Each time we take our kids on an overnight trip, I try to psyche myself up. “Let’s just go with the flow. We know they won’t go to bed on time. It’ll be fine.”
This is our mantra: “It’ll be fine.” Sometimes if I say it enough I can convince myself it’s true. But at 10 p.m. when both kids are still awake, tensions rise. I wonder if I’ll ever sleep again. Can the people next door hear the kids sobbing? Can they hear my sighing as I wonder, “Why did we think this was a good idea?” Everything feels worse than it is.
Later as I’m driving around with our youngest, in a final attempt at sleep, I see three teenage boys on bikes. It’s the peak of summer and although it’s nearly 10:30 at this point, sunlight hasn’t quite given up. I wonder if their moms know where they are. Are they worried? It’s hard to imagine that my kids will ever be old enough to be out on their own. Especially at night. But that day will come, and it’ll come faster than I expect. I imagine those nights will still be sleepless for me. Will I question every time they go out? Will my husband and I argue over why we thought it was a good idea? Or will we be relaxing and having a carefree summer night of our own?
I hope I look back on these sleepless nights of vacation and remember the fun. I hope we laugh at the hard times; those moments that I can’t imagine laughing about now. While I’m still in the challenging years with little ones, I hope we keep taking the trips and making memories. Memories for us to talk about when our kids are out past dark.
This post originally appeared on Coffee + Crumbs.