A big step…

Well, it’s almost here. The day I’ve counted down to and anxiously awaited for months: our first trip without the babe. My friend is getting married this weekend in New Orleans, and when she told me about a year ago that it would be a destination wedding, I was 6 months pregnant and didn’t bat an eye when I told her that yes, of course we would make the trip and attend the wedding. In fact, not only did I not stress about committing, I was ecstatic. Our first trip without baby girl. Think of the romance! Think of the sleep I’d be able to get! Think of being carefree without a baby in a magical city I’d never visited!

Since January, I’ve been pumping milk so Grandma will have enough to feed her. I’ve tallied up the ounces and counted down the days. I’ve meticulously planned my outfits, beyond excited I will get to dress like a grown up again and be able to retire my mom uniform of yoga pants and tees for a couple of days. I’ve made plans with other friends who are going to NOLA too – all the while dreaming of champagne brunches and sunny pool days.

And yet, here I sit. 2 days before we leave, suddenly my heart is heavy with the realization of what this trip actually means. It’s the end of one chapter. The beginning of something new.  Harper is 8.5 months old, and I have had the privilege of getting to witness just about every moment of her sweet life. I’ve been present for every milestone she’s reached so far, both the monumental moments and those that are insignificant to anyone other than her mama. For all of her firsts, I’ve had a front row seat. And not only have I witnessed the first times, but also the second, third…fiftieth. You name it, I’ve been here. She is on the verge of crawling now, and I’ve gotten to cheer her on with every wobbly little move she makes.

I know I will enjoy the time alone with my husband and quality time with our friends. I will have fun at the brunch, wedding, pool and casino. But I’m wiser than I was a year ago. I have grown to know it won’t be the carefree trip I had envisioned. A huge piece of my heart will be playing on her alphabet mat with Grandma, trying again and again to finally get that crawling thing down.