So, Husband's gone again--wait, that makes it sound like he ran away from home, or something, so let me rephrase: Husband is out of town for a few days, on yet another business-related excursion. You see, when he got the green light from his employer to make the transition to a home-based setup, he expected to be summoned back to the Main Office about once a quarter, for face-to-face catching up, debriefing...and whatnot.
But this Fall has brought unusual demands, in terms of his presence being requested in Maryland. First there was some sort of "Rah Rah Meeting" (his words) in which the Big Brass gathered everyone for a State of the Union...um "company"...presentation. Then a few weeks later he was required to participate personally in a round of interviews, as his department tried to fill some vacancies to better handle the workload. In the midst of all this, he made two trips to his parents' house in South Carolina, since his father is experiencing some physical issues...which are directly impacting his mother's mental health, as she copes with the role of his sole caretaker most of the time. Finally, this most recent jaunt involves a professional seminar his boss wants him to attend, for the purpose of becoming educated about some sort of software he'll be using...or his clients will...or some such nonsense...I confess that it all got sort of fuzzy after the words "I'll be traveling again--blah blah blah."
And honestly, although Husband seems to feel guilty every time he has to fly the coop (hmm...too reminiscent of a criminal on the lam? Then let's go with "pack up and leave") and apologizes profusely for doing so...it's not that big a deal. I mean sure, single parenting isn't exactly what I'd call a picnic-type-situation. But the boys are old enough now that they're getting more self-sufficient all the time. They don't need 24/7 attention, hands-on care, or support anymore. Really, the biggest challenge we face when trying to navigate Life With Just Mom is: how on Earth to shuttle each of them to their respective soccer practices (same day, 2 different parks, 2 overlapping times). Oh, and of course: "what the HECK am I going to feed them for dinner?"
Fortunately, their coaches (one of whom is, well...Husband) are dads themselves, and therefore understanding and tolerant toward the inevitable Schedule Snafus that occur whenever multiple kids need to be taxied from one place to another. Also my sons--bless their little pea pickin' hearts--are completely unfussy when it comes to meals. As long as there is sufficient food in front of them and it's something they like to eat (which encompasses...pretty darn much everything...), they truly couldn't care less whether it's fancy...or hot...or even "cooked", for that matter. (Yep, I can tell you that tuna subs, apple slices, baby carrots, and Sun Chips have been offered for more than one evening repast...with no complaints whatsoever...)
However, sometimes when my beloved offspring come to me seeking guidance or assistance...again...and I'm the only one here...it causes me to to dearly miss the ability to duck my responsibilities--I mean "provide Husband the opportunity to bond with his children." Yeah, in a nutshell, I'm talking about the time-honored..."Go Ask Your Father" cop-out that's unavailable to me at these times. For instance, when Riley brought his Science Review Sheet to me last night and complained, "How should I know the atomic number of Nitrogen?" My immediate response--at least in my head--was, "I think the real question here is: How is MOM supposed to know? I mean, do I LOOK like Bill Nye to you?" Yes, this would have been a classic spot to send him off to Dad...the one with the Biology degree. Because it wouldn't surprise me at all if he spit out the answer immediately, right off the top of his head. Me? I went with the most trusted Fountain of All Knowledge...that's right: Google to the rescue once more.
And when Derek wanted to vent about his Math homework--"We have a test on imaginary numbers, and I'm gonna fail it. Why do we have to learn about numbers that don't even frickin' EXIST?" Hold on, I've got this one..."Go ask your...oops, never mind. Um...I'm sure it'll be fine, sweetie. Just...oh, forget it, I got nothin'. Do the best you can on the exam, and then--unless you have some dubious secret plan to become an Astrophysicist or something--I promise you can put imaginary numbers out of your mind forever, okay? Now please go away, because Mom desperately needs some quiet time with a cup of tea and some light fiction." (The Mother of the Year Committee will give me a free pass for this week, given the circumstances, right? Ha!)
So, that's what happens around here when Husband is in absentia. I'd say that for the most part it's pretty much under control. But SHHHHH! You're absolutely sworn to secrecy about that! When he returns from his latest mandatory getaway--in Florida, by the way, at some swanky hotel--he'll be ever-so-willing to make it up to me...I do believe a Spa Retreat would fit the bill nicely, wouldn't you say? I'd bet you any number of imaginary dollars or amount of Au on the periodic table that I deserve it!