Why? Because trench mouth, or Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, is a condition far worse than the halitosis that people lightly joke about. The smell emanating from a person with ANUG sets up a perimeter around its host that is several feet thick. And I mean THICK in more than one sense of the word. You've seen cartoons where something like stinky feet or dirty diapers are represented with a wavy cloud of puke-green gas? THICK, I tell you.
I wanted to turn to 10D, to face my husband, but he wasn't there. He was seated in 6E, the only other seat available. Seated next to me in 10D was the woman, who despite my sweetest pleading, had understandably refused to trade places with Wes. She was now asleep, head tilted uncomfortably toward the luggage bins above our heads and her mouth gaping wide open. Her breath was not so pleasant either. Halitosis.
So I defended my innocent olfactory nerve by pulling my long hair forward and discreetly wrapping it in front of my nose. Leaning closer into my book so that the letters slightly blurred, I knew the resulting headache would be entirely worth it.
It was only 36 hours since Wes and I had arrived in Denver for a quick business trip. By the time we had stepped off the plane on Wednesday night and made our way to our hotel it was 11:30 pm. Too late to call home to say goodnight to the kids and knowing we needed to be up in time for a morning meeting, we went right to bed.
Our kids were all safe at home with a more-than-capable babysitter. I knew my little girls would be spoiled with two full days of tea parties, nail polish, and cupcakes. I had even left a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator- something sure to be appreciated by my oldest three children. Yep. They were all set.
After our Thursday morning meeting, we had only a few hours to skip around Denver.
We walked the 16th Street mall.
|View of the capital from 16th Street Mall.|
Then we stopped in at the Federal Reserve Bank. Not that it made the top of my list of things to see in Denver, but it was right there on 16th Street. And the coolest part was that each visitor could leave with one bag of approximately $165 of shredded currency. One for Beau. One for Tyjah.
Unfortunately, we didn't find the Molly Brown house on Pennsylvania Avenue until two minutes AFTER closing.
I'm such a sucker for historic landmarks, so I was super sad we didn't get to go inside.
The babysitter texted photos of my little girls having all kinds of fun. A little tug in my heart questioned if my kids even missed me.
That answer came in the form of several texts from my oldest son, Beau.
The answer also came when I called to say goodnight on Thursday. The phone was passed around and when it came to Lyla, there were lots of tears.
"Oh no! What's wrong, Lita Loo?" I asked. "Why are you crying?"
Words spilled out through heart-wrenching sobs. I didn't understand any of them except the last three, which I heard with absolute clarity-
"I want Mama!"
There. She said it. Of course I never wanted my children to be miserable while I was away. I had, after all, hired the best babysitter around. But how nice it was to know I was missed!
The next morning, my kids called me as they were getting ready for school. Five-year-old Halle was the most persistent-
"But are you coming home NOW? After breakfast? Will you be here when I come home from school? WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME?!"
Sniff. Sniff. My kids did miss me.
And oh how I missed them!
So on Friday morning, I found myself seated several rows back from my husband, sandwiched between Trench Mouth and Halitosis. Two-and-a-half hours of total dependence on my well-shampooed hair, a good book, good memories, and the anticipation of curling up with all my kids to watch The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
This Washington mama is glad to be home!