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This family has one particular habit that drives me nuts. I’ll ignore those chortles and comments that infer it’s not a long trip.

All three of my adult children cannot leave the house just once. They always come back. I realize this could be a broader observation about their current Boomerang status in my home, but I am speaking now of just leaving the house to do errands, go to work, meet friends. They leave and then they come back immediately. Sometimes they don’t make it out of the garage; sometimes they get in the car and return, occasionally they make it off the block. But they always come back. They do that because they’ve either forgotten something or have a compulsive need to make sure they haven’t.

I will not criticize Gill too much this time since she hasn’t actually lived here on a regular basis for a couple of years. This despite the fact that she forgets a lot…but her attitude seems to be more: “If I’ve forgotten it, I can’t be arsed going back for it” or “For fuck’s sake. I guess it wasn’t important.”

L’il Sis is the most predictable. She leaves at least three times every time she leaves. Don’t worry if that statement makes no sense. It wasn’t meant to. It certainly makes no sense to me.  Part of it is The Pig’s fault. She plays the guilt card with L’il Sis. Having just been taken for an early walk, The Pig has it figured out that ‘her mommy’ is about to leave, putting me in charge for the day. Putting aside that I am the world’s biggest softie and provider of all forbidden treats and the cooker of the chicken soup for lunch, The Pig’s nose is still out of joint that she is being ‘abandoned’ by L’il Sis. So she drapes herself on th sofa, droopy ears hanging over the pillows, giving the most woebegone expression possible…just in case L’il Sis had any doubt as to her depression. Who could leave that face? Certainly not L’il Sis. She comes back at least twice for a hug.

Then she comes back for her missing keys/shoes/phone/lunchbag. Then, when she has worked herself into a frenzy, she comes back to make sure she has turned off her radio/curling iron/ the oven. Part of this is her way of coping with the touch of OCD she has so I have learned not to say, “Back again?” Because that would just be irritating…not to mention unkind. If I happen to be upstairs at the computer, I listen and count the door slams. “One, two, three…now she’s gone.” The Pig and I both relax.

Crazy D forgets things too. His forgotten items usually end up costing me a  lot in time, effort and cold hard cash. Case in point: one time he left some keys here — keys that he desperately needed for his few days in Toronto. What to do? He was too far into the day to come back for them so I had to send them by courier. Then there was the time he left to do a job in Burlington. An hour after he left, there came the phone call. “Mom, did you by any chance see my extra pack of batteries? I think I left them on the side counter in the kitchen.”

“You mean these?” I asked as I picked up the package — the very obvious, hard-to-miss package.

“Oh, thank goodness! Now, I hate to ask this, but I desperately need those for work today. I know it’s a lot to ask, but is there any chance you could drive them here for me?”

“Are you kidding me?” I asked. Side note here: in my past, I have in fact agreed to do stupid things like this. I’m now old but learning. I’m mostly learning that I’m too old to be doing stupid things. At any rate, I did what any good, loving, yet smart mother would do. I lied. “Oh, sorry, son…I have a dental appointment soon. No can do.”

And so he drove home when a break was called in filming, grabbed the batteries and drove back to his work, like a bat out of Hell, only five minutes late from the break. That guy is just plain lucky.

More recently, he was going to the airport. The fancy Town Car had picked him up and twenty minutes later, the phone rang. Somehow I just knew. “Hi,” I answered. “What did you forget?”

“My special rain jacket. It’s going to be wet where I’m going and I’ll be outside when we film. I need it, Mom. Any chance you or L’il Sis could drive it to Porter and meet me?”

“You want us to do what?”

And so the negotiations began. “Where are you now?”

“In Cambridge…”

“How about you turn around and we meet you at the freeway entrance at the other end of Kitchener? That would be half-way between where we both are.”

“But I can’t miss my flight, Mom!”

“Nor can you really afford to piss off your mother…”

“You make a good argument.” I heard muffled talking. “The driver says we can still make it if we turn around and come back to the house for them, Mom. See you shortly.”

“Great. I’ll be at the end of the driveway waiting.” And so I was. They pulled up, I threw the jacket through the car window, and the driver did a fast u-turn and roared off. They made the flight. And I didn’t have to make an unscheduled trip to Porter in my sleeping garb (Nirvana t-shirt, too short pj bottoms, bed head and no makeup. Porter may be small and casual, but they weren’t ready for THAT!)

I guess, when I look back at what I’ve just written, I should be grateful that L’il Sis at least remembers what she’s forgotten before she gets far and comes back. I never thought I’d be grateful for a touch of OCD.