Sunday, August 30, 2009


The kids left Thursday evening. It is real. They're gone. For 10 days.

Maybe about a year ago, my dad made an offhand comment about how they were looking forward to when the kids would be old enough to take camping. I said "sounds like a great plan" and put it on the back shelf of my brain to be accessed in about 15 or 30 years. You know, just before they start dating.

Late spring, they called and said "we have to book camp sites, can they come?" Ga?

They are camping. Real full-on camping. Not the kind of camping we did Back In The Day, where you load up as much beer and hard liquor into your car as you can, and fill the leftover space with steak and if there's any space left over after THAT, you put a tent and maybe a sleeping bag in. And the sleeping bag was the cheapest thing they could legally call a sleeping bag available at Canadian Tire that you picked up on your way out of town. And the tent was something your *real* camping parents had handed down to you that had been used possibly in the second world war (not IN the war, because then it would be full of bullet holes, but in the TIME of the war). And you hope that you remembered to locate all the poles after last year, because something way back in the annals of what passes for memory you seem to recall *really* needing a marshmallow roasting stick on your last night and you also happened to be using your parents' station wagon last year (i.e. much more room for the beer). Also, it was the only time you could feel justified eating Alphagetti. Because that shit is gross except when "camping".

That's a very accurate description of the kind of camping they are NOT doing. They ARE taking their gear (Real Gear, see above) and going to a camp ground that only has access by bus. That is, you park, load up your Real Gear and ride the bus to the site in the middle of the mountains.

As their departure date grew closer, and we realized we'd be childless for 10 days, we were both riding a very exciting - and excruciating - roller coaster of emotions. After they left, I have myself masked any emotional response - appropriate or otherwise - through other means:

Off on this adventure is Grandma & Grandpa, three aunties and one "Skunkle" (my kids decided that he would not get full "Uncle" privileges until he made an honest woman of her). Nine of them off in two cars with walkie-talkies between them.

They called this evening - night 3 - they sound wonderful. They're having the time of their lives. They had in their voices, the exactly perfect mix of not missing us, but being really happy to tell us of their days adventures.

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  1. You have ten days with no kids and all you can think about is cleaning?

    Oh your poor, poor husband.

  2. Ten days?!TEN DAYS?!?!

    By god, woman, it's like you won the lottery!!

    I know it's tough because as much as we want to let loose, we DO miss them. But since you know they're having such a good time and you know this experience is good for them, please go get drunk and run naked somewhere.

    Do it for all humanity!

  3. For me, the first four days are always bliss. Day five gets harder. By later days, you find yourself laying in their beds, sniffing their pillows like a child-addicted junkie. There's the small part of yourself that can't quite believe you're missing the little blighters as much as you are, because oh, wait - aren't they generally a pain in the keister and wouldn't they be sharing their litany of "I'm boreds" with you RIGHT NOW, if they were home?

    By day ten, you're ready to just stare at them in rapt fascination, to assure yourself that they're real and home.

    Or maybe that's just me.

  4. You looked awesome and relaxed on Saturday. I thought I'd be seeing my friend all weird and on the verge of barfing! Mainly because I'd be, in your circumstance.

    As we discussed, you left them in great hands... people who love them and *asked* for them.
    So, as AndreAnna said, go get drunk and run naked somewhere.

    But knowing you, you already have. ;)

  5. How awesome are your parents and the Skunkle! that's a great word usage too, my kids have a skunkle and a Skant? hmmmmm I'll bring this up at the next family meeting.
    enjoy the alone time if you can

  6. please don't encourage Michelle to run naked outside, as she lives in my neighborhood!!!!! Enjoy your time off parent duty ... after all, its finally summer and its party time!!!!!

  7. soooo.. did they forget to stop at my house? my kids would LOVE to go camping. well, it might seem as though they hate the idea because of the screaming and crying and dragging to the car, but they would love it once they got there.


    if you are missing your children, i can send you mine.

    it might appear as though i am trying to constantly get rid of my kids, but i am.

  8. @Michelle Heber: I live a block away, so I'd just hear the screaming and "oh my!"s from the neighbours without the actual "visual". I'm okay with that. :)

  9. How you holding up mom? Hopefully you're over the cleaning and into the gin and whatever AndreaAnna said about being naked. xoxo

    BTW - your graphing skills are incredible. *Jealous* like you would not believe...