Before I left for the lodge this season I wrote this post to my children:
I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again.
To my beautiful, awesome children (all 5 of you), Nick, Kortney, Cody, Abby, Tanner (I don't know how many of you there will be when I return, 3, 4 or maybe 6 so this is to whomever is a part of this family for the next 5 months),
There's a place for everything and everything IS in its place! The oven has been cleaned, the garbage is out. Dusting and vacuuming, check. The kitty litter is new and the fridge has been purged. I will give you a week's notice before my return.
The last 25 years have been a joy and a blessing being your mom, chef, tutor, bum wiper, physician, hair stylist, food source (literally, and don't forget it!), referee, coach, #1 hockey mom and fan (even though I despise football more than you know), financial institution, advocate, party planner, manager. You get the point.
As I begrudgingly leave my heart behind I ask only of you: DO NOT put my cast iron frying pan or bamboo cutting board (that was replaced by Adam the last time I went through this because he needed to use it as a TV support while he watched soap operas by the fire and left it out in the rain) in the dishwasher or use soap on them. Mow the lawn before it becomes a jungle (a meadow feel I will accept, since you will no doubt experience an entire field of dandelions and there won't be a damn thing you can do about it). If you are able to autograph the furniture, dust. Don't starve the cats or bring them near dehydration (and they really love a certain amount of attention. This is imperative so that i do not become their prey when I return). If you need instructions like I did to run the vacuum (call your dad!). If you choose not to heed this item you will literally become a walking ball of fur! You can only use laundry soap with an "HE" symbol on it ( I don't know why, but that's what your dad told me), and clean the lint trap in the dryer (if you don't, the code to the fire alarm is in its place, and they WILL phone you).
My sheets have been washed. If you use my bed I DO NOT want to know! I just want to know that when I get home after a 20 hour trip that my nice clean sheets are waiting for me. After the first utility bills come in we will discuss whether they will become a part of your debt load. There's a gas mask and rubber gloves in the bathroom cupboard and the toilet brush is in there somewhere too. They are all one size fits all so there shouldn't be a problem. Garbage day is Thursday. You guilted me into saving the earth by recycling, with your cute little elementary faces, and I am now the Recycling Nazi. It goes out on the same day but they do not take plastic bags, glass, styrofoam, or the garbage that you can't take two extra steps for to throw in the garbage can.
DO NOT USE MY WINE GLASS!
I've made enough money in my lifetime to afford Spelling Manor but I chose to invest it in your Ballers hockey career! I don't have much but what I do have is important to me!
I trust you and I thank you in advance. I'm glad that I am able to give you the opportunity to show your gratitude for the services listed above. I will be available for your phone a friend life line, the number is on our website www.darkewaters.com
But seriously, I am going to miss you with an empty heart, every single day! (Except of course on the days I will be soaking up the sun, hydrating with wine, and eating all of the crab my little heart desires. On those days, phone one of your mothers from another mother! (Thank you Shelly and Chris).
Love you ALL to the ocean and back!
P.S. You can't turn on more than 3 knobs on the stove at the same time or you will blow the breaker and I don't know where the fuse box is! My hairdresser Ashley said if you can't stand your hair after 4 months without a haircut she's pretty sure she knows more than me!
Well, I'm home now and I must say, most of the above list was not adhered to except that my wine glass was not broken! The gas mask and toilet brush were never used and I could definitely sign my name in the dust. The weeds were as high as the living room window and my brand new couch has a stain on it. I did rant and say my piece while my youngest child sat obediently on that new couch and obliged me, and after I was done I think I did feel a little bit better.
What I did later, after I was a bit calmer, was ask myself what the positive was in this situation. And of course, as usual, I was able to come up with two very important things. My house was still standing and all three cats were still alive (less a whole bunch of hair on one's tail).
I love my kids more than life itself and I'm thankful that they were here to at least tend to the important things.