They’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone

I am going on an adventure this Summer.

Most of this adventure will not involve my immediate family.

I will be gone from home for 18 days and traveling approximately 7,812 miles by air and by car.  Not counting side trips.

My Baby the Bearcat has been lamenting about me taking this trip since she came home from college.  Mainly, she’s going to miss my cooking.

I don’t provide meals for my family when I’m gone.  I think they should be able to fend for themselves on the rare occasions that I’m out.  My thinking is that this will help them to appreciate me more if they have to figure things out when I am gone.

But, I did stock up on boxed mac & cheese, frozen pizzas, and chicken strips.  I don’t think that they’ll starve to death.

I’m actually more worried about the little things.  Like who’s going to fill the toilet paper roll dispensers in the bathrooms?

Seriously, I think I am the only one in this house who knows where the toilet paper rolls are stored (under the sink with backups in the laundry room) and how to change them.  Heck, I buy the stuff in bulk so there is never a chance we will run out.

And who’s going to figure out how these work?  Yes, they know how to do laundry.  Unfortunately, these machines are on their last legs.  The washer leaks so you have to turn the water on and off.  DSH has been meaning to replace that part.  Not all of the controls work so you have to know the workarounds.  Buying new machines is just not on my wish list right now.

I have this ongoing nightmare that someone forgets about the leak and the laundry room and basement get flooded to the point that the sodden floor crashes into the basement below.  It could happen.  If it did, I would be kicking myself for not replacing them sooner.

So, the other night when My Baby the Bearcat complained, yet again, about me being gone so long, DSH chimed in, “It’s no big deal.  We’ll figure it out.”

Everything that I do in life has been reduced to the four words, “It’s no big deal.”

Now, I know he did not intend it like it sounded.  I know that they will figure it out.  But, my feelings were hurt anyway.

“It’s no big deal.”  It would have been better to say something like, “It’ll be hard and we’ll miss mom, but we’ll figure it out.”  Or, “I don’t know how we’ll manage, but we’ll figure it out somehow.”

I have relentlessly reminded him of these four words ever since he said them, and he has apologized profusely over and over again.  I need to let it go.  It’s not like I’m so perfect that I never say something I wish that I could have taken back.

But a little part of me does really realize that it isn’t a big deal, and that they will manage just fine without me.  We have raised our children to be independent young adults who know how to manage their lives with increasingly less support from us.  That is the goal after all.  And, DSH, well he has always been an independent sort of person who is more than happy to spend time alone puttering outside, working on the cars and in the garage.

I think this is the difference between us – mothers and wives look inward to their husbands and children and husbands and children look outward to the world around them.

I look out my window at the oak tree which shades my front yard and think that I am like the trunk of the tree holding the family up, and they are like the branches reaching out to the sun and world around them.

But I still like to think that . . .

They’ll miss me when I’m gone.

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