Last year after we celebrated the twins’ birthday for the first year without Erik, I realized sitting in the quiet aftermath of the party that I did not want to do this anymore moving forward. I didn’t want to throw birthday parties the way we used to, without my husband, mostly as the twins share a birthday with Dad. I didn’t want to celebrate in this way without him. It was one of those strong feelings that was hard to ignore. One of those ‘as a matter of fact’ type of feelings where I knew to my core I just did not want to do this again without Erik. It wasn’t the same. Even when we honored him at the party, it still was not the same. So that night I decided that I would stop. I knew this was something I couldn’t handle again in the foreseeable future and it was also something I wasn’t willing to put myself through again to try. Since Erik’s passing, I have done many things I did not want to do or knew would be hard for me to do, but I did it for the sake of our twins. And although there are very few things I put myself first before my kids, this was one thing I could imagine putting myself through again. And so came the idea of birthday trips. I wanted to find a way moving forward to celebrate the twins in a way they would still enjoy and continue to honor Erik for his birthday as well. And what better way could I think than to celebrate as a family doing one of the things Erik and I loved most, traveling. Something that we always promised we would do for our kids, show them the world. So each year for their birthday we will take a new trip somewhere as a family.
Two weeks ago we set sail on our first of many twins’ birthday trips. I was pretty nervous traveling with them as a solo parent. Not only was I dealing with the mental load of traveling without Erik, but coming to terms with the fact that all the memories I would make with our twins now would have him missing. Erik and I traveled with them quite a bit before he passed and this was going to be my first full trip with them solo. We had gone on a family trip prior to this and after he passed, but it was with about 15 other family members who would have been there to help. So I thought a Disney cruise for a few days would be a good first step. Deciding where to go on a trip already had its challenges as a solo parent. I not only had to figure out all the logistics myself but how I would make it work with handling the two of them and everything in between. I had to think about the mode of transportation, for example, if we flew, do I pack the stroller? Do I pack the car seats? How will I lug all our luggage around and still have enough hands to carry them? Will I need a rental car? If we drove, where would we go that we haven’t before? How far can I drive without getting tired? How long will they last without a bathroom break? How do I safely handle stops? All of these questions that I now had to answer and figure out alone. All times two. The Disney cruise seemed to be a good fit. The twins love all things Disney. They had a kid’s club in case I needed a break. We were on a boat traveling to our destination so I wouldn’t have to worry about car seats or how to get from one place to the next. It was just enough days where it wasn’t too short or too long. It seemed to be a manageable solo trip with them.
And there we were setting sail on our first Disney cruise to Ensenada. My cousin and his girlfriend ended up accompanying us on the boat and it turned out to be greatly helpful. Join me next time in ‘Sailing the Seas II’ to read all about our time aboard!