so I am hoping it will not be too bad.
But I do worry about the boys... All three of them. Derek has never been left alone with the boys for more than just an afternoon or while I had to run errands or go to work. Definitely never overnight. And it's not because he hasn't wanted to or anything like that, but there's just never been a need. Ian I don't worry about SO MUCH, because he's a little bit older and knows that when I get back, he'll be getting a present from Mickey Mouse (the conference is at Disney). So I think as long as I can talk to him on the phone he'll be fine. Evan on the other hand... He's a completely different story. I do worry about how he's going to be able to handle it. He'll be 18 months when I leave and he is having some major issues with separation anxiety at the moment. I am the only person who can put him down for naps and bedtime (easily) and he is an EARLY riser, usually around 6:30-7:00. Derek and Ian would sleep all morning if I let them. So I am concerned about the sleep schedules. But other than the little things, I think it will all be okay. Derek is a great daddy, and I know he'll do just fine.
I am planning on making and freezing enough meals for them so that I know they will eat well while I'm gone. Cooking has never been one of Derek's strong suits and if left to his own devices, the boys would be eating scrambled eggs, frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets all week. I can already tell that next week is going to be BUSY! Between cooking almost a week's worth of food, getting the house spotless, and getting caught up on all the laundry, I will probably be dead on my feet before I leave.
But overall, I think this trip is going to be good for everyone. It will be good for Derek so that he can kind of see what my life is like as a SAHM and see that it's not as easy as he thinks it is. It will be good for the boys because they've never had to be away from me and I think it will be a great bonding experience for the boys to spend time with Daddy. I really think it will be great for me. I get a little break, just getting to focus a full four days on one of my passions: mission work. So I am thrilled about getting to go. I am also very thankful to my husband for taking most of his vacation days at work to be a SAHD for a week.