Whenever I pack for a trip, there’s always a period of time when I believe that it would be easier to cancel vacation than to continue packing. This vacation! That we have been looking forward to for MONTHS!
It’s the peak of stress, the mid-way point of packing when you’ve been working for hours and there’s still so much to do and yet nothing is actually done, and I start fantasizing about being the type of person who might make a list for this sort of occasion.
Clothes! Books! Children’s Tylenol! There is just so much to pack and organize. It’s almost impossible to get everyone to the playground, so imagine what has to happen for us to leave town! FOR A WEEK!
When we were packing for our family vacation last week, my stress had just hit a fever pitch, and I decided to take the kids out to lunch so Tom could run through his tasks in an empty house.
Whenever we travel, Tom does all of the heavy lifting that makes leaving possible. I make sure everyone has toothbrushes and enough underwear, Tom does all the things to make sure our house will still be standing when we return.
Like the helpful I am, I used both my hands to shove all my stress down my throat, and cheerfully gathered the children and skipped out the door, “hi-ho! hi-ho! it’s off to a fast food restaurant we go!” As we left, I assured Tom that I’d try to make it a long-ish lunch so he’d have plenty of time to finish everything he needed to do.
The kids climbed into the van, but David’s booster seat was in our mudroom, so I popped the trunk and handed it to him through the back seat.
Everyone was buckled and ready, and I turned on the van. Before I could even put it into reverse, our van’s Bluetooth picked up Tom’s phone and started BLASTING some sort of awful caustic hardcore music.
This happens from time to time — the van Bluetooth picks up whatever podcast or music someone in the house is listening to on their phone — and it’s always a little disorienting in the most first-world way possible because we’re all so used to our devices perfectly anticipate our needs. Our Bluetooth should have anticipated that I did not need to listen to Tom’s horrible music.
Since the volume control on our Bluetooth is broken, I couldn’t turn it down, so in my vacation-packing-stressed state of mind, I opted for the only other way I could think of to turn off the music: I backed out of the garage.
This is where I’m going to pause in the story so we can all agree that Tom was at fault in this situation. Had he been listening to “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey, this never would have happened.
Now that we’ve established Tom’s culpability, I’ll let you know that I backed up, ignoring my van’s multiple alarms and beeps because let’s be honest, sometimes those alarms and beeps are a little dramatic and there is actually no danger. But the REAL reason I proceeded is because the only way to stop the music was to get away from it, and so that is what I was going to do.
That is, until I heard an awful squuuekTHUNK. Imagine the sound of tearing a huge strip of duct tape and then dropping a bowling ball into an empty barrel.
Or maybe imagine if you left your trunk open, so when you backed out of the garage the trunk collides with the bottom of the garage door. Imagine that sound, because that’s exactly what I did. An hour before we left for vacation.
The kids start serenading me with whiny versions of, “Mommy did you just wreck the car?” and “Are we still getting fries?” and all I could think about is that I might have just ruined our vacation plans, and after Tom found out would he remember any of the reasons he married me?
I jumped out of the van to see how much damage I’d done so that I could go inside and break the news to Tom slowly, in a way that would cause the veins in his forehead to burst. But it turns out that the sound of driving the van into the garage is even louder and more obnoxious than whatever music Tom was listening to, because within SECONDS, Tom was in the garage, “WHAT WAS THAT?”
I immediately turned into a 16-year old version of myself explaining to my dad that I really didn’t realize I was speeding, HONEST!
Tom barely listened to my sniveling and immediately got to work, because EXCUSES DON’T FIX BROKEN DOORS! He checked the trunk (It closed! It opened! It latches!) Then he sent me and the kids out to lunch so he could get to work, because suddenly “replace garage door weather stripping” was at the very top of his leaving-for-vacation to-do list.