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During the summer, I sometimes begin to feel like the last mom in Manhattan. The parks become strangely quiet. You can actually get into a decent restaurant before 9:45 pm on a Saturday night. And the Starbucks’ line shortens considerably. But all this quiet leaves me feeling a bit lonely and restless. With relatives in nearby coastal towns, there are plenty of places for me to escape but a change of venue come with a price. Packing. I get nervous just typing the word.

Packing has never been my thing. It’s my husband’s thing. He can pack for a trip in 10 minutes. For me, it can take hours. It can take days. I agonize over what to bring. Whatever I want to bring is lying in a crumbled ball at the bottom of the laundry basket. Within moments of beginning the process, I’m paralyzed. At that moment, I can’t remember what I’ve ever worn a day in my life. Invariably, I forget something big (like underwear or my glasses) or I pack 15 pairs of shoes for a four day holiday or I bring a top that I haven’t worn in a year. That top shouldn’t be in my closet, never mind in my suitcase.

These days I have to pack for myself, my toddler and my baby. How much pressure can a girl take? Not just the clothes but the baby food, the diapers, the monitors, the sippy cups, the bibs, the wipes, the books and toys for the car …. I’m really starting to sweat. Plus, my toddler Dylan likes to peruse the suitcase and pull out items as I’m putting them in. You know, she likes to “help out.” Thanks Dylan but I got it.

Once we finally zip up the suitcases, I feel such relief. But it only lasts until we strap the kids into their car seats. That’s when the crying usually begins.

4 Responses to oh, the places you’ll go (once we are packed)

  • Angela says:

    A mutual friend (Erin) sent me your site and MY GOD we are so much alike!! Thanks for giving me a chuckle, sometimes a tear in my eye…..
    I thought I was the only one who takes 3 suitcases for a 4 day trip and has NOTHING to wear! And, why can't I take the kids' whole closet??

  • Cousin Betsy says:

    Okay, stop your whining. I don't have sympanthy for you on this one. I am not an organized person, but I can pack. We took Samantha on her first intermanional flight at 3 months. And at just over two, she has been to 20 countries. (We decided that we would make the most of our time in Europe.) She sometimes packs up her rolling backpack with her toys and announces, "I am going to Africa to see the monkeys." (We tried to explain that the monkeys were in Gibralter and the camels were in Africa, but she is only 2.) Try international travel to add to your stress level. You can run out to the store in the US if you forget something. You can't always do that with international travel. For example, apple juice is very difficult to find in Italy. Yes we learned that the hard way. I created a list of items to bring before our first trip. Every outfit has to has to coordinate with several other warm and cold weather options. Everything has to be carefully planned. Toys are carefully planned. THe flight from here to Colorado that we are taking in 2 weeks is almost 11 hours. Okay, sorry that I am giving you a hard time about travel stress, but talk to me again after you have spent the evening washing your child's carseat and cover -with hotel sample shampoo and the free toothbrush-in the bathtub of your hotel room in Spain after your 2 year old had decided she now gets carsick. Anyway, have fun on your travels. In the blink of an eye, they will announce that they no longer want to go with you.

  • Susan Kintner says:

    Just thinking about packing sends shivers up my spine….and your blog has increased the number of smiles, memories and compassionate moments of all my momala friends in CT…perhaps it is an inherited aversion….or a blessing to see reality for what it is…"ready set go"…thank goodness only a simple car drive today for one adult! Blessings, m

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kelcey kintner