It is 3,675 miles from my front porch to Hamm, Germany, plus or minus a mile or two, to the exact location where my son Jack is at this very moment.
Here is what I received via text this morning:
Let me explain: On Christmas night we packed Jack for the trip to visit friends in Hamm, Germany. Jack has remained close to the students that visited us here in October of 2016. What a wonderful experience for Jack, Caroline and Connor to have, traveling alone, being adults…but wait. Who is watching out for them? Who is guarding the passports and insuring no rogue bandit is out to get them, take their wallets and do Lord knows what else to these children.
Let me tell you why I am like this. I have been married for 10,331 days. In those 10,331 days, my love, Chip has lost wallets, laptops, left debit cards in the drive thru ATM and forgotten more things at the supermarket than I can remember. Last night we met up with my high school friends, Frances and Mark. Mark confided that he too has lost his share of wallets, cash and other assorted items. It there a hidden gene in the male DNA chain that causes this? Of course, ladies, we never do anything wrong, right?
I have lost sleep since that flight took off on December 26th (and yes, I tracked the flight). According to my Fitbit, I am averaging 3.2 hours of restful sleep a night, and the text I received this morning just fueled my fear fire.
In 235 days, 13 hours, 12 minutes and counting, I will be kissing my son goodbye on the University of Alabama campus, 1152.2 miles away. (roll tide!) There is not enough Prosecco or fine scotch to prepare me for that day. Saying goodbye to Amelia was hard enough, but Jack is the baby.
By the way, Amelia graduates from RIT in 496 days, 13 hours and 7 minutes from the time of this post.
So, to my family and friends out there, please don’t judge. There is a part of my psyche, the Italian part, that trusts no one, believes most people can be serial killers and silently hopes my children will someday buy the house next door.
Please Jack, get home safely. Amelia, you got this, final stretch and Dean’s List! Chip, at least you never lost our children or left them somewhere even though you did lock Amelia in the car when she was 2 years old.
I love my family and fiercely protect them but please gang, pay attention. You’re killing me slowly. I plan to live to at least 100 years old and get my face on that Smucker’s jar. That means another 16,352 days, or 44 years, 9 months, 7 days up to and including my 100th Birthday!
We can get there, right?
PS: Here is the most recent text from Jack today. God help me.