brave anniversary

This weekend Colin and I celebrated our 7th anniversary (which is actually tomorrow… monday). And it was the first night we'd ever spent away from Veda, which made me more than a little nervous. Last July, for Colin's birthday present, his sister Katie offered to watch Veda overnight while Colin and I went out to paint the town red and sleep in the next morning. A great gift, right? And a gift that I just couldn't bring myself to take her up on. I know it's illogical and weird, but I just couldn't bring myself to be away for a whole night. And I should also mention that Katie is a talented child therapist who is more than extremely capable and wonderful with kids, especially her niece who she's crazy about. But I still freaked every time I thought about it.

I even had friends encouraging me to do it. And family who kept saying it was a good idea. Just do it. Veda would survive. I would survive. And I still couldn't.

But for her birthday in February, Veda got a book about Elmo's first sleepover. And that book started to plant the seed for her… and for me. We would read it and talk about what it would be like if she could go on a sleepover. What would she pack. What she'd like for dinner. What games she'd play. All that stuff. And she was pretty excited about the idea. Until I told her that it might really come to be. She cried. And I cried. And then we just kept reading that book. And soon she didn't cry. And I didn't cry. And it seemed sort of like it might actually happen.

And Friday night it did. We dropped her off at her aunt Katie's house and set up her room with her favorite blanket, the soothing noise maker, her favorite toys. Katie had also bought her a new toy -- a giant panda bear -- and a game to play that she was excited about. And I felt butterflies in my stomach as I gave her a big hug, kissed her little forehead and told her I loved her. She said it back in between playing puzzles, and Colin and I walked out the door.

And got in the car, checked into a swank hotel and went out for a dinner just the two of us. It was strange to be out. Even stranger to not have a curfew due to having to get up at 6am. And even stranger that when the morning did finally roll around, I was up at 6am staring at the clock. Turns out Veda did great. Went to bed early because she wanted to (what?!) and slept in till 8 (what?! what?!). (Why does Katie get the royal treatment?!) She had a great time playing and hanging out.

And it was a great anniversary for me and Colin. We talked about everything under the sun, laughed until it hurt, and kept saying it was so nice to be with each other as partners instead of parents. And I think it made me and Veda a little braver for the future.