Mommy Went To Texas And All She Brought Me Was This Essay On Travel In The Age Of Postmodern Motherhood

March 8, 2011

The other night, I was sitting in a restaurant in San Antonio, sipping a margarita the size of a baby’s head and chatting about balancing motherhood and work and travel with a writer from National Geographic. “It’s hard sometimes,” I said. “I know that my husband finds it challenging when I’m gone one weekend and then again the next weekend and then again the next. But we manage. He does a lot of his work from home.”

“And he doesn’t mind?” she asked.

“Oh, he minds, sometimes. Parenting solo is hard, and it’s even harder when you know that your partner is off somewhere drinking a margarita. But the roles are reversed when his work schedule is busy, and I have to do it all by myself, so it balances out, mostly.”

“I hope that you know how lucky you are,” she said. “Because you are. You’re very lucky to be married to someone so understanding and supportive. You’re very lucky that you can be a mom and do this, too.”

We clinked glasses. “Of course I know,” I said. “I’m very lucky. I know.”

I am lucky, if by lucky you mean, recognized what a phenomenal man my husband is when I first met him and and actively determined to grab on to him and never let go and also have a husband who recognizes that marriage and family and parenthood are a joint enterprise and maybe also am willing to just sometimes go ‘sorry dude, your turn.’ I mean, he’s lucky too, of course, but I recognize that I’m especially lucky that he’s able and willing to bend his life around so that I can go to San Antonio and drink margaritas. But when I went to bed that night – in an obscenely plush king bed with a plate of chocolate at my side but nonetheless alone – I thought, that luck is kind of complicated.

I am lucky to have my husband, who is so willing to take on the mantle of Parent In Charge as often as he does, so that I can pursue this work that I love, work that involves going to San Antonio to research the Missions and see the Alamo and drink margaritas under murals of Bill Clinton, but is nonetheless work, margaritas and murals notwithstanding. This is work that is, no question, less onerous than getting up at dawn with cranky toddlers and changing diapers and soothing savage tempers when favorite Spiderman snowboots go missing and figuring out the exact correct proportions of tomato sauce to spaghetti noodles so that picky eaters will consume said noodles and washing tomato sauce out of Hello Kitty t-shirts that must, must be worn to kindergarten the next day, and I am lucky to be able to do it. But it’s also work that requires that I forgo, for a few days at a time, hugs and kisses and cuddles and giggles and the sort of memory-making that is just, you know, different in kind from the sort that I do on my own on trips like these.

This work, the work that I do that sometimes takes me away – literally, as when I travel, and figuratively, as when I lock myself in my office and shut everything and everyone out in order to write for hours – is work that takes me out of the story of my children’s lives (a story, I should say, that I am deeply and intensely involved in when I am the Parent In Charge, which is often). It is work that redirects the narrative arc of my own story such that it diverges from those of my children, my husband, my family, and proceeds along its own solitary path. And that’s wonderful, in some ways, ways that involve me getting to think my own thoughts and do my own thing and – in the case of travel – eat chocolate without having to share and sleep through the night without small hands grabbing my hair. But it’s also sort of counter-wonderful, in some ways, ways that involve not thinking constantly about the people that I love and not doing things together and not having anyone to share my chocolate with and sleeping all alone. Because it’s the memories of those latter things – the story that contains such things as tiny faces smeared with chocolate and the feel of small hands in my hair – that I know I will cling to most tightly, more tightly than I will those of the way the sun looked rising over the Alamo or the sound of the mariachi band at the Mass at Mission Concepcion or the taste of that margarita under that particularly awesome mural of – have I mentioned this yet? – Bill Clinton.

Seven-plus feet of Bill Clinton, sparkle-garland, and awesome.

So I am lucky, yes, but it’s a luck that has nuances and complications and that involves compromises and and trade-offs and sometimes I wish, just a little, that life were simpler and Kyle were, say, an insurance agent or accountant and worked standard office hours and I stayed at home and participated in every single moment of my children’s lives and didn’t ever miss a thing.

But then again, maybe not.

