The Greater Threat: My Imagination Or Polish Women?

I am both overwhelmingly excited and undeniably terrified. I don’t know whether to smile or puke. Tomorrow, I am driving my husband to the airport so he can embark on his first trip overseas for six. whole. days. SIX!

Maybe you remember what happened last time the love of my life went away without me. Sure, I can keep my act together for a bit, but come bedtime only my scalp will be visible above the comforter as I listen  intently between my muffled breathes for the slightest sound of zombies, burglars or chainsaw wielding drug addicts.

But I couldn’t say no to the opportunity. Tony’s never been to Europe, and his employer offered to send him to Poland for a conference with all expenses paid. And when he wanted to tack on an extra day just for sight-seeing? They said no problem. He’ll be giving a presentation on something related to whatever it is he does all day on his computer and hobnobbing with lots of other people who also do programming things I can’t begin to understand. I could never stand in the way of this excursion, no matter how much sleep I will lose worrying about plane crashes, kidnappings and loose Polish women pick-pocketing his wallet.

We figured  out the video chatting and he’s worked hard to convince me that Poland is modern now,  so my visions of a dial-up network powered by hamster wheels is outdated. He’ll use his phone to update a temporary blog with pictures and details of his exciting adventures while I’m here doing all my usual mom-ish hooplah.

I’m prepared for the long nights of worrying. What’s gnawing at my insides now is the thought of the  “witching hour” just before supper, when I know backup won’t be arriving by 5:45 p.m. I’m starting to panic about what will happen to our usual evening routine. Tony spearheads clearing the table (with the kids help), leading family prayers and reading a family bedtime story. I’m certainly not idle in the evenings, but the kids attention shifts from me to Papa, and I get a bit of a break from the constant “mamamamamamamamamama!” that dominates the rest of my day.

But now, I won’t have the Daddy buffer. It’s just me. Granted, I know my in-laws will be around more to help out, and my mom is coming in town but the dynamic in the house will radically change. I’m “on” 24/7 for the next six days. There’ll be no asking Tony to check on Fulton at 4 a.m. when one of his machines (false) alarms again. No one to wrestle with Bryon when his sisters start screaming. And no one to swagger up next to me, pull me close and tell me how beautiful I am as I sport my greasy ponytail and granny style night-gown. And then quickly pull away because Addie burst in the room announcing she can’t sleep again….

The goal will be to not allow my frustrations to overwhelm our limited communications. The last thing Tony needs is his snappy wife detailing Addie, Edie and Byron’s brawl on the deck while Fulton and Teddy scream in the background. And I’ll have to keep my nimble fingers in check to not leave snarky comments on every scenic photo he’s sure to post.  “Pffpt, your exposure sucks. The sunset here was stellar; that is when Teddy wasn’t repeatedly stabbing me in the eye with a Hot Wheels. Glad you’re having such a great time. The children will be enrolled in public school by the time you land. Love you.”

On the upside, I should have plenty of time to write with the whole not sleeping thing and all. Stay tuned for the documentation of my gradual descent into madness. Friends, if I’m not at Mass on Sunday, assume I’m holed up in the basement with panic and come rescue me. Filthy children running around the yard at all hours are not a sign of distress; that’s business as usual, and probably a good indication that we’re all coping just fine and avoiding the nighttime zombies.



  1. Ah!! Solidarity. I don’t sleep a wink when Simon works nights. Not one so next month will be fun. I’ll be praying for you — you that is the most generous wife!!!

  2. And I think I have my hands full with just *one* special needs child when my husband is away for four days! At least I get the mornings off while he is in school.

    I’ll keep you in prayer.

  3. i hear ya, sistah!! Tom was in Portland M-F last week … altho as the kids have gotten older, him being away for a week is something i look forward to! Lol … hang in there, girl!!

  4. Prayers for you! Brian went on retreat a few weeks ago for four days and upon arriving home and coming in the door, I burst into tears. I was pathetic. I have a feeling you’ll do better than me 🙂

  5. Prayers.

    My husband went to Poland (seriously) when I was 8.5 months pregnant last year, and I had a 13 month old at home. I planned lots of playdates so I wouldn’t get lonely and hoped that we’d both be so tired at the end of the day, that we’d go right to sleep. I even cooked a few casseroles ahead so that we’d eat real food instead of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On the first day, my son had a fever – so off to the doctors. Double ear infection. On the second day, a friend called to say that her daughter had hand, foot and mouth disease with an incubation period of seven days and highly contagious – so no playdates all week. Oh, and one morning a lovely spider built a HUGE web in my pantry door and patiently greeted me when I woke up.

    It was rough – but he did get to Czestojova, which I really really wanted him to do, and he brought us back an icon. It was a tough week, but I’m really really glad he got to see that beautiful country – and the video chats worked very very well!!! Good luck!

  6. Special prayers for you; I always DREAD the rare times my Superhubby goes out of town, but find it to be really good for both of us.

  7. Ladies, you’re all so kind as to pray for me! Thank you! I know I’ll be fine. The kids and I have an unspoken agreement; the amount of souvenirs will directly correlate to children’s levels of cooperation and good behavior. Mwahahaha!

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