We spent last weekend at home. Trust me, this is news.
Of the two months that we’ve been South Carolinians, we’ve spent approximately two and a half weekends at home. There were shows in North Carolina and Texas, the Elvis Festival in Georgia and trips to Myrtle Beach for races, gigs and everything in between. You know, like our wedding and stuff.
During a couple of those weeks it felt like my sole purpose on Earth was to pack and unpack suitcases, which I’m not ashamed to admit caused for some dark times. To put things in perspective, I find packing to be about as pleasant as eating dryer lint while hugging a cactus. If I wasn’t actively packing I was either standing in front of my closet in a state of ruin because “I have nothing to wear” or lying on the floor because the thought of creating enough outfits for five days and three different climates, then folding and fitting them in a carry on was so overwhelming I couldn’t bear to be vertical. Last year I worked both full-time and part-time jobs while carrying twelve college credits and homeschooling my son so of course the act of putting shirts in a suitcase would be the thing that makes me consider going back to therapy.
Then there’s hotel living, which isn’t all bad; I feel kind of silly complaining about a situation where I don’t even have to make my own bed or wash bath towels. I once lived in a Marriott for over a month while apartment hunting and would’ve stayed forever if my budget allowed. Sure it lacked closet space but chocolate cake was always only a phone call away and there was a Starbucks in the lobby.
Life is about compromise.
However, when you live in a hotel with a man who is 6’3”, a 6-year-old and all of his homeschool materials and on occasion, a 60 pound springer spaniel who has an awful habit of barking out of nowhere at absolutely nothing, things are little less convenient. Suddenly folding a handful of bath towels every few days doesn’t seem so bad. You would think that homeschooling on the road is the hard part, and believe me, it’s challenging. You try keeping a child engaged in their education when your room has an ocean view and there are kites to be flown. I know this struggle intimately. For a very brief period of time I tried my hand at earning a college degree at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and regularly failed in going to class because I couldn’t resist the temptation of the beach.
I get it.
The hardest part of hotel living is privacy. Hell, one of the hardest parts of parenting is privacy. Parents of the world know, getting to go pee without someone pounding on the door wondering where you are, what you’re doing and when they can have a snack is a luxury. Can I get an amen? So, you can imagine just how difficult it is when you’re all confined to one room. And privacy might not have been a huge concern if Rinn hadn’t recently shown interest in the female form.
Shortly after relocating to SC, Travis and I laid down with Rinn to read him his nightly bedtime story. Per usual, Rinn picked out a book. Not per usual, when Travis went to open the book, a folded sheet of paper fell out. It was a fashion spread, probably from an old issue of Glamour or Harper’s Bazaar. On one side was a woman posed in a red evening gown and on the other, two girls posed provocatively in shorts that might be better suited as undergarments. Travis and I exchanged nervous glances and Rinn clearly sensing the awkward tension said,
“What? I just like to look at girls in pretty dresses.”
His tone implied that we should’ve known this, your typical Duh Mom and Dad moment. I didn’t anticipate this until he was an angsty teen. Apparently 6 is the new 16, who knew? Travis immediately got up and the left the room while I, trapped between Rinn and the wall, simply covered my face with the book as I tried to maintain my composure. Travis was holding back laughter in the hallway and I was visibly shaking from underneath The Cat and The Hat. Again Rinn chimed in,
“Did I just BLOW YOUR MIND?”
Well, that’s one way to put it kid.
Add that to the incessant comments about my bras and I thought it best to start practicing some modesty and took to changing my clothes behind closed doors. In a hotel this means I’m stuck wrestling into my jeans in a bathroom the size of a broom closet. And I thought I had retired from quick changes in small spaces.
So here’s to my weekend spent changing clothes without banging my knees on a toilet. It really is the little things.
The members of Journey once crooned, "They say the road ain't no place to start a family."
Clearly they didn't have monogrammed dinosaur luggage when they wrote those lyrics.