I love my work, the writing and the thinking and the social media’ing and the traveling and everything in between. I love that it allows me to work at home – to stay home and spend so much time with my children – and also that it allows me to leave home – to go out into the world and do my own thing and live my own story, whether that story involves drinking margaritas underneath a mural of Bill Clinton or tittering at Marcus Aurelius’ compromised nethers or having my heart burst over the awesomeness of an amusement park designed to empower special needs families (more on this tomorrow) or attending Mass for the first time in over a decade or all of the above. I love that it allows me to come back, to have the experience of return, to cherish and relish anew the way that it feels when my family wraps me in their messy, sticky, sweet embrace. I love that it gives me the opportunity to miss them. I love the pang in my heart when I curl up alone in a big soft bed, miles from home, knowing that I won’t be woken by the soft patter of little feet running into my bedroom and that I won’t feel small hands in my hair and that I won’t wake in the morning in a tangle of arms and legs and blankets and sunshine and love. I love it in a complicated way, because it hurts, but I do love it, I do, because it reminds me that I am a mother first, and everything else second, and that I am lucky to have a life that is full to overflowing with the riches of both, because each makes the other – the motherness, and the everything-else-ness – more satisfying. I love it, because it reminds me of how really very lucky I am.

That, and because it affords me the opportunity to drink margaritas uninterrupted, but don’t tell my husband that.

Do you want an opportunity to go away and have margaritas and be reminded of how really very lucky you are? The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, who hosted my trip to San Antonio, are offering the same trip to one of you, which you can do as an ‘I’m so lucky I’m going to take a few days off with a friend’ getaway or as a ‘I’m so lucky and I totally don’t need an escape so I’ll bring my family with me’ holiday. It’s totally up to you. Leave a comment sometime this week telling me how or why a getaway enriches your parentness or your everything-else-ness – or both – or if you’re not a parent, your you-ness – and you could win a two-night voucher for the Emily Morgan Hotel, vouchers for dinner for four at two of San Antonio’s most awesome restaurants, a $1000 Visa gift card to cover airfare, and passes to some of San Antonio’s most fun attractions, including Sea World and Six Flags Fiesta Texas and the Witte Museum and more. Trust me, you want to go. San Antonio is an awesome place to indulge both your parentness and your everything-else-ness. Or neither, as the case may be. The important thing is, the margaritas there are bigger than a baby’s head.

Aaaand… we have a winner! Congratulations to Fickle Feline. You are going to drink margaritas in San Antonio!

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    Robin (noteverstill) March 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

    We love our kids and husbands; that’s a given, right? (I hope so, or it should be.) But sometimes that acts of loving them involve, at least in the stage I’m in, so much servitude: I’m hungry, wipe my poop, cuddle me because I can’t sleep even though the tea you just brewed for yourself will grow tepid, hold in your mommy tantrum because my three-year-old tantrum trumps yours every time. Find my favorite toy that you didn’t even know was my favorite until I just discovered it was so, coincidentally just as I realized it was missing. Etc. Leaving occasionally in small chunks recharges the me that’s inside the mommy-me, and erases a measure of the burdensome portion of the servitude to help me believe in the pay-it-forward to humanity part more again.

    Angela @partymomma March 9, 2011 at 10:44 am

    My kids are 7 and 4 and we have never been away as a family. We are desperate for a family vacation. But with my running my own business and going to school full time and DH working full time and also part time with me on the weekends, we just dont seem to connect back all together as often as we should. And when we finally do, DH is exhausted (very demanding, physical job)and I am thinking of the assignments I have on the go and the mountains of laundry and chores I ‘should’ be doing instead. Basically our kids are not getting the ‘quality’ part of the time we spend, although I do try super hard to include family time each week, I so desperately need to get us away from it all so we can just enjoy eachother without stress. My heart just wants to show them that there is a whole world outside of Mississauga, but we simply cannot afford it right now. When my DH asked what I wanted for my birthday this year (which is today) I said DISNEY! It’s all I ever think about. So we have started a Disney savings account in hopes of getting there for Jan. 2012.

    Angie March 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

    The hardest and best decision I made was to give up my career and stay at home with my three boys. So my husband understood that it was important for me to have a girl’s or couple’s getaway every so often. It’s a socially rejuvenating experience and the family bond is enhanced upon returning. I am one of the “lucky” ones too with an amazing partner who has always been there for me and the kids.

