“Off course I know how to use the washing machine!”

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I think the washer and dryer are going to miss me too.

As you read this week’s story, me and my son are at the Orlando International Airport soon to board a Copa Airlines aircraft with destination to my home country, Colombia. For the first time in 10 years since I moved to the US in 2005, I will be staying for a whole month in Bogotá –my vacations so far had always been two weeks max. So, if I am happier than a pig in mud, imagine my Mom; I am her only daughter and my son, her only grandson. Needless to say I felt excitement prior this trip, but also worry; I am leaving my husband in charge of all the duties around the house, and taking care of our doggies, Rusty and Sasha. 

He is the most intelligent man I have ever met, that’s why I married him; he knew what a catch I was! However, that beautiful mind tangles when facing the most basic challenges like opening a bag of chips.

For some reason, his “Herculean” strength is impossible to control, and therefore the snacks fly up in the air as if a mix of liquid oxygen and hydrogen rocketed them. Almost every time my husband opens a bag of pretzels I hear him yelling “Sashaaa!” and the “canine vacuum” runs to clean up the mess.

Off course, opening bags is just the tip of the iceberg when taking about my hubby’s amazing ability to create messes in every room of the house. From the moment I get out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and walk to the kitchen, I become a Weather Channel tornado chaser, and cross my husband’s “path of destruction”. When I am pouring my cup, the coffee maker station is covered in black and white grains –coffee and sugar—and brown drops all around. Then, when I step in front of the stove to make my eggs, I find that my husband just ate Gulliver size eggs, because it is the only way that I can explain, why he feels the need to shake the spices all over the stove and the adjacent granite counter tops. At the end of the storm, the aftermath can be felt even in the gooey-sticky handles of the fridge. Not even my four-year old gets grape jelly all over his hands when eating toast.

Another skill my husband is yet to master is going to the grocery store, and shopping for “one” person not a football team, including coaches and water boys. When we first started dating, I remember opening his fridge and wondering if he was feeding a family of refugees as a charity.

The lunch meat drawer was full with cheeses and cold cuts of every kind. The greens drawer was already growing a garden, because the potatoes and other vegetables already had roots. The door was packed with condiments and dressings which could please the most demanding guests. And just imagine the pantry; I bet the Red Cross had my hubby’s cell on speed dial in case they ran out of supplies, during a category five hurricane relief operation.

I love my husband until the end of days, and as much as I make fun of him, I know he will be fine. He will miss us every day, and we will miss him even more.

I do wish my dogs could speak, so they could tell me what they think about staying alone with Daddy. I think they probably would say something like: “Don’t worry Mommy, we can drink from the toilet when Daddy forgets to refresh our water “, or “We’ll try to poop at the same place in the yard so it is easier for you to pick up when you get back “, or most likely “Can we stay with the neighbors? 

As much as I will enjoy this vacation with my Mom and my family, I will be thinking about the “pieces of my heart” I left in the US –my love and my pups. I even think the appliances are going to miss me. Last week I asked my husband: “Do you remember how to use the washing machine?“. He rolled his eyes and gave me the look while he said: “Off course I know how to use the washing machine!“. Then, a few days later he needed to wash something alone –believe me I don’t trust him with my clothes–, and after a few seconds of mental struggle with the buttons of the machine he yelled from the laundry: “How do you turn this thing on? “.

Here is the lesson of the week: If you are a mom, a wife, or both, don’t ever, ever, ever think you are repeating yourself too much. No matter how much your loved ones roll their eyes when you give them instructions, do it again; whether you are going on a trip for a month or just to the market for 20 minutes. I’ll let you know what I find at my return. At least, I already booked my cleaning lady and she will “rescue” my house before we come back. For the moment, I am going to relax, fasten our seat-belts, and get ready for our landing at Bogotá.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Xiomara Spadafora

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