My house is still standing. That’s the good news. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, after leaving my kids in charge while I went up to the Russian River for a week without them.
The bad news is that I had to leave the beautiful river cabin behind and come back to real life, where no one is pouring me wine every time I raise my glass, or begging me to put my bathing suit on.
Some of you may have read my column last week, where I talked about the fear involved in leaving your house while it was still occupied by unsupervised 18- and-20-year-olds.
The last time I did that — to visit my ailing mother overnight — someone who lives in my home used it as an opportunity to hold a party that has since become notorious in our neighborhood. No names need be mentioned here, but the person involved was male. He has since expressed deep regret that might even be sincere.
Still, it was odd to leave these young people in charge of my boring-and-ugly-but-still-way-too-expensive suburban tract home, and take the first road trip in years that didn’t include them, restless in the back seat, demanding, “Are we there yet?”
For the last 15 years, my summer road trips have included the following:
1. A large bag full of junk food snacks, handily positioned near the Kid Central outpost in the back seat.
2. An electronic device full of movies to watch, to avoid the potential threat of seeing anything beautiful, interesting or educational out the car window.
3. At least 13 stops per hour for bathrooms and Big Gulps, but never at the same time. “But we just stopped! I didn’t have to go then.”
4. One hurried shopping trip to get a bathing suit that was forgotten in the mad dash to escape the house.
5. A last-minute random frantic phone call over something too…