This July I took a Ninja Mom’s Furlough (a temporary layoff from my job) while my older kids were away. To make the most of my Furlough, I fled with my husband and young son to Tuscany.
But my Ninja Mom Summer Furlough never fully got off the ground, because even thousands of miles apart while I was lodged in the hills of Tuscany, the 21st Century viral umbilical cord – SMS, FaceTime, email, calls and Instagram – remained tightly connected.
My college son in the midst of final exams in Israel continued his pattern of not responding to texts and emails, but of course called when he needed something; My daughters in Asia and Barcelona texted and emailed daily details like they were next door:
People and Places: ‘Most people suck but some cool; I really like Cambodia; I’ve made a mistake, this is not a good place; Going to Tarragona and beach; Friend and I took bus to take photos; Im in Siem reap after beautiful 7 hour bus ride; At hotel in Ho Chi Minh; Beautiful Airport and burkas galore!; We swam with bioluminescent plankton last night it was awesome; koh Phangan is beautiful! I love you.’
Personal - ‘Please transfer $ into my account; Face time quick before bedtime?; We are sweating; Have a cold; Love you; Haven’t showered in a while; Morning; Finally pooped; What u up to?; Night; I love you both. Im in a shit mood; Are u up? Just the best time in the whole world.’
Food: ‘I bought my own sushi; Eating dinner with Ilexa in Cambodia; Yes we wore helmets, yes we ate great food; Average breakfast menu; Going to eat best Paella.’
Consternation/Guilt: ‘Have you gotten my texts mom?; I clearly miss you more than you miss me. Mommmmm i miss you please respond to something. Omg you remember me!;)’
Thoughtful Observations: ‘I have learned a lot about people this summer; This trip is teaching me a lot about haves and have nots and have a lots.’
Over the last few years, there has been great talk of workers forced to take furloughs due to budget cuts and the sequester.
This summer, I was required to take a Ninja Mom Furlough due to my big kids developing their characters and their own narratives. Sadly for me, the tradition and familiarity of spending each summer physically together was slipping away. Once again, I reminded myself of the expression, ”The best way to hold on to your children is to let them go.”
Okay I must admit.……Tuscany is an ideal locale to try and take a Ninja Mom Furlough! I traveled around enjoying beautiful sites; I was obligated to eat pasta and drink wine; and at the end of the day, my iPhone facilitated the essential Mother – Child Life Line!
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