It was Emma’s birthday and we were going to Big Splash Water Park, out to dinner, and cake with her grandparents. It was a big, big day. And we were packing. Em had to pack for the water park and dinner and then for pirate bonding on the river for the weekend and then for camp. She had lists for each bag and what needed to go in it. I think she may have gotten that from me and perhaps the importance of always having first aid kit. But I was keeping my mouth shut on those two accounts. It could just have been a coincidence.
I only had to pack for Big Splash and dinner and I was stressed. I had to pack my swimming suit and accoutrements and clothes for the restaurant afterwards. I stood arms akimbo in the living room, deep in thought. I looked over at Layce who was calmly reading.
“I’m going to have to pack a toiletry bag because I’ll be all sticky from the sunscreen and chlorine which will rinse off but still be there if I don’t thoroughly soap up, which means I’m going to need soap, shampoo, lotion and all the rest. I should probably pack an extra towel because my pool towel will smell like chlorine and be dampish.”
“I’m going to take a shower when I get home. It simplifies things,” Layce said not looking up from her book.
I considered this approach. It would simply things but that’s just not my style. Em was packing her suit, towel, sunscreen, and various other items. “Don’t forget your thongs,” I told her. (I admit that under duress, I had a retro-moment back to the days when flip flops were called thongs before skimpy underpants appropriated the word.)
“You mean flip flops,” Em said.
“Okay, but you have to remind me to put them back into my Tortuga bag, (that’s what the pirate thing is called) and then move them to my camp bag,” Em said.
“Will you two please go do your pack thing and leave me alone. I’ve read the same page five times now.”
“She just doesn’t understand the importance of proper packing,” I told Em. We scattered each to our own packing issues.
Em called upstairs. “I need that small black bag for my camp toiletries.”
“I’ll be right down with it.”
There was a heavy sigh from the living room, which we both ignored. Such is the nature of those who pack ten minutes before a trip. I refrained from mentioning that she forgot her belt last time we went out of town. I figured it was best.
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