Packing is the easy part. Although, with his usual abhorrence of checked luggage, my husband has limited us each to a carry-on for a week-long trip during which we will, in addition to visiting family and friends, attend three dinners, a "gala" celebration, two symposiums, and a university president's inauguration.
But far more complicated than my wardrobe dilemma is informing the sitter as to where our two teen-age daughters need to be at every moment, exactly what they need to have with them, and what each of them will or will not eat.
Then there is the paperwork. The signed permission to seek medical attention in the case of an emergency, the check for the flute instructor, the note on the bar mitzvah card, and the list of essential phone numbers: the pediatrician, the dentist, the orthodontist, the aunt who serves as our out-of-state earthquake contact, and most importantly, the cell phone of the mom who is essentially adopting our youngest for the weekend and driving her to no less than five events!
Even the dog has required paperwork before I can drop him off at the kennel, where he has been banned to board because the sitter does not care for dogs. Actually, not all dogs, just him. And although I have spent in excess of 50 hours preparing for this trip, I am absolutely certain I have forgotten a critical detail, and the 10 hour time change to our destination, and lack of access to wifi and texting, does not lend itself to quick calls to Mom to locate that elusive but essential pair of black flats.
On top of all this, nothing can prepare me for how completely bereft I am at missing a swim meet, the basketball finals, French presentation night at the middle school, youth choir singing at church, and our weekly mother-daughter tennis clinic!
We will enjoy this adventure, but I vow not to leave town again until our youngest graduates from high school!