April 22, 2013

Travels with Jelly

I just got back from a weekend away. My beautiful cousin Anna was getting married. I knew it would be difficult for us to travel with Moe, but I really wanted to go. I don't get to see my extended family often, but I love my cousins. I have so many happy childhood memories playing with them, and I want to give my kids the opportunity to know their cousins.

So we decided to make it a girls weekend. 

Jelly and I traveled together to San Diego. She did great. She was such a trooper going from car to shuttle bus and waiting in long security lines. She loved the airplane ride and seeing her cousins and especially Grandma and Grandpa. Jelly even had a special role in the wedding as ring bearer.

It wasn't easy. Jelly was still recovering from a bad cold, and woke up coughing quite a bit. She didn't sleep well in the hotel, and spent much of Sunday trying to figure out how to get a nap. We spent a couple hours with three (soon to be four!) of my favorite people, a good friend who I've known since I was 12 years old, her husband and son. The plan was for Jelly to play with them, show off all her cuteness and sass, before we headed back to the airport. The poor girl was so tired she fell asleep on the booth at the restaurant.

There was a lot of crying.

We still had a great time. And despite the lack of sleep, and despite Jelly's cold, I was remarkably unstressed. I had more patience for her never ending chatter, the constant "whywhywhy" questions that usually drive me over the edge. I had fun with my girl.

Maybe it was because I just had one child to watch. Maybe it was because we were away from the everyday responsibilities of home, or because I had Grandma and Grandpa and lots of aunts and uncles and cousins (thanks Sami and Stella!) to help make sure my girl was having so much fun.

But I can't deny that it was also because Moe wasn't there. 

On the one hand, having a child with challenging behaviors has helped me be more relaxed about other things. Things from this weekend with Jelly that would probably have put other parents over the edge, were nothing to me. She puked all over the sheets and we had to have housekeeping change the bed at 10pm? It's fine. She woke up at 2am on Sunday morning, and never fell back asleep? I survive on very little sleep most days. This trip was easy.

But it also made me realize how much it takes out of me to be Moe's mom. I love that boy with all my heart, but fresh scratches on my arm remind me how tense things can be at home. The clenched teeth and furrowed brow and constant vigilance are back. And while I'm enjoying a few extra snuggles from Moe today, I am also deep into the "what could have been" thinking that I try so hard to avoid.

Still, I am thankful for the break, grateful for my husband who encouraged me to take Jelly so we could get away and introduce her to the family. I'm looking forward to the day when we can bring Moe too. 


  1. I'm glad you had a good time with just your girl. I took a similar trip my with mine last summer and had a similar experience. I think it is important to carve out some time together and I hope to do it every year. But I also know the pang of leaving behind the boy. Maybe he relished his time as the only child in his own house for the weekend!

  2. She is so stinking cute!!! Sounds like you had a good time away even with all the ummmm "extras".

    Just so ya know...I have felt the same way before too. :D

  3. Well said Jen. Glad you had a great time away!

  4. I love your new glasses and that rockin' moustache! =D

  5. Hi Jen - despite the setbacks looks like you had a great time! Love your funny photo!
    BTW I just had a baby boy on Valentine's Day (baby 2) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed he is as easy as Jelly in future after the issues with baby 1.

    1. Congratulations! He will be perfect no matter what, but I do know what you mean. Hope you are having an easy time with him :) Valentine's Day is a great birthday - my best friend's and my grandfather's too!


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