    Kathy March 9, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Vacation? Yes please! I could give a “woe is me” tale about how I haven’t really had a holiday (holiday being a trip WITHOUT kids) in about ten years. But really, I’m sure my situation isn’t much different than anyone else commenting. My escape these days is running. Keeps me sane (and fit).

    Jen March 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Last summer I made a trip to blogher.

    I didn’t make it to any talks. I didn’t make it to many parties. I never loaded up my bags with things in the great hall. The friends I was staying were pretty busy so I didn’t even get to see them that much.

    Now, for some it would appear that this was a disastrous trip (especially as it started with me walking a mile in the wrong direction of the hotel dragging my suitcase behind me on Manhattan sidewalks) But for me, it was a little bit of magic.

    It forced me out of my comfort zone. Something my husband encouraged. Because like you, I’m “lucky” to have a give and take with my spouse.

    I won’t lie, it was painful at times. But I grew in a way I had no idea I could. I sat in Bryant park at a little table and wrote, had long meaningful dinner conversations with people I barely knew, toured the MOMA by myself. For 36 hours, there was no one depending on me to do anything for them. It was a time to ask myself, what did *I* want.

    I had spent so many years wrapped up in the mommy role that I had lost touch with myself. I love my role of mommy fiercely. But I had let it obscure parts of me that were just as important. We’re all much more layered and much more complicated than playing just one role.

    That short trip helped define who I wanted to be. And knowing who I am, truly knowing, helps me be a better parent to my daughter and my son.

    So if I were to win, I’m going with the I’m so lucky I don’t need an escape so I’ll bring my family along. Plus, I want my kids to see there’s a great big world out there. And it’s called Texas.

    Dawn March 9, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I am a working mom and very thankful for my husband who travels a lot but also takes his parenting responsibilities very seriously. I do think some time away periodically is essential for parents. Otherwise, there is a tendency for everyday life to become a routine of drudgery and “going through the motions.” When you have time to take a break and reflect, it renews your appreciation of your “real” life and all the day-to-day craziness!

    Beth W. March 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I think getting away as a family truly does enrich parentness- of maybe family-ness – because it lets you have all kinds of unordinary adventures to create memories. The “ordinary” adventures of daily life can be great too, but the unordinary adventures of getting away together are in a class all their own.

    Misty March 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I think getting away as a family is a great way to reconnect without the pressures (homework, pay the bills, go grocery shopping, clean the house, get to the soccer field, etc.) of every day life.

    Christy March 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’m a single mom, and when I take good care of ME, I can take good care of my daughter! I could take really good care of myself on a weekend getaway :)

    Erica March 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    It restores me to Me. Being by myself reminds me who I am aside from being a parent, it reminds me that not everyone thinks of me as Mommy. And while Mommy is one of the things I am, it’s not all I am, and I need to remember that in order to be Mommy well.

    thewonderfulhappens March 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I have always heard that San Antonio is a really amazing place to visit. As much as I would love to take the trip with a girlfriend and spend the entire time drinking baby-head margaritas, it turns out my 3 and 4 year old are actually great travelers, so I suppose they can come! And who says I can’t drink a baby-head margarita after they go to bed?

    Ahdra March 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    You know, I have that regular scenario…husband with an 8-5 predictable office job and I’m a FT-SAHM. I think it has been great for the kids to settle in to a family and get healthy and attached to us over time, but maybe, perhaps, not so great for me…at least not the FT part. I wish I had a chance to miss my family. I wish I could work outside the home…and I will in a year when my dot is in school, but I wish I could have had something else. I think it is a blessing (to have this other thing to go and flex my non-mother muscles). I unwisely didn’t realize I would need that. I think it has made me, and therefore all of us, more frustrated that was necessary.

    My husband is seriously amazing and realizes how hard this has been and nearly completely assumes the sole parent in charge role as soon as he arrives home, but, still. It is exhausting. I never, ever, ever thought I would say that, but, well, it’s true. “Each makes the other more satisfying” is so very true.

