Arch rolled his little family out of bed at O Dark Thirty this morning. The thought that I was totally packed and ready to leave was nothing more than a pipe dream.
“I want Turtle,” LoJ cried as I plucked my baby girl out of a sound sleep.
“Okay, I got him.” I tucked the stuffed animal under my free arm and pulled her blankie around her small shoulders.
“Mom,” Petey raced passed her sister and me. “Did you pack my Glee backpack? It has my diary in it, and I can’t find it.”
“I think I packed it already. Ask your dad.”
“I’ll die if I can’t find it.” My little Drama Queen ran out the front door hollering loud enough to wake the dead or definitely loud enough to wake my neighbor and good friend, Barbie.
I am really going to miss Barbie. Some times after a particularly tough day, she and I meet in the big oak tree between our houses. There are two tractor seats nailed to a huge limb hidden neatly out of sight from the rest of the neighbors. Over the last few years, Barbie and I have spent a lot of quality time “leafing” through “branches” of our lives. Sorry, I’m a little stressed.
Anyway, I really thought I’d packed everything possible, but each member of my family listed things they couldn’t leave without, and I was supposed to twitch my nose and make it all appear.
“You were supposed to make a list and help me make sure everything was ready by the deadline of eight o’clock last night.” My admonishment went totally over all of their heads.
The motorhome’s engine chugged quietly. I handed LoJ through the open door to her father’s waiting arms. He took her and then said to me, “Go check the door just to be sure it is locked, okay?”
“Sure.” I walked slowly, taking a final look at what part of my little home I could see through the minimal light the breaking dawn allowed. I turned the front door knob and it easily opened. Good thing Arch suggested I go back and check. Good for another reason—there on the floor next to Arch’s recliner was his favorite tennis shoes, LoJ’s favorite pink dress, and Petey’s backpack.
I gathered them and then locked the door. As I neared the back of the motorhome, it started to move down the driveway.
I ran alongside throwing things in the still opened door. “Hey!”
The vehicle screeched to a halt.
Instantly Arch appeared at the door.
“What are you screaming about?”
“I thought you were leaving me.”
“That’s crazy.” He came down the steps to stand next to me. “I was just straightening the wheels.” He took my elbow to help me inside where my girls waited for their lunatic mother.
Before I could take the first step, Arch leaned close and whispered, “Did you remember your birth control pills?”
I gently rubbed my now-twitching eye, then looked around at the small space. LoJ sat quietly in her car seat belted to the sofa in what could be classified as the living area. Petey lay across the foot of the bed in what could be called the master suite. All of which was about 10 feet apart. I made my way to the passenger seat and shook my head. “Trust me, I won’t need them.”