Role reversal

My parents are half way around the world in the Motherland – aka – the Philippines. They will be there for an entire month – traveling, seeing friends and family, taking side trips around Asia and most importantly – heading up a medical mission in a province called Palawan.

The day before they left – I took them out to lunch and we talked about their itinerary, they played with Isabelle, and I bid them adieu.

Some last minute “list of things to do” came up – and they stopped by our house the night before and stayed for a couple of hours as talked about the things they needed me to take care of for the clinic, for their cars, and for their house.

I bid them adieu once more – told them to call me when they got checked in before their flight the next day.

Around 9:30am on the day of their flight – I called them to make sure they got checked in ok. Of course – my mom was engrossed in her Dan Brown novel and forgot to call. I said – “No problem!” And just to please call or text me or one of my sisters when they arrived in San Francisco for their layover.

Hmmm….8pm that night. No phone call. My sister’s hadn’t heard from them and our calls went straight to voicemail.

Finally – after 10pm central time – I called my parents AGAIN – finally – my Mom picks up….laughter in the background.

Mom: “Hello?”

Me: “Mom! You or Dad were supposed to call us when you got there!”

Mom: “Oh yeah. Sorry – we met up with your Tatay (my grandfather) and the rest of the family and went out to eat.”

Me: “Well – we were worried. You need to call us.”

Mom: “Ok – sorry.”

Me: “Ok – but make sure to call when you land in the Philippines. We may have a hard time calling you since it’s international.”

{Mom laughing. Dad in the background talking}

Mom: “Ok”

Me: “Did you hear me? What did I say?”

Mom: “You asked how the flight was.”

Me: “NO! Listen to me! Make sure to call or text one of us when you land in the Philippines. What did I just say?”

Mom: “Call you when we land…ok…ok…have to go! Bye – we’ll call you tomorrow!”

Me: “Mom…-“

….Dial tone…

Hmm…I replayed the conversation over and over in my head.

Why did it sound so familiar? Was it deja vu?

Nope – it’s the same conversation I had with my parents many, many moons ago when I was a tween and teen..and forgot to call them when I got to so and so’s house…the same conversation I had when I made the road trip from home back to college and I rushed to get ready to hit up the bar or party with my friends and forgot to call.

Man – what was I thinking!

The worry I must have put my parents through. And the worry that inevitably Iz will put Craig and I through.

A simple phone call to ease anxious minds. A simple phone call to stop the pacing. A simple phone call. The many calls I “forgot” or intentionally forgot to make and the anxiety I must have put my parents through as they waited to hear my voice – safe and sound.

Now – years later – the simple phone call they forgot to make and the foreshadowing of what’s to come in my future with Isabelle (the excuses, the “I forgot’s, the “I’m sorrys)….

Oh boy…

Payback’ a B*%$CH!