Sunday, July 03, 2016

Sent packing

Are you sure you have everything?

Did you bring your toothbrushes and toothpaste? Did you pack clean socks?

Remember we will be away for five days? You should pack some extra … just in case.

How about sweatshirts? Did you pack something warm? It gets cold at night.

Yessssss, mom. It's all packed,” they sound off in unison as I hear the thud of bags in the hallway.

I may have given up packing for the little people in my household, but I haven't given up quizzing them on the contents of their luggage.

I won't likely forget the phone call I received after the girl arrived at her grandmother's house the summer she turned eight.

She's got four stuffed animals, six books, seven dresses, three socks (none match) and no underwear.”

It could have been worse, I thought to myself, at least she had her toothbrush.

She may have been going “commando” on her first trip away from home, but she wouldn't be neglecting her chompers.

I'm not sure what that means, dear, but could you make sure you bring some of her shirts and shorts when you arrive next week? I'll make a trip to the store for some underwear.”

Of course. I said that aloud. Somethings you just don't live down.

Did you bring chargers? Flossers? Pajamas? Books? Swimsuits?

I get a "Yes," and an "Uh huh."

They don't even look at me as they stand next to the bags.

When are we leaving?”

As soon as we load everything into the car.”

They nod their heads and continue staring into their devices. They've been ready to go for ages. I'm the one who's lagging.

Leaving home for any length of time seems to bring out the obsessive compulsion in me.

Dishes must be washed. Floors swept. Laundry … what we don't take with us anyhow … has to be folded and put into drawers.

I worry more about the possibility of something festering than I do about the potential that emergency workers, saving our house from some unforeseen (but hopefully minor) disaster, would notice the general untidiness of our lives …

You know …

If visiting strangers somehow managed to miss the weeds in the front yard or toys all helter-skelter on the porch, they would most certainly be mortified by the crumbs in the couch cushions.

Not that those ideas don't take up more than enough space in my brain box.

Of course, I hadn't finished packing.

I couldn't decide how much I would REALLY need for four days and five nights.

I can always get away with less; I tell myself. Two pairs of pants, a pair of shorts, several shirts a few unmentionables. I pack my toiletries and running shoes in zippered cases that had come with the sheet sets.

There is still room at the top of my bag.

Space that is reserved for the spoils of shopping.

I may be compulsive, but I'm also fairly impractical when it comes to contingency plans.

Needing to pop out to a store to buy a pair of sunglasses or sand diggers or a really cute top is subconsciously factored into the packing process.

And as I close my bag and haul it to the car, I smile. Summer is here. We have somewhere to go and places to be. And I am sure I have forgotten something.

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