My husband often travels for work and when he has a trip scheduled, he throws a suit in a bag, packs an assortment of blue button-down shirts, socks, underwear, a tie. He gives me a hug, and a kiss, and walks out the door.
I am going away for the weekend with my girlfriends. We have been taking this annual get-away for twelve years. I will be gone for two days, and I have already prepared three pages of notes so my family will not crumble in my absence.
The notes include directions to my daughters soccer game, what color uniform she needs to wear, what time she should arrive. I also have a lengthy section for my son who needs to teach snowboard lessons this weekend and can’t forget to pack himself a lunch. Then I list what this meal should entail less he wake up Sunday morning, stumble to the kitchen, turn to my husband and say, “What am I supposed to eat for lunch?”
On the rare occasion I go away, my family has a difficult time feeding themselves. My husband is an ivy league graduate, but when told he should eat the leftover enchilada in the frig, he will stand with the door open and proclaim, “I can’t find it.”
My dinner notes for the weekend include:
1. make turkey burgers
2. you will find the burgers in the freezer in the garage. Not the freezer above the small frig, the deep freezer
3. The burgers are in a blue plastic bag on the left-hand side of the freezer. The bag says, “Jennie-O” on it and is right next to a bag of tater tots.
4. Buns are in the bread drawer.
I will give my family ridiculously specific instructions. Still, when I return my daughter will say, “We couldn’t find the burgers, so we ordered pizza.”
I envy my husband and his ability to walk out the door with no concern. He never has to board and plane and wonder, “Will they eat while I’m gone? Will the baby get a bath? With they remember to feed the dog? Will anyone pick up the mail?”
My mother used to say, “All you really need to know is how to dial 9-1-1.” Perhaps she’s right. God, I hope if something goes wrong they can find the cordless phone.