First of all, Hawaii was AHmazing. I had no idea discovering how Brando and I could be without children would be so helpful for my perspective on when we get into parenting scuffles. Prior to Hawaii we had never taken a vacation together, and never been away from the kids for more than one night. We've always had a child in our relationship as Justinbustin was five months old when I met Brando. Being away from kids that we were responsible for for an entire week and not getting in more than one fight - and even then, getting over it very quickly and in a sweeter manner than we normally do - helped me realize how MUCH stress children bring into life. Their constant opinions, needs, wants, decisions, create an unavoidable strain and further demand on your persona.
I even noticed the phenomenon with food. We ate at home a lot or packed picnics in Hawaii, because we didn't want to waste money on eating out when we could be doing other things. It ended up being so romantic packing picnics together, eating in our rented convertible with the ac blasting in the Pearl Harbor parking lot, eating on Turtle Beach, shopping together for just the two of us. I wouldn't trade that experience there for the world. I also noticed one container of deli meat lasts us two and a half meals with just the two of us. With the four of us one container lasts us ONE meal. WOW it takes a lot more to feed four than two.
Being on vacation with having so much great advice to give a little on Brando's side so that it was a vacation for him as well really taught me a lot about who he is and who I am and who we are when we are together. His favorite activities? Eating breakfast at a small cafe in a cute coastal town about ten minutes from us. We ate there four times. My favorite activities? Trying something new together - like kayak surfing, snorkeling Shark's Cove, seeing the Rainbow at Shark's Cove, visiting the USS Bowfin and Pearl Harbor. I learned that he is perfectly happy to do all those things with me adventurously and romantically and has an even greater time doing those thing when he enjoys spending his time indulging his favorites like breakfast, even if they seem miniscule to me.
Arriving home, I can't tell you how many countless arguments this perspective I've gained has saved us. I'm still grumpy in the morning, but when I am I sit back and realize this argument wouldn't be happening if a small child wasn't involved, and how silly is it that a small child can have that much control over a relationship. I look at Brando in a different light, how I would if we were still on vacation, and realize that I love him just as much as I did then, and point out what I want to say in a much more loving way. In a way I would if I didn't have the stress of the small child and only the motivation of having an amazing time together on vacation.
I didn't expect this to be a "fix it all" vacation. I only went to experience new things, and feel what it was like to be alone with my husband. In fact, my sister told me in the airport as we were leaving California that this was not a counseling session or a marriage seminar. It's not the time to bring up issues. It was VACATION. To relax and just enjoy each other. My first thought was, well, I don't know about that this is the perfect time to talk about issues when the kids aren't around. But you know what? She has the best advice and I totally listened to her, and I'm so glad I did. I came home learning so much more about my hubby, myself, and our relationship than I could have ever imagined, especially because I went not realizing I would learn ANYthing!!