Sunday, August 1, 2010

Traveling With the Bean

Jelly Bean was away at camp last week. Co-ed camp. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter - the boys were in one cabin and the girls in another, they just did everything else together. For a week she was giggling and laughing and swimming and horseback riding and eating food that other people prepared for her. Then her time was up. Which was good because after seven days Dotter was a complete mess since she doesn't like routine to be disrupted; even if by "routine" we mean the Bean rolling eyeballs and sighing heavily about Gawd! how ridiculous and dorky and uncool we all are. Dotter spent the week sleeping in the Bean's room. And applying Bean's make-up. And dressing up in Bean's clothes. Essentially becoming that creepy roommate who moves in then takes over the identity of the person they're living with.

So, Dotter, Cletus the Used to be Fetus, and I drove off, in the rain, to pick Bean up from camp. Big V had to work so I was flying solo on this mission. Now, Big V is the type of guy who inherently knows where to go. It's like his brain is one big GPS mapping system - which explains why there's no room for things like "must pick up dirty socks off living room floor" and "white Hanes undershirts are just that; under shirts, and shall not be worn as an external shirt for the entire world to see." I do not possess any sort of mapping or general directional skill at all; therefore I rely heavily on Automated GPS Girl to help direct the way. I trust her wholeheartedly and for some reason feel obligated to listen to her even when I know where I am. And Automated Girl did not let me down! Even when I missed that one turn because I was excitedly calling my mother to tell her about this field full of  hundreds of wild turkeys, or cranes, or otherwise unidentifiable birds - Automated Girl took my mistake in stride, recalculated, and get me straight again. I love you Automated Girl!

Too bad Auto Girl couldn't pinpoint the exact location of my kid at camp. We waited and watched as parents reunited with children over and over again. In the rain. Dotter starting to get anxious. The baby fussing louder. The crowd dwindling. And still no 15-year old sharing our DNA. "Let's just check the Lost and Found," Dotter suggested. This actually seemed like a good idea. Maybe she was sitting on the front lawn amongst the dozens of forgotten beach towels and sweatshirts spread out for parents to collect on their way out.

Eventually we found her wandering the camp streets, saying goodbye to friends, and all was right with the world.

Except.

The Bean had a vacation to get to. She was travelling out of state that very evening and we needed to get her home stat! She needed to shower, unpack, repack and get her butt to the airport. I pictured us rushing about, effectively crossing items of our list of things to-do. Double and triple checking to make sure she had her ticket and ID and deodorant and enough underwear to last the next ten days.

It went more like this: Praise the Heavens! I have my phone! I have a week's worth of texting to catch up on! I'll just lay here on my bed for a few minutes....

BEAN! WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO PACK! WE ARE LEAVING IN THREE HOURS!

BEAN! WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO PACK! WE ARE LEAVING IN TWO HOURS!

BEAN! WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO PACK! WE ARE LEAVING IN ONE HOUR!

BEAN! WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO PACK! WE ARE LEAVING IN HALF AN HOUR!

V! Thank God you're home! I can't get Bean to pack and we HAVE leave in FIFTEEN MINUTES!!

And so it was that while we did, in fact, get to the airport in time to get Bean's boarding passes and bags checked, Bean would suddenly realize she did not have adequate time to remember to properly identify her plain, black bag, and how she ran back behind security to try to "get her bag back" so she could put some sort of hair tie on it so she would be able to recognize it. And how the security guys didn't think that was a really cool thing to do.

Security telling Bean to get AWAY FROM THE ALREADY CHECKED BAG!

Darn my not-so-speedy camera...
but this was the best picture I had of Bean's "oops" face.
I think she was slightly fearing being arrested at this point.

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