I was digging through an old bookcase today when this old, folded-up note fell out. I unfolded it to discover the six-page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious choice of words) that I had written years ago for my mother and father-in-law when they came to care for our daughter while I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with my mom.
This was eight years ago. My daughter had just turned one, plus we had moved into a new house the week prior. There were boxes everywhere, not to mention the general craziness of living with a one year old. Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her for ten days, while my husband was at work, so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.
I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and in hindsight, am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.
To ‘help’ them out, I put together what I thought was a helpful, information-packed list of all of the critical need-to-know items that they (and my daughter) would need to survive the next ten days. As I read it now, eight years (and a second kid) later, I realize how thoroughly amusing this instruction sheet must have been to two intelligent, loving parents/grandparents who already raised two boys of their own.
What follows is the body of the note and what I can only imagine was going through their heads as they read it.
I share this with all the moms out there. It’s for the new moms who are preparing to write your own lists of ‘guidelines and instructions’ for your first time away from your baby. And it’s for the moms like me, with older kids, but who can still remember that first time we handed off our sweet babies as we ventured out of arms reach for the first time.
Save those notes. You’ll look at them some day and they’ll remind you of how far you have come…and that you should probably step it up a notch for your in-laws’ Christmas present this year.
Here’s another post about 5 reasons I think you should take a vacation without your kids.
And here’s another post that involves me doing something even more crazy to my poor in-laws.
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The post was originally shared in October of 2014 on my The Dusty Parachute blog. I owe so many connections and opportunities to the success of this silly piece and am grateful for each and every one of you who read it and shared it. Thank you.