My parents are the hardest-working people I know. My mother has put in 39 years with the same company, and my father has dedicated his life to working tirelessly at work and at home to ensure we could make ends meet. The two of them scraped and scrounged enough to send all four of their kids to private schools, all while managing to go on vacations, send us to summer camp, and pay for whatever sports and extracurricular activities that interested us kids. They have more than earned this awesome season of their lives. But I gotta admit, I’m a little uncomfortable.
Raising parents these days is more difficult than it used to be. Once upon a time, parents would work until they collapsed, and you’d simply put them into a caring facility. But NOW! Now they want to flaunt their vivacity, gallivanting around the country! My parents had the audacity to both shop for and purchase their own RV without notifying any of the four of us kids! Did they send pictures to get our opinions of the color options or outdoor grilling sets? No! They simply took a picture of themselves *after* buying it with a homemade sign to surprise us. I’m gonna need them to slow down a bit.
I feel like an empty-nester. I’m so used to having these birdies in one place, and now they’re flying from the nest! I’m not sure I’m ready for them to have this type of freedom. I have a number of questions to put to my parents.
First of all, where on earth do you think you’re going, young lady? Who’s going to be there? Do I know their children? What time will you be arriving/leaving? What is the itinerary? Who’s going to be in charge? Where will you be going next?
Second, what is a good number to reach you? Your work phone number is one of the few that I actually have memorized. I can even recite the melody with which you answer your work phone, spouting the company’s and your own name. Now how am I going to get in touch with you? What if you don’t answer immediately? What if Dad has his phone turned to silent so he can fish in peace? Unacceptable!
Third, how dare you plan a Disney World vacation for two?! You’ll probably be snapping pics with Mickey Mouse and sipping champagne at Downtown Disney while wearing matching pins that read “We’re Retired!” and getting the star treatment. How do I explain to the kids why your house is empty or why we can’t go visit? “Don’t cry, honey. Nana and Poppy are just getting their kicks on Route 66!”
I’m going to need a detailed list of plans, routes, guests, and updates or changes. I would also appreciate details concerning but not limited to number of fish caught, sizes of fish (fictional or non-fictional), friends met at campsites, their backstories, and all of the incredible sights you’ve seen. At some point I fully expect a reflective presentation complete with pictures and accompanying stories–Dad grilling at the RV, Mom mixing drinks for guests, diners stopped at along the way…
I’m hoping that they’ll get their rebellious thirst for freedom out of their system and take up their posts on the front porch. But in the meantime, “Happy trails to you!”
(but seriously, check in every once in a while…)