Dear Mom:

X went off on a business trip for five days and left me here to watch the roost. I am charged with keeping my eye on #1 since his mother decided to have a nervous breakdown and skip town go on a vacation for a couple days. Last night, when X and I and the two boys went to bed, the plan was for me to sleep in until a blissful 9:00. X was to shuttle #2 the 20 miles up the highway to his school while #1 took the bus, at which point X would drive directly to the airport. I heard something about the three of them planning to wake up at 5:45, but since my brain doesn’t register hours pre-sunrise, I wasn’t entirely sure.

When I woke up at 6:30 this morning, X was sleeping soundly next to me. I said, “Hey. Shouldn’t you be up?” He didn’t budge. I said louder, “Baby, aren’t you supposed to be up? You need to go.” He picked his head up and said, “Go where?” I said, “You’re going to Omaha today.”  I sort of felt responsible for this sleepy lapse in his memory because I demanded that we stay up until 2:30 fucking each other’s brains out talking. X flew out of bed and we stood there in a daze saying, “Did the kids leave for school?” (Considering #2’s school is 20 miles away, this was an extremely remote possibility.)

No such luck. They were sleeping too. X shuttled #1 to school, and I got to take #2 up to his school. Poor kid didn’t even get breakfast because we were so late. This should have been a clue of what these 5 days were going to be like.

X and I managed to sneak in a goodbye to each other on the side of the road; he left for his plane, I left for my meeting. I went about my day, noticing that the hours to the end of school and thus, #1’s imminent return were near. I got a text.

“I’m staying after with some friends. I’ll be home later.”

Um. Okay. In your house that would have had to be tremendously re-phrased to “Can I stay after with friends and come home at 5:00?” We always had to ask permission but I know X is a free-wheeling Dad of the new century, so I shrugged it off. After X’s plane landed, he called to tell me how he got hard on the plane thinking about everything we did last night that he landed safe. While we were talking, #1 beeped in.

“That’s your son. Hold on.”

At this point, I’m not sure which series of the Twilight Zone my life entered, but #1, X’s soon-to-be 16 year old son, asked the following.

“My girlfriend doesn’t have a ride home. Can she sleep over?”

Oh. MY. GOD! WHAT?? Mother!!! You in NO WAY prepared me for this. Let’s review.

The year is 1989. KFrat and I think we’re cool by smoking cigarettes. You found them in my coat pocket and grounded me for several months. You said, “When you have a child you’ll understand.” Listen to me you fucking liar. A cigarette would have been a god damned cakewalk compared to what I have had to deal with today. My brain is spinning. SPINNING. You had it way too easy!

I’m down one day, four to go. Tomorrow I have to be out of the house all day and #1 is off from school. There is no telling what kind of orgy this house will be witness to, but I’m otherwise committed and cannot get out of my appointments. I guess we’ll all just have to pray that I don’t become a step-grandmother before I become a mother.

Four days to go,

V