    When I saw the San Antonio theme it brought back a flood of memories from my sales-job-with-75%-travel days back before I was married. So many fond memories, some of them involving a spectacularly awesome trip to San Antonio and some gorgeous baby’s-head sized margaritas as well. And lots of queso. Would love to repeat the experience with my husband and get a chance to miss my wonderful and amazing and exhausting kids. ;)

    Terresa E March 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Have never been to San Antonio and would love to take a family vacation that involved a hotel instead of a tent. Between the 2 boys, my husband, and our microscopic vacation budget, I haven’t gotten more than a trip to the lake since our honeymoon almost 11 years ago.

    Sarah March 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I’m not a parent. But I’m a daughter, and this trip would remind me of that. My mom and I used to travel all the time but then I went and grew up and travelled by myself and did most everything by myself.

    So for this trip I would take mom, and we’d take my grandma and maybe scatter her ashes in the desert, which is what would remind us of who she was.

    Liz March 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I have a one year old. We seem to be inseparable. I would love to say that getting away by myself enriches my parent-ness, but I really don’t have the experience to say that. I would, however, LOVE to find out! I am so desperately craving some “me time”. It would benefit my mental health, my family, my son, and my role as a mother. I need this trip. I need to start prioritizing “me” – the mom, the wife, and the individual.

    Jaden March 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    A getaway totally enriches my parent-ness because it takes me out of my element and allows me to take a break from the daily grind to truly enjoy my family… I would love to have the opportunity to take them out, have some fun, and NOT cook dinner for a few days!

    Leigh March 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Love this post. Being away makes me a better mom and even though I feel terribly guilty for leaving, I feel so relaxed and refreshed coming back.

    My husband went to San Antonio without me when our son was 6 months old with double ear infections because our college basketball team was in the NCAA Final Four. He had always said if we got to the Final Four, he was going. So he went. I didn’t have any vacation time since I had just gotten back from maternity leave so I had to stay (yes, and my child was sick, that too). We went to the Championship game which meant he would be gone an extra 2 nights and then, then we lost. So, sad becasue my child was sick, sad because I hadn’t slept in days, sad because my husband was gone, sad because my team lost. Maybe this time would be more fun!

    Laura B. March 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    We are currently on a family vacation of sorts. Well, my partner is working so our daughter and I have come to visit, even though we only get an hour or so all together in the evening before we all fall into bed. But the “vacation” has been one of the best things we’ve done as a family, because away from the daily mundane of home life – that is, laundry and sweeping woodchips from the kitchen floor and shovelling the driveway and emptying the woodstove – we get to talk to each other and play on the floor and read books. All things that too often, at home, get pushed aside or delayed by all the above-mentioned tasks. Am I a better parent away from home? Not necessarily. I’m certainly more fun though.

    Jennifer March 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Life is wonderful but life is hard! My husband and I have been looking for a way and a where to getaway to. Recharging and reconnecting would be amazing. After all, we are the foundation of this family!

    Tabatha March 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I’m a stay-at-home mom to a 2 year old with developmental delays (he doesn’t speak, we’re trying to figure out why; we just completed spinal surgery so he could finally walk) and a 6 month old who is seemingly normal.

    And the weight of this is becoming, honestly, very unbearable.

    My husband and I never had a honeymoon because we were pregnant, and in the year following our son’s birth we not only dealt with having an ill child, but I suffered from PPD silently while my husband stepped outside of our marriage and we came thisclose to divorcing. Like the papers were filed, custody was underway and all we had to do was divide the stuff.

    I can’t even think about what a getaway would do for me as a parent because it feels impossible. But I do believe a break from all the weight of our lives would only do us good, and therefore only benefit our children because maybe I wouldn’t dread the doldrums of every day so much.

    Sorry, this isn’t very uplifting, but it’s the truth.

    Dana Udall-Weiner March 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Love your nuanced perspective on mothering, and I feel much the same way about the (paid) work/mothering balance: mostly lucky, but with a firmly entrenched understanding that I do miss out on things in my children’s lives, too.
    I don’t have any great reason to want to go to San Antonio, other than the fact that I have not had a vaca with my husband (alone, without kids) in maybe two years. Not a sob story, and in the large scope of things rather undramatic. But still. Margaritas that large would be all kinds of awesome, even though I’d be under the table after drinking less than half.

    thepsychobabble March 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    We’ve never taken a real, proper vacation. With or without kids.
    Which is slightly depressing, but I figure eventually our time will come.

