“Hasn’t this happened before?” Yes. Yes it has. My 15 year old son was supposed to be AT his Scout leader’s house at 3 am. The famous last words…
Me - “Will you be okay getting yourself up?”
Him - An emphatic, “Yes.”
3:23 a.m. I am scrambling through my sleep to find the source of the ringing. Not such an easy task since the cordless phone was invented. Sometimes I miss the convenience of knowing exactly where to run when the phone is ringing… at 3 am. I stumble toward the sound and end up in the kitchen. My first thought is always to prepare emotionally for an emergency or a death.
No death. “Is Levi up?” I stagger downstairs and there sits Levi in a fully lit up bedroom with his clothes still all on looking like he’s not sure what planet he’s on.
“Yes. He is now. He’ll be there momentarily.” I assume that my child is feeling the same urgency that I am and will take 3 minutes to load up his gear and get into the car.
He looks at me with his vacant staring eyes, grabs a towel and walks past me upstairs to the bathroom.
“Are you taking a shower?!” I’m incredulous. He’s almost a HALF HOUR LATE to go CAMPING! Camping is about letting nature take over! Dirt, bugs, campfire smoke!
It doesn’t matter. He must shower. So I wait sitting in my chair, the recliner I resigned myself to sleep in the night before because after I came home late from a meeting, picked up my oldest daughter from work, and listened to her work stories (okay, I may have also done some talking) I found that my two youngest children were in my bed, in my personal indentation. Who wants to carry two 43 pound dead weights to their beds at 11 pm? Well, not me, but I did manage to put on pajamas as part of my effort to turn over a new leaf.
I contemplate showers while I sit and wait, listening to the water as it makes its journey through the pipes to cleanse my tardy offspring. If it were me I would not have showered. I cannot stand the thought of people waiting for me. I feel an intense amount of stress and guilt. I hate it more than head grease or dirty underwear. And to be perfectly honest, I was exuberant when I read an article posted on the internet that claimed that over showering was stripping people of their much needed skin oils. So, when occasionally day 3 rolls around and I’m not feeling too fresh and my neck feels like an oily slip ‘n’ slide, I just smile. It is healthy after all.
It took 20 minutes for Levi to get out to the car laden with his camping/canoeing/fishing supplies. I was still in my black-and-white-3-sizes-too-big-polka-dot pajamas when we went tearing around the corner without even taking the time to put on seat belts (calm down, it was only around the block), almost sweating with the stress that my son was holding up the whole group.
Turns out a couple of Scouts not only didn’t wake up in time, but completely forgot that the epic canoe trip was even happening. They were presumably at home packing. All guilt washed away… like a warm shower on day three.