I got to spend approximately 4.3 glorious days away recently, visiting my sister and niece in Boise. My primary goal for going was to meet my most beautiful new niece, Lila. But of course there were additional bonuses like adorable, sweet Jackson and funny, smart Kaden. And the adults. They were nice to visit too. I even got to see my other sister, so the three of us sisters were together (a rarity). We didn't take any pictures together but that's ok, because the middle sister has lost 100 lbs recently and makes us other two sisters look like the ugly stepsisters, Jenny Craig edition. So, we collectively hate her and love her at the same time. Skinny bitch. :)
But this was the VERY first time I've ever been away, on my own, for that length of time. How sad is that? I've been a mom for over eighteen years and this is the first solo trip extending past a weekend? Also, I was gone during the school week, which added a fun, new twist for my husband. Besides being mom AND dad, he got to deal with a crisis involving a leotard (that's the thing you wear on your body, tights are what you wear on your legs), had to drive a child to school who missed the bus (always one of my favorite pastimes) and, sadly, had to deal solo with a dog's health crisis (including breaking the sad news to the kids that our beloved Charlie is very sick). I, on the other hand, had to deal only with decisions like whether to have the cookie dough brownie or the magic cookie bar with my daily coffee at the cafe, or which baby to hold and cuddle. Ah, life.
And now that I'm back, and fully into the throes of the household again, I realize there are some things I did NOT miss about being away. The biggest and most obvious: I did NOT miss my dogs. I know, that's so mean, but Shade's incessant whining, the frenzied barking at the door by three overreacting dogs and the general dog hair, slobbery water mess on the floor....nah, didn't miss that at all. Sure, I felt bad about Charlie and when I came back I snuggled with him in front of his favorite spot - the fireplace - and took a nap with him, but I did not miss the chaos that comes from having dogs.
I also did not miss having to make school lunches. Bleh. Last night I went to make lunches. But then I decided to quick switch the laundry around and put my clothes in the dryer. But then there was no basket. I heard they were all in Harrison's room. I went to get one. His floor was covered with clothes and several upended laundry baskets, one of which contained his $400 bass lying haphazardly inside a laundry basket (huh?). As I was retrieving a basket, I noticed several of my own clothing items on the floor. What the.....?? I picked through the mess and retrieved my own clothes as well as a couple of pairs of yoga pants and a t-shirt belonging to his sister. I put all the towels from the floor into one basket. I separated his darks and lights into his laundry basket. And I finally got three empty laundry baskets to take into the laundry room where I found my clothes mysteriously missing. Funny thing, while I was cleaning HIS room, he had dumped my clean clothes into a basket and deposited them in MY room.
I finally descended the stairs to make lunches. I put grapes into five baggies. Put out a yogurt for each lunch. Made sandwiches. Cut up five oranges and squeezed them into snack bags (p.s. the average-sized orange just barely fits into a standard sized, Ziploc snack bag). Juice boxes, water bottles, spoons, napkins and a handiwipe and lunches were finally done. But then I noticed the cereal shelf was a mess. And some of the cereal was sitting on the floor. So, I organized the cereal shelf and found a half-full box of Lucky Charms that had gone stale because someone was too lazy to fold down the inner bag. I found out we had three opened boxes of Rice Krispies. And that someone had deposited a box of granola upside down on the shelf. Sigh.
And then I had to clean up the kitchen and ask my daughter to unload and load the dishwasher which was met with an audible sigh and complaint because she was watching the AMA awards on TV (which she can see from the dishwasher!). And I had to wipe down the counters and collect the dirty dish towels and cloths and head upstairs with my laptop, a pile of dirty kitchen towels (plus one bath towel I found on the stairs!), a permission slip I needed to sign and a handful of lens cleaner wipes with which to clean my dirty laptop.
This entire process took about two hours. And I was just going to "go make lunches" and be back upstairs in twenty minutes to attend to all the things I needed to do on my computer since it had not been communicating with my wireless connection all weekend and was therefore useless to me. I stayed up till almost midnight sending emails, filling in my calendar with appointments, checking my Facebook and online shopping for Christmas.
In Boise, my computer worked, I didn't have to make school lunches, or pick up anyone's dirty towels, or clean cereal off the floor. I slept in every day, went to bed when I felt like it, spent my day snuggling cute babies and even snuck in a little shopping (sparkly shoes - yay!). Vacations are good. Being home is good. But it's not a vacation. And now I'm going to be late for work! Bye!