    Days March 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Our everything-else-ness definitely needs some enriching. Our work schedules have clashed horribly all winter. There is light at the end of the tunnel: we both have one same day off next week. A getaway would be a great way to ring in the spring.

    Chrissy March 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Oh, it would be fanbeautifultastic to have a getaway. My husband is actually traveling to Austin next week (he travels a.lot…) and I am newly back to work after a year off, and am not so happy about it…I’ve never, ever had a getaway alone or with my husband, not since our son was born (and he’s SIX!). After this long, it might be an interesting science experiment – I seriously wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Maybe I’d run around in circles in the hotel room or wander off into the street or something.

    amy turn sharp March 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    O sweet Catherine. Joe and I need a trip. Kids- no kids. We just need to throw our heads back and laugh at the big sky. We need to wear cowboy boots and drink cold beers. Can you make this happen? xo

    Kat C March 9, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I would love a few days away to reconnect with my husband. We have a 4 year old with Autism and a 2 year old (who is going on 18). We haven’t slept in the same bed without a kiddo between us in I don’t know how long.

    Bec March 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Because I’m on maternity leave, at home with a three-year-old and a sixth-month old. And I live in Canada. And I’ve been stuck indoors for sixth months and it’s been winter practically that whole time. And if I have to play monster trucks or garbage trucks one more time I am going to put something sharp in my eyeballs (but still, I do it, with a smile on face, because my boys are lovely). But still….. I need to get away. I may even take them with me. It’s warm in Texas, right?

    tracy March 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I had kids so late in life, so sometimes I think I don’t need time away – as I had 34 years to live selfishly before they arrived.

    For 8 years now I have dedicated my life to my children. But I am tired and sometimes I feel like I cannot be a good mom anymore because I am so tired and frustrated and not appreciated and frankly worn down…from all of it – the beauty of raising these amazing girls – but

    So finally, finally I am realizing I do need to look within myself and take a break. A coffee. A book. A drink with a friend. A walkabout at the mall. A breath. A moment that I can hold my own hand and heart..and be okay.

    And when I return – those sticky hugs are so much sweeter.


    MamaRobinJ March 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

    My first instinct is to say I’d run away and be by myself for a few days. But I’d actually take my family. That would be an adventure, and it would do me good to have fun like that with my son. Plus, it would remind me that we can travel together and have it be all right, even if it throws off our routine.

    Stacy C. March 10, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I’m not even commenting to win the trip to San Antonio. I live 30 minutes away, in the wonderful city that is Austin. I just wanted to say that I think it’s awesome you’re visiting here soon and I hope you enjoy your stay! And, I’m glad you liked the big ass margaritas in San Antonio :)

    Margaret March 10, 2011 at 6:03 am

    When I married my husband, I instantly became a mom (stepmom). For our entire marriage (10+ years), there’ve been kids (no romantic, child-free days in our history). A getaway to TX would be a chance for he and I to spend a few days alone, together–No Kids! And *that* break, for me, would be priceless…

    Nicole Denty March 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

    This is not for me. I know a woman, a single mom of three children ages 1, 4, and 7. She had her first child at 17. The father left her after her second child. She came from a very abusive home, and a very hard life. Yet despite all that she has made a wonderful life for her three children. She raises them completely alone, without help from family or the man who fathered her children. She lives on financial assistance, and never has money or time to treat herself. She has three of the happiest, most well-rounded children I have ever seen. She somehow manages to juggle herself so that she always has time for them, and so that not one of them feels left out. She is, quite frankly, the best Momma I know. I have a child as well, and a really supportive fiance, and I don’t understand how she manages to do it herself. I’d go nuts, and my children would probably suffer for it. I respect and admire her so much, and I think she could really use a break. And knowing her, she’d probably take the kids with her. But to her it WOULD be a break, a chance to see the world a little and show it to her children, an opportunity right now that she cannot give them. I can imagine how she would feel to be able to give her children this. Her idea of a break is to finally, finally curl up by herself after they all go to bed and have a bath – IF they all go to bed. And then after, all three of them crawl in bed with her, and they’re as happy as can be. Please help me make her even happier.

