But We Remembered the Water
If you are ever interested in tearing your family apart and then building them back up within the span of three days, I highly recommend signing your daughter up for a year of synchronized swimming – a year that culminates in a regional competition six hours from your home.
The time frames in the above paragraph are vital for this recipe for disaster. If your daughter participates for less than a year in this sport, then chances are she will not participate in any high stakes competitions. And if the high stakes competition happens too close to home, you won’t have the joy of spending six hours in the car with a husband who is usually quite mild mannered but turns into a wannabe serial murderer when idiots cut him off, go too slow, tailgate him, or – God forbid – refuse to get out of the way on a long stretch of two-lane highway.
If the competition is more than six hours away, you will most likely choose to fly to the location, which I’m pretty certain, causes less family friction than the scenario in the above paragraph unless there are all sorts of ridiculous airline delays. But these days, despite what you have heard, airlines are so unpredictable that it is impossible to count on a conflict-causing trip when you really need it, so the six hour car trip is really more reliable.
Not including our two dogs, we are a family of three. Two of us are anal retentive in very different ways. I am extremely TIME oriented (due to my Dorfenbergerthalamus), while my husband, dear Cap’n Firepants, a child of Depression parents, is fearful that we will starve whenever we travel away from our home for more than 15 minutes.
So, when we prepare for a trip, I grow increasingly impatient that
myour planned departure time is drawing near while Cap’n Firepants is raiding the pantry and stocking the ice chest with every possible portable ration.
Our daughter, Dimples, cares only that she has something to do while she is in the car.
So, as we packed the car for our trip to the Regional Synchronized Swimming championships in Dallas this weekend, Dimples was stocking her activity bag while I was impatiently sitting on my packed suitcase at the front door, and Cap’n Firepants was trying to decide if we needed to take 1 or 2 cases of bottled water for our travels to the distant suburb of Irving, Texas – where we later discovered they actually allow for grocery stores in their zoning laws, too.
To be fair, I had given Dimples a three page list that we had been emailed two days before of Important Items to Bring, and she had dutifully packed all of the highlighted items. Not quite at the rate I would have liked, but it was done.
I finally snapped enough at everyone’s heels enough to get us on the road so we could arrive in time to be there at least three hours before the required time for the Team Meeting at our hotel. Husband and daughter were both grateful, I am sure, for my many sighs during our lunch at a Dairy Queen that got them finished with their gourmet banquet in record time.
We made it to the Team Meeting 2 minutes before 7. It started 20 minutes after 7:00. Fortunately there were a few other timely families in the hotel lobby for us to socialize with during the interim as the three of us were barely speaking to each other by that point.
After receiving our Important Instructions for the following day, we went up to the room so Dimples and her duet partner could “walk the routine”.
While the girls were practicing, a sickening feeling occurred to me.
The duet partner and her mom left, and I was left alone again with our family in the room.
I cleared my throat after doing a quick scan of the luggage and food supplies. “Uh, okay. Nobody panic.” This is always a great way to get people to panic, by the way.
“Did anyone happen to remember to put Dimples’ swim bag in the car?”
Ah yes. The swim bag. You know, for the Synchronized Swimming Competition.