Well, I leave on my trip Monday morning and here is what I've done to get ready for it:
2. Worked myself into a guilty frenzy.
That's it. That's all I've done.
Item #1 I can and will do something about. I will make detailed lists of everything that is going on during the week so the FG can stay on track. I will do as much as possible ahead of time so there are hopefully no unforeseen domestic crises to deal with. (Or no more than usual anyway). I can have my packing done in ten minutes flat and have already made very good progress planning out my schedule in LA. It's all good.
Item #2 is the one that's killing me. I get the most horrendous guilt imaginable leaving my kids. The sick to your stomach kind. I can't even describe it properly. Words fail me. (Now having written that I'll spend about a thousand words proving myself wrong).
My children are 15, almost 12 and 10. These are the times I've been away from them:
To Alabama for a week when my grandmother died.
To Michigan for five days when my father died.
To California for a week when my mother broke her hip.
(are you sensing a theme?)
For two weeks when I was having to do a summer session of nursing school and the kids went back to California on the train with mom and Stu. I drove out to get them as soon as I was done.
For four days when Surfer Dude was a baby and my mom and Stu thought I was having a nervous breakdown so they sent the FG and I away on a Mexican cruise. And watched the kids to boot.
Various one or two night things - Bunco getaways, my trip to St. Louis this summer...short things. I've been in the hospital for kids being born and for one surgery. The FG and I came to Kansas with Sasquatch to scope out the moving situation while the other two stayed with my mom. There have also been the assorted grandparent overnighters and such where the kids have gone away from me.
I don't even think the FG and I have taken another trip just the two of us since we've had kids. Isn't that terrible? Oh wait, yes we did. In January 2004 he had a film in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. He was there for the entire festival and I flew out for the opening weekend of the film. (That was a fun trip, now that I think about it). But that's been it.
And the Film Geek? He's been all over the United States and Europe. He spent ten months teaching at the University of Michigan while I stayed in LA with three kids six and under. He's gone a lot. He's always been gone a lot. It's the nature of the business. As far as I can tell he's okay with it. The kids seem okay with it. It's what they know. For the most part I'm perfectly fine with it too, although the last trip through Europe really burned my ass. Because when you come right down to it I don't really want to be away from my kids. Even in Europe.
I don't know what my problem is. It's not like my husband can't handle it. Of course he can. It's not like my children can't handle it. Of course they can. It's not even that I can't handle it, because once I'm on my way I'll be fine. But the lead-up period may do me in. I even get like this (on a smaller scale) during multi-day work runs, so clearly I have issues. (I'm sure it doesn't help that I was scheduled for this entire weekend at work before this trip was planned and couldn't juggle it around. Or that next weekend after I get back there's a Bunco Birthday overnighter).
My catastrophic thinking goes haywire on me. I imagine anything and everything that can go wrong. When I was in Alabama when my grandmother died I couldn't reach the FG on the phone late one night because he was on the computer and we had dial up. I was beside myself needing verbal confirmation that my kids were sleeping peacefully in their beds and not trapped in some burning inferno. I didn't have access to a computer, so I called a friend in California and asked her to email my husband to call me ASAP so I could finally relax. Can you say neurotic?
I'm sure I'll be better once I'm actually on my way. (Please let me be better once I'm actually on my way). But to be safe, I'll add one more thing to my To Do List:
Remind mom to stock up on wine. Just in case I need it.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM