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February 26, 2008 - Betsy Bethel
I've been away for five days. Away with my mom and sister. Away from my desk, my mountain of laundry, my husband, my voice mail, my computer, my dog, my dog's ubiquitous fur ... and my daughter.
The annual trip is a girls' getaway -- for the big girls. I still had to work, taking notes and snapping photos for a future travel page feature. But it essentially was an escape, complete with shopping, eating out, even a massage.
I looked forward to the trip, but was surprised to feel a sense of dread this year that I never had in the past. As attached as I am to my almost-2-year-old daughter, my heart felt like it was being squeezed in a vice when I left her Thursday morning.
Thankfully, though, as the trip progressed, I relaxed. I didn't spend hours pining for her or tossing and turning with worry. I realize one reason I was able to relax is because I completely trust my husband to take excellent care of her. He's a fabulous father. Another reason is because I truly needed this little break and consciously took advantage of the time "off" as much as possible.
The tension of work and family duties nevertheless didn't begin to melt away until Sunday morning (about 72 hours after leaving town).
And it returned full force at 6 a.m. Monday morning when I realized I would be reunited with my daughter that evening ... IF I put the pedal to the metal and got home before bedtime.
We made it back from North Georgia to my sister's in Dayton, Ohio, in record time. I practically dumped her on the curb to high-tail across the state to my baby, but it still wasn't quite good enough. When I got home, she was fast asleep, looking as if she'd grown an inch taller and 10 times more beautiful in my absence.
When she woke up this morning, I rushed to her bedroom. She ran to me and gave me the most delicious hug and kiss ever. It was priceless.
But I'm still trying to decide if the trip was worth it.
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Mom, Luann and me at the Crimson Moon Cafe in Dahlonega, Ga., Friday night.