Time off, with penalty

B and I have this weekend to ourselves. It’s been long talked about and much anticipated, and it is very nice to be able to, say, go out at 2:00 in the afternoon or sleep in until 8:00. But the planning of such a weekend weighs heavy on my mind, and rightly so.

Just before K’s babymoon, we were playing with M at the park when a slide mishap broke his leg. Seriously. Just a little crack, but he wasn’t walking, and we weren’t about to callously dump him on Oma and Opa, especially considering it was our fault. What bad luck.

We planned another weekend alone a couple months before K was due, just a quiet thing at home. Then my grandmother died. Babysitters quickly whisked off to a funeral I couldn’t attend because I was so pregnant. Bad luck times two.

The next chance to get away came a few weeks later. And then the contractions started. That’s right–K surprised us Friday morning, three weeks early, and as such ended up in the NICU for eight days. The time we should have spent having a relaxing, romantic break turned into a week-long vigil. Bad luck my ass–that’s officially a curse.

So when we planned to have another weekend off, some eighteen months after our last one, I held my breath all week. I drove more carefully, limited activities, hovered a little more cautious. Surely, surely I was wrong about it being a curse.

And then K fell down the stairs.

It was one of those slow motion moments, one where the air turns to sand and you fight to pass through it, inches away from a tiny little hand. She was there one minute, standing to wave, so proud of herself for following me up, and then she was gone, tumbling and rolling and scaring her mother half to death. I was at the bottom in seconds, scooping her up and shushing her cries, anxiously running my hands over every inch of her oh-so-vulnerable body.

Thankfully, no damage. Praise God for her slight build and a baby’s flexibility and carpet on the stairs. And here I am, finally a free weekend. But as I add them up, the penalties seem so steep, the free time hardly free. I hate to say I’ll be glad when Monday comes, but I will be nonetheless. I mean, sleeping in is fantastic, but after births, deaths, hospitals, broken bones, and bad falls, it makes it a little hard to get sleep in the first place.

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