A Chinese Toddler or A 6-Toed Cat?

I used to love the magic of Christmas. And then my sons grew up and two of the three moved out; one by one, they stopped believing in Santa; one started asking for cash advances instead of gifts; one never wanted anything; and all three never cared if I decorated, or put up a tree. And slowly, each year, Christmas became less magical.

So, to stave off our annual “Let’s adopt a Chinese toddler,” talk, my husband and I decided we would begin a new tradition: take a mini-vacation right before Christmas.

Last year we went on a cruise with some friends and a teenager about the same age as our son, Nic. It was super fun and I didn’t long for a Chinese toddler or cry about lost magic when Christmas rolled around again this past year. Win.

We decided to vacation in Key West. We were so excited! Five days of sun, island life, friends to meet us there…. And no kids. But Nic is practically an adult, and while the trip plans and schedules aligned like planets, it collided with Nic’s teenage Christmas plans. Big time.

Nic told me he was too old to go on vacation with his parents. Nic said he was staying home. Alone.

Me: But you can’t stay home. It’s Christmas! And I didn’t give you the option. You don’t get to decide this on your own. Hello? You are barely 17! And I’m still the boss of you.

Nic: Why? Alex (middle son) got to stay home by himself when he was my age.

Husband (walking through the room): Kelly, Key West is a party town; I didn’t think Nic would want to go. We will be hanging out in bars a lot anyway. Besides, we will be home a few days before Christmas, so he won’t be home alone for the holiday -he will be fine.

Me: Well. Uh. There is a treasure museum there. And beaches. And we aren’t “Bar People!” Oh, and you can pet the Hemingway cats! You will have fun.

Nic (speaking in annoyed sighs): Really, Mom? We live in Florida. Near the beach. I don’t care about treasure. Or cats. Or beaches.

Me: Well, the world might end.

Nic: Seriously, Mom? (eye roll)

Husband (walking through the room -again, more quickly this time): Nic, if your Mom is worried and says you have to go, then you have to go. Stop arguing. And you WILL have fun.

Great. Too late husband. Thanks. Now I get to be the bad guy. And force the kid to have fun. Yippee.

Okay. I think logically for a few minutes. We have a security system, nosy neighbors, attack dogs, relatives a mile away, and his big brother can check in on him. Plus, Nic is physically almost 17, but mentally going on 50; he is 6’2″ and too old for a pedophile; he is frighteningly more reasonable than me; and the worst thing he would do is eat junk food for a week, then not brush his teeth before bed. And he will probably not wash his dishes or clean the entire time, so we will have to deal with cockroaches when we get home. Shit.

But just… damn it, WHAT IF the world ends…? Ugh. Mothering is not logical, Dr. Spock’s baby book didnt have a chapter on this.

Me: Well. I guess you can stay home. And if the world ends, take your bows and arrows, and the dogs, then go to Aunt Bonnie’s house. Okay?

Nic: Okay, Mom. (eye roll)

Me: Seriously Nic. Leave me a note on the bottom of a dresser drawer so I will know where to look for you. I will find my way back here. And I’ll look for the note!

Nic (speaking s-l-o-w-l-y): Okay, Mom. But you know–all of that Mayan Calendar stuff–is a fallacy–anyway, right Mom?

Me: Yes. Nic. (eye roll)

Mental note: make pest control appointment and get house sprayed before we leave.

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3 comments on “A Chinese Toddler or A 6-Toed Cat?

  1. theundergroundoutlaw
    January 26, 2013 at January 26, 2013 #

    I about had a panic attack letting my daughter go to the mall alone. What is WRONG with me?

    • virtualendings
      January 26, 2013 at January 26, 2013 #

      LOL …wait until our kids have kids. And then when they get the irrational parent crazies, we can sit back, laugh, point our fingers and roll our eyes 🙂 Ha! I’m living for THAT day!

      • theundergroundoutlaw
        January 26, 2013 at January 26, 2013 #

        Haha! I hope we survive it. Here’s to us!

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