When we originally planned the bike trip, it was going to be in September and October, and we figured by then, Bill would be graduated from college and self-sufficient, and Katie would be starting her sophomore year, already adjusted to college, no fear of drama handed crying fits. But for various reasons – one being that Dana is a weather wimp and afraid Florida in October will be too cold – we moved the trip to June and July. And Bill isn’t graduating until December, and Katie loves college but is only self-sufficient until she needs something. Like money.
[Dana has informed me that does not think Florida is cold in October, although I distinctly recall him saying it was. So I apologize for slandering his weather toughness, but if he complains about being cold even once on this ride, I am SO GOING TO WIN THIS ARGUMENT.]
So while planning our trip, we’ve had some logistics to work through. One issue was, simply, could the kids survive without us for 2 months? For Dana, however, the most important issue was making sure he could take a 2 month leave of absence from his job. For me, the most important issue was finding someone to watch our house and our cats.
Did I just say that the cats are more important than the kids?
We found someone to live in our house for 2 months. Our friend John will watch the cats, keep the house looking lived-in, and take care of any problems that may arise, either house or cat-related.
As for the kids, we worry. While they are technically grown up, someone needs to be responsible for their crises. Bill is mostly independent and mostly ignorable, and he rarely calls us. But when he does, it’s always bad news. I’ve seriously considered changing his name on my cellphone to Oh Shit, because whenever I see his name on a call, I say “Oh Shit.” Some of his recent calls have begun with: “Where the f*** is my car? I think it got towed”, “I’m pretty sure I have a concussion”, “Our house is really cold and there’s water pouring out of the wall”, “I tore all the ligaments in my thumb”, “A cop is following me around campus, do you think I should pull over?”, and my personal favorite: “What should I do after I sleep with my girlfriend’s roommate?”
Katie is less troublesome but more needy. She prefers texting to calling, and all of her texts start with “Hey so like…” And then she asks for something. Like money. Or high-heeled black boots. Or not-high-heeled black boots. Or her laptop that she left on her bed after Thanksgiving weekend. Or concert tickets. Or sleds. Or clothing. Or more money.
Oops, ranting… so easy to do when dealing with your children.
Anyway, unlike Bill, Katie doesn’t like to share her nasty details with me, so I worry less but wonder if I should worry more. However, she has a summer job lined up, which should keep her busy, and give her money, and limit the amount of time she will have for drama-handed crises.
Question: If Katie has a drama-handed crisis, and I’m not there to hear it, will the slamming bedroom door still make a noise?
So while John is living in the house, he may or may not be sharing it with Bill and/or Katie. And our friend Amy will be responsible for answering the kids’ calls for help and money. By the end of the summer, Bill’s name on Amy’s cell will probably be Oh Shit.