Skip to main content

When Mommy's away...

I just got back from six days in Orlando at my organization's annual convention. This is a trip I look forward to and dread in equal parts each year. Imagine it: 10,000 teachers, mostly elementary school level, running around hundreds of sessions over the course of three days, across two massive buildings, with me and my colleagues at the center of every detail. We plan it for over a year; in fact, starting Monday we'll be planning 2012's convention. But it's a week of energizing enthusiasm, a time we can look around and feel that the work we do really is important.

This trip is old hat for my husband and family too -- it's my tenth (!) convention trip. In fact, this year, I didn't even cook meals ahead of time. I knew they'd have more fun with McDonalds and frozen pizza and ice cream truck treats and cereal nights.

And I really didn't worry about the children or the husband being here without me. I know Big Daddy is actually better equipped to be a SAHM than I am; he cooks, he cleans, he organizes, he does homework, he does baths and reads books and tucks in bed quickly and efficiently, without the whining-stalling-yelling-bargaining routine. (I did, however, worry a teeny bit about my cats. I feared that with all the excitement of junk food dinners and boy sleepovers, the people in the house might neglect to feed and water the furry ones.) 

While I was away,
  • The ATM machine ate Daddy's card, leaving him sans cash for a week. This means the junk food-a-thon that had been planned could not take place.
  • A three-day low-grade fever was, in fact, an ear infection for Zippy. So Daddy stayed home and cuddled the babe for most of the week.
  • Happy lost his first tooth. And his second.
  • Big Daddy power-washed and repainted the deck. I have no idea how he managed that while simultaneously single-parenting. (See aforementioned SAHM skills that out-skill mine.)
Meanwhile, I spent five gloriously quiet nights in a Hilton, complete with complimentary breakfast, evening hors d'oeuvres and honor bar as well as a giant heated pool and pristine fitness room. During this time, even though I worked my tail off during the day, I got to eat nice meals that I didn't have to cook, and someone came in every day to make the bed. I read an entire novel! Best of all, the only person I had to bathe and dress and feed was me. There was a time I would have felt guilty about that. 

That time has passed.

You know the best part about going away for a week? The gigantic hug and "Oh, I'm so happy you're home" I received from my handsome man when I walked in the door. Before I left, I was pretty sure he'd think the evening-parent shift was easy, thus negating all my bitching and yelling and passing out at 9pm most nights. Evidently not. Whew.


Popular posts from this blog

Grace happens

Today Honey's roommate in room 364 at Maine Medical Center was discharged. Some other day I'll tell you about why Honey is in the hospital again, but this story is about the roommate because it's way more interesting. Let's call him Elton, because all I really know about him is he plays guitar in an Elton John tribute band and he's originally from the very northern part of England, bordering Scotland. (Or as Honey described it, "that place in England where the Roman Empire decided, nope, those Celts are crazy, and put up a wall.")

Elton was in room 364 before Honey arrived, and what struck me immediately, besides his delightful accent and soothing Liam-Neeson-esque voice, was his gentle, good-natured manner. He was going through heck from a botched surgery and compartment syndrome - pain and gore and fear of losing the use of his dominant hand - yet he spoke kindly and softly to every person who came into his room. Every time a nurse walked in, Elton gree…

Boardwalk ghosts

“Imagine this, buddy, in the middle of summer, especially near the Fourth of July. Wall to wall people, just sort of moving in and out of each other. Flashing lights. Loud music. Screams from Morey’s Pier, laughter on the swirly rides. Oh...and the cream, funnel cake, fudge, cheese steaks, pizza, fries...the smells alone would drive you nuts!” 
It’s 5:00 on the evening before his Nana’s funeral, and we’re standing in a windy drizzle on an empty Wildwood boardwalk. My mind has flashed back to the summer of 1991, when I spent a week here with my best friend. Wicked sunburn. Tandem bike adventures. Water slides. Thrill rides. A ground-shaking thunderstorm. Friendship bracelets. College guys taking showers outside. Ice cream and VCR movies every night.

Back in the here-and-now I’m trying to explain to Zippy what this place is like when it’s not October. He’s been to Rehoboth and Ocean City and Old Orchard Beach, but none of those come anywhere close to Wildwood in peak season.…


Zippy and I hiked in the woods the other day, following the icy trails around Evergreen Cemetery. The cold air stung our eyes but the sun shone warm and bright, and it felt great to breathe fresh air. As he skipped and hopped and twirled beside, in front, and around me, I felt peaceful, happy, content. Until I realized the Womens' March is in a few days, I am going, and I don't know what to expect. I've never done anything like this, except for a few years ago at Occupy Philly, which was nothing compared to the numbers they're anticipating this weekend. The Women's March will be a peaceful protest, yes, but 200,000 is an awful lot of people in highly charged city during turbulent times. I felt anxiety creeping into my chest.

"So you know I'm going away this weekend, right? To Washington, D.C. For just two sleeps. Do you know why I'm going?" I asked Zippy.
"Because you don't like Donald Trump and he's going to be the President."