Every time I’m home for a few days, I engage in what Jeremy’s mom and I call “overcompensation.” I feel enormous pressure to be the most fun mom and the best spouse ever. In my 4 days home, I kept Aidan home from school and took him for a day of fun that included a shopping spree at Target and the Disney store; took Lauren and her friends to lunch and for mani pedis and made sure her team at the school dodgeball tournament had as much “Team Mustache” jewelry and bling as possible (whats up with this mustache obsession with girls?) and organized as many social activities with friends and family as humanly possible.
I also put things back in Sam’s room that he didn’t need on tour or that we no longer have room for. I’m currently obsessed with luggage. Sam and I each get two bags 50 lbs each to schlep around the country, plus a carry on. The cast bring portable luggage scales with them and ship home stuff when their bags get too heavy. I keep buying new bags and suitcases to maximize this situation. I’m still figuring this out.
During my dropping off crap fun at home, I found my favorite stuff: old notes, letters and cards from my whole life (yep, I keep it all). I found birthday cards from old friends and family, some of whom have since passed away. I have “notes” friends passed me in high school, congrats cards on everything from graduations to the births of my kids. I found hilarious letters from friends analyzing their relationship woes, letters sent from friends at camp or on trips abroad, and lots of cards sent to me from friends telling me not to worry about that problem I was having. (I forgot how many earth shattering problems you have when you are a teen and in your twenties) I also found a 4 page apology letter from a friend that has so many details as to why he blew me off for a concert it could be a script for a John Hughes movie.
But, it has made me worry for this next generation. With all the texting and Facebook, Instagram, and ecards, they will never find old gems like these. Notes passed in school talking about plans for lunch or boyfriend issues will last forever. That text will not.
In The Addams Family, there are certain lines that always get a laugh, and some depend on the population of the town. But the one joke that gets a laugh and applause everywhere we go is when Grandma Addams is giving Pugsley life advice and she quotes famous literature. He says to her “I don’t understand your references!” to which she says “Well, then, stop the damn texting and pick up a book every once in a while!” The crowd goes nuts every time.
I think that’s because it rings so true for us. I’m glad I’m writing all this down now, so that Sam and I will remember it later. This experience is crazy, scary and funny, just like growing up was (favorite moment on tour so far: when we took our first flight as a cast to Florida and someone on the plane thought we were on a family reunion trip because our shirts said “The Addams Family, 2013”)
So, to my young friends out there, I say, write it down. The next time you want to discuss your favorite tv show or movie star drama, or complain about that boy that didn’t call you back, put it in writing. Trust me when I say as much as you think you will remember all of this now, you won’t. Years of loss of sleep, old age, (and for me, consistent Ambien usage ) will cause you to forget.
I may not be achieving best mom, friend, sister or wife status this trip home to AZ, but I will have the proof to back up how hard I tried.