It is officially the middle of July, its hot, the social calendar is full, it seems I spend most of my free time trying to teach my two year old how to swim so she doesn’t drown if someone leaves the gate open. I gave up exercising when it hit 80 degrees and 99 percent humidity, but some how my day seems more full, and when your days are full the forward planning gets much more complicated. My motto when Eva was a baby, was “wing it” but now that she is two, that plan isn’t really working anymore and I have come to the begrudging realization that I need to be more organized, kind of like my sister who has probably already filled her kids Christmas stockings six months in advance. Part of my disorganization comes from my eternally changing schedule of employment as what I do everyday often changes on a clients whim, an unexpected equipment failure, and other more important people’s schedules which can be tricky with a two year old. Many people are astonished when I say I am not available except between 9 and 5pm, as if there were no such thing as a working mother, or like I grew another head right in front of them.
The phrase “summer holiday” used to bring images to mind of relaxing in a sun lounger reading a stack of books sipping a pina colada, and I know that I did this back when I was a young bronzed teenager before real life hit like a rogue wave in a horizon pool. When I heard the words “summer holiday” for the first time this year back in January it was from Auntie Zoe, Eva’s second mother when she let us know of her plans to take a holiday for two weeks in July, of course I winced dreading Eva’s last day at school but we all need a holiday, especially Zoe. Back in January plans were hatched to go away at the same time on our own summer holiday, therefore minimizing our own work days without daycare for Eva. My plan was elaborate, it was six months in advance and it involved three countries and as many airlines. My plan was to fly Chris’s parents from the UK through Ireland to Boston Massachusetts where they would stay overnight then fly onto Bermuda, after a week in Bermuda, they would fly with us back to Boston, and we would drive up to my parent’s house in New Hampshire for a week. We could enjoy our “summer holiday” with an adult to child ratio of Four to one, which if we couldn’t abandon Eva all together, was the next best thing. The plan was flawless, my mother in law booked their Aer Lingus flights to Boston and I booked our five non refundable sale tickets from Bermuda to Boston and back on delta. I had checked the: plan our summer holiday box in January I was ahead of the game, or so I thought.
About a week later I asked Zoe,
“Zoe I just thought I better double check with you, you are going to be away the first two weeks of August- right?”
“Oh no we changed our plans slightly we are now going away on July 16th and coming back on the first.”
“Oh shit.” I said I booked our tickets to leave on August 1st.
When Chris came home we discussed it.
“Why does it matter you don’t have a job anyway.” At the time a project had fallen through.
“I don’t think I will be unemployed six months from now.” I said ever the optimist.
“Oh really how can you be sure?” Chris said, ever the pessimist.
“Maybe we should see if we can change the plane tickets?”
“Why would we do that and pay more money?” Chris said.
“Because otherwise I will have to take a month off of work between our summer holiday and Zoe’s.”
“You don’t have a job.”
“Okay.” I relented I was not going to win this one.
I started to realize that planning in advance might not only be not my style, it was fraught with its own innate difficulties. There was one innate difficulty that always seemed to crop up in my life, my very own mother. She was especially good at appearing when everything else was going wrong already and deciding that the most important thing at that very moment was that I was in desperate need of a new shower head, or lawn furniture. If I spent $8,000 dollars on a new patio set at Island Trading all my problems would miraculously go away. She also had a knack for ruining plans and she was beginning to rub off on my father.
At some point she decided to bring an important detail to my attention.
“So have you booked your flights for your summer holiday in NH?”
“Yes I told you we booked them a few weeks ago.”
“Did you do it in time for the Delta seat sale I told you about?”
“Are they flexi tickets?”
“You might want to call and check or see if you can upgrade them.”
“Why?” I started to get suspicious.
“We just put the house in New Hampshire up for sale, it’s on Sotheby’s Real Estate.”
“What? !!! Mom I just bought five non refundable plane tickets six months from now. What am I going to do?”
“It won’t sell.”
“Why did you put it on the market then?”
“To sell it, eventually.”
“What if it does sell tomorrow?”
“There is usually a period of exchange.”
“Not six months! “
“You will have to make other plans if that happens. It won’t happen.”
“Oh my god, I thought you were going to give us all a year or so warning.”
“This is fair warning.”
As we are about to set off on our holiday next week, my mother was in fact right the house has not yet sold but it could have. It is usually my mother that takes pains to deliberate what might happen, in fact it is one of my mother’s favorite excuses for her least favorite activity, babysitting, which I will explore more fully next week in Part II, GiGi Goes AWAL.
“But Eva might throw up?”
“But Eva might not eat dinner?”
“But Eva might not go to bed.”
“But Eva might not be as good as Sadie and Trystan.”
Xx Derelict Mom