But still, every time I go away for business, I go through a bit of an exit strategy. So if I were abducted by Martians, these are things my kids would miss:
Dinner. I cook dinner most nights, and try to make double what we need for favorite meals. Then I can freeze half, or we can eat it later in the week, and I only had to cook once.
Dessert. I’ve been baking since I was a kid, and one of the tricks my mother-in-law taught me was to freeze cookies or brownies. Whenever I go away, I leave a batch of peanut butter brownies in the freezer for a treat.
Bread. Over a year ago, I started a sourdough starter, and I’ve been baking bread regularly. I’ve got it down so I can mix a dough in just a few minutes, let the starter work its magic for a few hours, then do the next step when I have time. Although the quality of the bread degrades in the freezer, I leave a couple of loaves for the kids (and my husband) for lunches.
Math homework. I am the math expert in the family, and have had to explain corresponding angles and differential equations over the phone.
Shoes. My three daughters all wear the same size shoes as I do, so we trade footwear. When I go away, I sometimes take shoes that they want with me. When I go south in winter, I leave my boots home for the jackals to pick through.
Humor. We love to laugh in my family, and my kids definitely miss my warped sense of humor.
Compassion. One of my worst trips was when my youngest daughter, who was 5 at the time, had an accident. I was on a plane from Los Angeles and when I turned on my phone at JFK, I had an increasingly sadder series of messages from her.
Estrogen. Try as he might, my husband just doesn’t get it sometimes. When one of the kids has cramps or wants to rant about her period, I am there for her.
But since my kids are teens, and I rarely go away for more than a few days without them, they can handle me being away, reachable by phone, text and email. And when I am away from them, I can enjoy:
Sleep. Our bedroom is a floor below the girls’ bedrooms and we hear every floor creak, toilet flush and late night phone call.
A break from fights. As I said, it’s an estrogen -laden household. Maybe the Martians are interested in three teenage girls?
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.