    Thanks for the chance!

    Amy March 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I love San Antonio. My brother in law lives there and it’s always so much fun to go visit him. My daughter is 4.5 and I’m still at a phase where “getting away” means going grocery shopping without her. OK, that’s not entirely true. Last year I had to drop everything and fly solo to PA THREE times for funerals. But that doesn’t really count. I would LOVE an excuse to travel! Even with the family it would be so fun.

    (Although I am obsessing over the possibility of a Radiohead tour this summer, which would TOTALLY mean a solo trip for Mama. Maybe they’ll play in San Antonio!)

    Michelle (@michellew_) March 10, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Honestly, I couldn’t say if absence makes the heart grow fonder. I would love the opportunity to find out though! ;-)
    Seriously, I don’t get the chance to travel, for work or otherwise, and my kids are ALWAYS in tow when I do go anywhere. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve left town without them since they were born (9, 6, and 4 years ago). Actually, I am sure that I haven’t. I have not been on a plane or a train since 2000 and 2002 respectively.

    I work with them circling like hawks. Cute hawks, but still… I write when they sleep, or are occupied enough for me to get away with it. And when I need me time, I take a shower. I don’t get out much.

    I am very fulfilled in my mommy life, and love my kids like nobody’s business, but would never object to ‘trying out’ the whole having a life of my own thing. The opportunity just hasn’t arisen yet. So, I’d be up for the whole absence makes the heart grow fonder thing, if only for a brief time.

    Malia March 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I think this would be a family vacation. As much as I love getting away with my husband or having a girl time my girlfriends, our family rarely gets to vacation together. Vacations meaning driving to the grandparents house (which, is not too bad since they live in Florida have a pool in their backyard but still, it’s not Disney or Six Flags). I grew up in Texas, visited San Antonio once and LOVED it. It would be really awesome to take my kids there and to experience again myself.

    Rock Your Marriage March 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I’m glad you have a husband that is so willing and able to help out. That is a very good thing. Life is a delicate balance, but it sounds like you and your family are working things out. It can often be hard for me with all that is going on to not neglect the things that are really important. That’s when we can be thankful for spouses and family members that keep us on the straight and narrow.

    Rosa March 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    My husband and I need this for some us time. When we had our little girl, I kinda forgot I was married or maybe it was that we had just moved to a new state, had new jobs and had a new baby. I remember countless times telling my husband that I could take care of me and the baby, but I could not also take care of him. Not that it’s about being a mother to my husband – he already has one of those, but I had lost the “we’re in it together” because I thought I was in it alone. A getaway is a great way for us to reconnect and remember that we are in it together.

    Rebecca March 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    A vacation together? You mean, two adults instead of one adult and one child? Such a thing has not happened in YEARS. Getaways enrich your parenting because you get to reconnect as a couple. There is nothing more important to a child than to have people who love each other around them. The more people and the more love, the better the child will be.

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love “old” Texas? San Antonio and Austin in particular are charming cities that exemplify the best of the state.

    Alex March 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    You lucky girl! I love San Antonio. I am trying to make some time for myself. My mother-in-law has reminded me that part of taking care of my kids is taking care of their mother.

    Jo Anna March 11, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Wow. Because I miss the bluebonnets and the indian paintbrushes and the black-eyed susans off of I-35. Because they just don’t make tortillas like they do in San Antonio. And because Texas still has the friendliest drivers in the whole wide world.

    Because the sounds and smells of the state and the people I grew up with need to be shared by my West Coast born and bred children. Because being from Texas and visiting Texas will never ever mean the same thing.

    And because you’re Canadian. So, you get it.

    I March 11, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Family Trip?! What is this GETAWAY word you speak of?
    My husband is a high school teacher who just TODAY found out he won’t be getting a raise next year in fact he is LUCKY to be part of the workforce at all. He’ll be taking a paycut, have a pay scale freeze & lose benefits to boot(cowboy boots?). We are a single income fam since we decided to use my college education to its fullest advantage & have an ‘at home mom’ for our two little boys (4 & 1).
    This trip would be AWESOME- I’m informed by said LUCKY husband that San Antonio would be a great place for our family to visit because, a)’Our boys have ancestors who died at the Alamo’ & b) ‘along the river you can see how the city was built in layers’. I’m not sure what he was speaking of or if this is true but I’d love the chance to find out since family trips are going to be VERY hard to come by in the forseeable future!
    Thanks for the opportunity!!

