Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sailing without mommy

This week I've had to go out of town and I've learned precisely how long it takes for things to break down in my careful “while mommy's gone” plan.

It's about two hours.

Like most moms, I'm pretty sure my family can do without me for a few days without any major damage. But I also know the ship lists just a bit.

The first major leak with the carefully planned list of weekend activities. I had planned these activities without realizing I was going to be out of town. I had carefully spent hours printing out detailed maps and agendas of the activities scheduled. What was I thinking? That I was dealing with a tour operator?

Needless to say, instead of the host of educational activities I had planned for over a month ago, the first few hours I was gone (I hadn't even landed at my destination for goodness sake) the plan unraveled into a mass of cupcakes, spontaneous playdates, sleepovers, and shopping.

The next leak was when I discovered how long it takes for my children to notice that I'm actually gone. Of course they said goodbye, and knew I was leaving, but it all hit home the second night. I picked up the phone as I headed to my hotel room, expecting a cheery "So how's it going? do you want to talk to the kids?" kind of call. Instead there's a long wail.


At least that's what I think she was saying. Frankly my ears still ringing.

There's not much that's as bittersweet as having your child, the one who was too busy on a computer game to even acknowledge your departure, call you from hundreds of miles away in a complete meltdown because it has finally occurred to her that you are actually not there.

When are you coming back?" she wailed.

Thursday. Remember?"I said.

She sniffled. "How far is it to your hotel?”

I suddenly had a vision of Mireya attempting to hitchhike across country, stuffed animal in one hand and four changes of clothes in the other.

Oh, it's very, very far. But you can always call me.”

Okay" she said.

Having dodged the complete meltdown bullet, we read a book over the phone, and then Sierra got on the line to recount all the trials and tribulations of big sister land. I sympathized, and slowly, slowly, said good night.

I know the ship will manage over the next few days to sail fine without me, but it's nice to know that as captain, I'm missed.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Nicely written. I'm always scared to answer the mobile phone or call home when I'm away, because then I have to hear about all the problems that are waiting at home for me to fix. When I've been away everything bad has happened from my husband going on a joy ride and getting a speeding ticket to my daughter cracking her head open on the wood burning stove.

Shirley said...

Ah, but don't you feel loved! It would be horrible if they didn't miss you!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

That's because you're a good Mama who is loved and adored by her family. It's good to go away sometimes, so your family is reminded of that so they appreciate you when you're home (wink). :)


Tammy in TX said...

My little girl is almost 19, but I remember those days when she called me missing me when she was away for Summer visiting relatives out of state. You know it secretly makes you feel good that they miss you. You are loved!