Passport, ticket, bags, and a crap load of emotional baggage

I’m writing this on a Tam airlines flight from Milan to Sao Paulo, watching the Big Bang Theory, feeling guilty.Whenever I fly with the kids I dream about the days when I flew alone, just me and my backpack. Apparently, after you have kids you become physically incapable of flying light.

I’m on my way to visit my 102 year old grandmother in Sao Paulo (Brazil), I haven’t seen her in a year, and since she’s not doing as well as she was I decided to take an impromptu trip to visit her. I’m only going to be gone for six days (two of which are travel days), and yet I managed to board the flight with a suitcase (well, two in fact, but one is just a suitcase containing another suitcase that I borrowed from my Mom when I was in Houston) and a carry on trolley along with my purse. Jesus.

Also, along with the physical baggage, there’s an entire Louis Vuitton trunk of emotional baggage. I carry classy emotional baggage.

I feel guilty for leaving the kids. I feel guilty both for the physical act of leaving and the fact that part of me was happy and excited to do it. I get to fly alone! No wrestling toddlers and strollers and enough luggage to invade Germany through the airport, no dirty looks at security checks that take an hour and a half of stripping myself and two screaming kids practically down to our underwear, no singing and playing games and bribing and trying to make over-excited, tired, whiners go to sleep without incurring death glares from all those who surround me.

I get to spend time with my Grandma and my Mom (who’s meeting me there, hence the returned luggage) like an adult, I can drink, go out to dinner, and go shopping at a moments notice. I am responsible for no one and nothing. And that makes me happy. Ah the wracking guilt, though. For the first time in years I packed the day I was leaving, I forgot half the stuff that I wanted to bring, and I didn’t care. Lately, a trip down the road entails the organizational preparation of a military incursion into hostile territory. It was just so liberating to not give a damn that I forgot my jacket.

I’ll only be gone a few days, the kids have their Dad, the Nanny and their Grandma will move in on Thursday, when they’ll probably really start to miss me, as an added distraction. I’ve even got an aunt on standby in case they get hit by the blues; plus the Husband has fun activities planned for the weekend. I’m positive they’ll be fine. And yet I feel guilty. Guilty that I didn’t take them with me, guilty because I didn’t want the expense and the hassle, guilty because they’re so little and I remember missing my parents when they were gone, guilty because I’m not doing my job. I’m basically taking a vacation from my family. And yes, I know in my mind that I’ll come back more relaxed, more patient, more fun, but in my heart I feel a little bit like a traitor.

Linking up with Shell today at Things I can’t say for Pour your heart out.

6 thoughts on “Passport, ticket, bags, and a crap load of emotional baggage

  1. I too long for the days when I get to board a plane without a toddler. Hopefully you’ll be able to spend some quality time with your mom and grandmother. Your kids are in good hands.

  2. It’s definitely a tough one. But it’s good you are taking this trip… who knows when you’ll be able to see your grandma again. Mine passed away unexpectedly at age 70 and I hadn’t seen her in 5 years… regret I will always have to live with. Your kids will be fine and be happy when you get back!!!

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