Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things go South when Dad is Away

Rich's packing list

I dread when Rich leaves town for international destinations because bad things happen when he is away. I say 'international' because there is more time for more things to go south.

My anxiety starts when he makes his typical packing list. See above. Rich is a list maker.

Take for example the latest. Rich and I just returned from separate trips. He went to Croatia and Rome, and I went to NYC. Of course Rich's trip involved lots of exotic foods and activities and speaking at the UN. He was gone for 2 weeks compared to my 3 days. Despite the character of his international trips-- long trips, short trips, good trips or bad trips-- terrible things happen when Rich is away, which is why I rarely go out of town at the same time.

Someone has to stay behind to pick up the pieces.

While Rich was tromping around on a private forest preserve dreaming of shooting wild boar (and I was seeing Patti Lupone in Gypsy) James was lost in the 'Vortex of bad luck when Daddy is away'. This time, James couldn't find his ACT registration ticket to retake the last test that could apply toward college scholarships. He was just a measly point or two short of the 'winning' score for some serious dough.

James couldn't find his 'ticket' on the nail on the bulletin board under the family calendar inside the pantry door (where I always put it). He couldn't find it in his ACT account on-line. He also couldn't find his name on the list at either of the schools where he would ordinarily take the test.

So, he decided to go to the LSU/Georgia game at Tiger Stadium instead.

When I called to see how he had done, he was at the football game. At that point I told him to go directly home. I added that he was 'in BIG trouble.'

I never said I was the perfect mother.

Rich continues to maintain that he registered James for the ACT. Yet after our return neither of us could find any materials evidencing said registration, anywhere.

So, at least we determined that it was his father's fault.

Generally, fault-finding is not so clear cut (or is it.....?). Some of the many oddities (to downright disasters) that have occurred when Dad was away were:
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • My mother's chest pains and heart stent surgery
  • My mother's internal bleeding, colonoscopy and hospitalization
  • Daniel accidentally shoving his hand through the door window
  • Daniel falling out of a shopping cart onto his back
  • Daniel breaking his collar bone playing mud football
  • Oh, the bat invasion: Several thousand of them had apparently settled in our chimney. The day after Rich left they invaded our house, our attic and all of our duct work.
  • And my favorite: James swallowing a button (watch) battery. That event put us in the ER with a doc that recommended a messy emergency surgery to dig around in my 3 year old's bowel. Thank God for the young intern that whispered for to me to flee! and call the 'button battery hotline'. I checked out 'against doctor's orders.' Surgeons do not like when you do that.
There are more, particularly with respect to James, but I can't elaborate. Either I can't recall them with my aging brain, or I've been told to be silent due to pending litigation (kidding).

I am thinking that there must be an age limitation on these weird events. So, for example, maybe they only occur for family members between the ages of 19 and 80. I thought that maybe since James was 18 on October 1st, he would be at a good age for his dad's trips. But that doesn't seem to be the case. So, I'm hoping that 19 is the magical year.

That still leaves my 87 year old mother. She lives in our backyard. And she isn't getting any younger.

So for the near future I will only dream about romps in Europe with my husband, and I will live vicariously through his beautiful photographs. Following are a few.

Villa d' Este

Villa d' Este

Ville d' Este Fountain

Ville d' Este Fountain

Streets of Rome

Bell at Presidential Forest Preserve

Our friend Leo at Villa d' Este

View from Villa d' Este

Tiber River, Rome

Gladiators at the Pantheon (Do these guys look fighting ready to you?)

Vista of the Forum


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