I used to imagine my parents staying up after the kids went to bed, watching cartoons & doing all the fun things I'd be doing if I weren't already in bed.  Now that I'm a parent I see that nowhere close to the truth... for the most part.

There have been a few times I've watched cartoons after the kids have gone to bed, but in all fairness they're cartoons they won't be watching until they're (at least) teenagers.  I also use that post-bedtime time to catch up on my wife's day, which considering she's a teacher, does sometimes include laughter.  My boys probably have good reason to suspect we're having fun without them.  We've earned it.  Now get back into bed before I come in there to give you a whoopin'.

I hope you're a fan of condiments & rotten veggies, because that's all there is in my fridge while the family is away. Photo by Jamie Garrett

This suspicion of fun post-bedtime only worsens when my two boys imagine all the fun I must be having without them while they're traveling across the country.  Tyler has even checked the Xbox after getting home from last year's trip to see how many hours I'd been playing video games without him.  He'll be happy to know this trip I was in the midst of a "Sons of Anarchy" marathon.  I'd never seen an episode until a month ago, and now I'm on season 3 thanks to Netflix.  That hasn't left too much time for killing fake terrorists.

While getting the family home is always fun, it also comes with its drawbacks.  Not so much anymore, but when the boys were younger I'd hear, "You didn't have to change a single diaper for two weeks while we were gone... you're gonna make up for lost time".  That lasted for about six months, or until the next weeks long trip.  I can't blame her.  I can't imagine 2,400 miles with two kids & her two parents.  That makes for a crowded minivan.

As you can see with my sad refrigerator I'm not exactly living the high life.  Every meal at home alone consists of trying to spend the least amount of time possible in the kitchen.  It's a game of "how many calories do I need to survive?".  Scotch is added as my main food group while they're away.  I'm in for a hell of a detox now.  Starting Monday I'm told we're going on a juicing-fast.  Yay!!!