    Melissa March 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

    When you have children, your life before becomes Before. Not as real as Now. When I can, I like to take my children (and my husband) to places I had been Before. So I can remember who I was, so I can see who I’ve become, and more importantly so they can share my wonderment at the world outside of us. Possibilities, reflections, experiences, margaritas the size of a baby’s head… oh San Antonio!

    Dana March 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Every day I take my 2 and ½ year old son to daycare so that I can write my dissertation. We’re lucky because Quebec’s subsidized system makes this possible. I feel extremely privileged to be able to do this. But it’s clear to me, I must be alone to write, and to write well it can’t be the middle of the night either. There can’t be television or radio or music with lyrics, let alone small, adorable pleas to be shown a youtube video or an online kid’s game. I am lucky in that my husband is an equal partner, and having just finished his dissertation it is now, most certainly, my turn. Recently he took my son on a trip for an entire weekend. When they walked in the door, I realized that in the day-to-day rush to shuffle my child out the door so that I can put my 6 to 8 hours in I hardly recognize how heartstoppingly beautiful he can be. It’s like in four days away he comes back more suddenly a boy and less a baby each time. There is nothing more lovely than when he bursts back into our house and exclaims “Hi Momm-may!”

    It really has struck me that as each of his parents try to achieve more in their careers less time is spent with all three of us together. Heading out the door to catch a couple of hours of writing at a café can seem like a break, but also brings that feeling of missing out. Tag teaming leaves you a necessary solitude, but also a bit lonely.

    When this degree is finally finished (June, please, oh please) I dream about spending some holiday time together, celebrating and relaxing. As a student with more debt than income that often means taking a via train or a rental (no cars in our family!) to the next town over, but something more out of the ordinary would be a welcome change.

    Laura Murray March 11, 2011 at 11:34 am

    What an exciting giveaway! My husband I were just talking last night about how some of our most enriching times as a couple have been when we are traveling together. There is just something about seeking an adventure together that makes us closer.

    Abigail March 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Such a great giveaway! We are expecting baby #3 (a girl!) literally ANY day now and I think a trip away with just me, husband and baby in a few months would be fabulous for us, our marriage, and the other 2 little’s could have some fun grandparent time :)

    Kari March 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    How this trip will enrich my parent-ness:
    1. I never win anything so it would be a great boost to my confidence, which I can then portray to my 2 year old daughter and 2 month old son.
    2. I need a reason besides church to wear something besides sweats.
    3. I finally have my body back for a moment so I could actually ride a roller coaster, better take the opportunity while I can.
    4. My husband and I would be forced to spend time together without children because I wouldn’t be able to cave and insist the kids come on our date too.

    Annie @ PhD in Parenting March 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

    You and I have a very similar scenario, as you know. :)

    I am very lucky as well, but I also work really hard and really deserve a break. Plus, I love San Antonio. I visited there once for work pre-kids and would love to go back.

    Maria @BOREDmommy March 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I would love to win this because other than my honeymoon in 2000, I’ve never gone away with my husband. How depressing is it that I haven’t been anywhere, overnight with my husband alone in almost 11 years? VERY. I’ve sacrificed everything to be there for my kids, but I think I’ve earned a short getaway at this point.

    Michelle March 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    My first thought: GIRLS WEEKEND! Sorry, husband. But I went to college in San Antonio, and would love nothing more than to meet up with my two best girlfriends from college for a mini-reunion weekend. Ahhhh.

    I’m a SAHM, so I haven’t had work-induced time away from my kids, which I think would be a different experience – but I definitely find that my absences recharge my batteries and make me a more fulfilled parent by reminding me that there’s more to me than being a mom. Which is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it certainly isn’t everything.

    And I so want to drink a margarita on the Riverwalk again!!!!

    Lana March 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Margaritas is what this mama needs! Margaritas make me a better mama :)

    My husband and I haven’t been away from our three year old daughter for longer than a night and it would be great to get away and reconnect.

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