‘I know, I know. It’s not you, it’s me.’

I found myself saying this old cliche to Neal the other week. 

Not because we are splitting up or anything horrible like that but because Neal wants us all to get out more and to travel. 

What has prompted this? 

Well, although Neal will not thank me for this at all (and I may well find my divorce papers in the post) it is Neal’s 40th Birthday this month. 

What does he want for his birthday? 

I mean the thing he wants most of all? 

For me and him to go to New York for a few days.

But (and there is always a but), I will not leave Oscar. 

I will not travel abroad without my son. 

I also do not particularly want to travel abroad with my son (I know that sounds awful, but the thought fills me with dread). 

New York is just too far away. 

In fairness to Neal it is somewhere he has always wanted to go. 

He wanted to go when he was thirty but my mum had not long passed away, my dad was ill and we were looking for a house so it never happened. 

When I turned thirty he wanted to take me to New York but again I would not leave Oscar. 

He even tried to compromise and get me to go to Barcelona, but I still would not go. 

He even suggested Edinburgh, but I would not go.

I have told him that I am happy for him to go abroad if he wants but of course he wants me or me and Oscar to go too. 

After all, we are his family. 

I know that having a couple of days away together either in the UK or abroad would do us some good and provide some much needed rest but I don’t feel comfortable leaving Oscar, even though I know he would be being looked after (and spoilt) by his grandparents. 

I also think it is a lot to ask of my in-laws to take care of him for more than a day as I know how challenging it can be. 

I also know (and I have been putting this thought to the back of my mind) that I am probably going to have to look into some kind of respite care for Oscar in the future, in case there was ever any emergency at home but the thought of having someone I don’t know very well look after my child does not fill me much joy either. 

I know there are strict checks done on carers but you never know. 

I don’t also have any friends I feel would be able to look after Oscar or even be willing to if I am honest. 

I think the thing that bothers me most is if something happens whilst we are away. 

If there was an emergency and we were abroad, how will we get home quickly? 

And, I know it is the ‘what if’ scenario all over again. 

Nothing might happen. 

We might actually have a lovely time but I do not think that I would be able to fully relax. 

But, I know I need to take a step back and let others help me with Oscar as, as he gets older things are only going to get more challenging. 

It is just so hard to try and let go.

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