This weekend, I’ll be traveling from Milford to New York City to catch Phish perform their final 3 shows of their historic 13 show residency at Madison Square Garden. Over the course of 4 days/3 nights, I’ll not only be taking in the concerts, I’ll also be visiting the 9/11 Museum, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and the American Museum of Natural History. It’ll be a hectic, but much needed, time away from home.
I’m also going alone…
Back in May, I was surprised by my wife, Shannon, with a single ticket to the final performances of Phish’s “Baker’s Dozen” MSG residency. It was the ultimate birthday gift! I was shocked, ecstatic, and once again reminded that my spouse truly wants me to be happy. She knows that, for me, it’s a live concert that acts as my happy place away from home. She may not have any interest in actually attending those shows with me, but she knows that I’ll return home with my soul re-energized from a night of goofy, hippie dancing.
At the time of the purchase, our plan was to head to NYC together. We had hotel reservations, dinner reservations, and spent hours planning our visits to local attractions. And then things changed…
As the months passed, we realized that perhaps we weren’t ready to leave the kids for a vacation, even if it was just a long weekend. We realized that perhaps we were going to spend outside our means with all the plans we were furiously making. The anxiety for what was to be a carefree weekend was getting to be a bit much. So, we made a decision. After much deliberation, it was agreed upon that I would go to the shows in NYC alone. The hotel was cancelled. The dinner reservation at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was axed. Our weekend getaway to New York City was now a solo excursion.
Now, I can’t tell you how many curious looks I’ve received when telling people that I’m taking in the sights of New York City and attending three concerts at Madison Square Garden alone. It’s been easy to read their minds as confused thoughts raced through their heads…
Is the marriage in trouble?
Why does he want to leave his wife and kids behind for a weekend?
What’s going on that he isn’t telling us?
Look, I’m a quirky guy. I know that. I’ve learned to embrace it. While some may question our joint decision, I have no reservations about taking a trip by myself. I’ll visit the tourist spots, and I’ll make friends with my dancing neighbors at the shows. I’ll then retreat to my hotel room across the street and sleep peacefully, without interruption, for the first time in five years. I’ll be happy!
I’ll also remain a faithful, loving husband and devoted dad who loves his children more than anything. This solo trek is not a sign of a marriage gone awry. It’s not a sign that I’ve become overwhelmed by fatherhood.
It’s a sign that after ten years together, my wife and I are still very much in tune with what makes the other happy.
So perhaps this upcoming weekend isn’t going to be what we thought it would be just three months ago. But, you know what? That’s ok. My wife and kids will be spending a couple days on a Cape Cod beach. I’ll be seeing my favorite band (three times!) and checking out an incredible city that I’ve never truly been able to explore.
And come Monday night?
Well, Monday night will see a happy family reunited after a weekend of fun, ready to tackle anything that comes our way…
Until next time…