One of my best friends is Julie (she has a blog too! www.drjuliebates.com) We became friends because our husbands worked together, and more importantly, had babies around the same time. Yup, she’s one of the mama’s I bonded with at a breastfeeding group in those early days of motherhood. Nothing bonds you like figuring out latches together! And though I moved away a few years after we met, we have always kept in touch. And fun fact about Julie – she’s a psychologist. I find it very helpful to have one I can text 😉
Julie was going to be in Washington, D.C. for an event and had some extra time so we discussed me flying up there to see her. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the scheduling to work on my end so I gave up the idea. On the morning she was flying to D.C. I mentioned to my husband that I was sad it didn’t work out. And then he casually said his schedule had changed and I should go. Right then. Cause moms don’t need to plan at all before flying across the country for a few days. I was still in my pajamas and would need to be at the airport in 2 hours. At first I said no. There wasn’t time! I would need to get ready, pack, do laundry for the kids, explain to him how to get them to their summer lessons and camps. I would need to get help from other people because he couldn’t do it all. But thankfully, he kept insisting. And after a few minutes of protest I decided to go for it. To just go.
I raced around, made the flight and had 3 really fun days! I love D.C. and drug Julie all over seeing the sites and forcing her to take selfies with me (she is far too mature for them- and I tell her what I tell my kids- “You’ll thank me later!!”).
One place I made sure to visit (that I found by accident during my first trip to D.C.) is my favorite building in the US- The Library of Congress.
Don’t let the name fool you. It’s a library, the largest in the world, but you won’t be checking out any books unless you are a high-ranking government official. You will find a Gutenberg Bible, a handwritten Bible, a hieroglyphic Bible for kids, and lots of different exhibits displayed. But I mostly come for the beauty. This is the most beautiful building in the Capitol to me. Looking at the mosaics on the floor and walls, elaborate paintings in bold rich colors, feeling the cool marble banister that’s carved to last centuries- you just can’t help but be in awe. Every detail is ornate, inspired and beautiful. As I looked though Thomas Jefferson’s donated book collection I looked at what he read. So many books on law, geography, politics of ancient times and his period, biographies of leaders, but also- some romance and poetry books. He made sure he was well rounded and appreciated what some might have considered frivolous. If Thomas Jefferson, who was just a little busy, made time for those things- why can’t I?
During my short trip my mind had the time and space to wander a little. To think about different things. Things other than to-do lists and schedules. And I think we all need that.
As mom’s it’s SO easy to put yourself not only on the back burner- but not even on the stove. There is always work to do, places to take the kids and laundry to be done. But if you are waiting until your kid’s schedule allows you to do something- you will be waiting until after high school graduation. And really, if they miss tuba practice once or you don’t see one basketball game…is that really going to make a difference? But if you get an opportunity to recharge your batteries- will that make a difference? I bet it will.
I came home with renewed energy and new ideas. And as I walked in my kids ran to me and seemed to have genuinely missed me! My eldest even said he missed me! (This is a huge from a teen boy!). They were all alive and well. Besides me losing a pair of sunglasses the whole trip went perfectly. Even without 3 months of pre-planning.
So, I encourage you to discover something that you find beauty in and focus a little time on that today. Whether it’s a much-needed trip across the country or just a trip to Starbucks with a good book- just go. Make time. You need it. -Cher