The van was full, the kids were happy, and their little surprise lunchboxes, which they were instructed not to open until they were on the highway, were stowed carefully within reach by their seats.
I stood on the porch in my nightgown and waved goodbye. Hugs and kisses were exchanged numerous times before, and all I had to do now was wave.
“Bye bye!” they yelled. “Miss you already!” they screeched.
I returned inside to fill a watering can for my drooping flowers on the front porch. While I waited for it to fill I contemplated if I should colour my hair this morning, or go to the salon tomorrow.
Today is a holiday in Canada, the second last long weekend of summer.
I’ll stay home, I said to myself. Make coffee, write, putter around. Wash the grey outa my hair.
I took my watering can to the front porch and just as I emptied it, the van pulled back into the driveway.
? ? ?
“What happened?” I said.
He forgot his fishing licence.
Repeat of the above steps, and off they went again.
15 minutes of quiet, peaceful time elapsed. I plugged into my computer, loaded facebook, turned on a renovation show on tv.
I’m going to sit here a while, then colour my hair, I thought to myself.
It’s quiet. There’s not a lot of dishes to do, that can wait till later. No one to cook for, I’ll eat what’s around.
Suddenly, I hear a ding.
I look at my phone. I’m thinking it’s the kids aunt who is expecting them at her glamping site (glamping = glamour camping for those who don’t know the term). She lives in another part of town and left on her own, to meet up with her brother and our kids.
I opted out of this trip. For a variety of reasons, I decided that I would not join them for the second year in a row, although this year, I was very close to tagging along. Then at the last minute I announced I would stay home and while I organized and directed their packing, I made a mental note of all the things I could tackle while they were away.
Ding, the phone went again.
Fine, I’ll check the phone.
Surprise, it’s not my sil.
It’s the youngest, the 8yo.
“THE SURPRISE BOXES ARE AMAZING, THANK YOU SO MUCH, I MISS YOUR HUGS ALREADY!” she typed, all in caps. 🙂
Ding! the phone went again.
“Thanks for the surprise box. It’s amazing. Miss you.” typed the 11yo boy.
Ding, ding, DING! the phone continues.
My girl can’t help herself. But that’s ok. I know she’ll eventually dig into her surprise box, play with a toy, scribble in her notebook, eat some skittles. The boy brought his ipod and is listening to music. They should get to their destination in about four hours.
I have three, maybe four days of alone-time. I don’t have to cook, or look for the remote, or supervise wifi time, or remind them about brushing their teeth, or do anything I don’t want to.
Yet as I type this, I miss them. And I worry.
I always worry.
But a short distance away from my laptop is the family calendar, posted to the wall for all to see, with many, many things already scheduled on there for late August and September. I can see it from here.
Maybe I should turn it around for the duration of their trip. You know, to hide all the activity.
This is my vacation, after all, my chance to recharge my batteries.
I’ll be a little lonely, but at the same time, I’ll survive.