Caught between a rock and a cousin | Living with Gleigh

I got away this weekend; a girls’ weekend with cousins, direct cousins, extended cousins, cousins I’d only met on Facebook until this weekend. They are cousins descended from my great-grandmother, on my father’s side.

I had some trepidation about going on this little getaway; mostly because I had a crazy week with my family dealing with some unplanned issues, not the least of them was rescuing a trailer-trash, street-walkin’ kitty from my mom’s trailer park.

I am always reluctant to meet new people, not because I don’t like people, but perhaps because I don’t get out enough, and this was going to be an especially large group of new people. But I had committed to go, so I went. After all, it was a weekend at the beach without my family and I wouldn’t be responsible for the new kitty’s first days confined to a house when she never had been confined before.

It was an odd feeling to drive all the way to Blaine with one of my close cousins knowing we weren’t in a hurry and we wouldn’t be late for anything. I began to realize the enormity of a weekend away with no one to attend to. Wow! What’s a mom to do?

When we arrived at our destination, we were warmly welcomed into this extended family as if we had been a part of this all-embracing cousins unit all along. After all, my cousin and I were not only joining a group of our cousins, we were joining a lot of other moms.

We spent many hours trying to sort out how we all fit on the family tree, which started over every time someone new arrived. As we went through the first evening, there were only two things on my mind – did the new cat use the litter box and did I leave my family without toilet paper?

I tried to resist the temptation not to get up from our chatting and check in with my family. I finally gave in and surreptitiously texted my husband and daughters, “Did the cat use the litter box?” “I think you’re out of toilet paper.” “Get the Fred Meyer brand with the 1000 sheets.” “How’s the cat, did she use the litter box?” “Did you get our daughter from the bus?” “There’s enchiladas left in the fridge for dinner.” “ No, never mind. I don’t want you to try and get the right brand of toilet paper, there’s some left in the RV. Just go get the rolls that are in the RV.” “Where is everybody? Why isn’t anyone answering me? What’s going on over there?”

Finally I stepped out onto the balcony of the communal room and called the vet to see what to do if the cat hadn’t used the litter box. Then I called my husband to see why no one was answering me and to warn him about the lack of toilet paper. At that time, the answered texts started flowing in. “Yes, the cat used the litter box that morning.” “Yes, we are eating enchiladas.” “Yes, I picked up our daughter.” “Okay, I’ll get the toilet paper out of the RV.”

Now I could totally relax. I crept back in hoping no one noticed my guilt-ridden return. What kind of a person who is meeting many new people for the first time, can only think about a cat’s litter box issues and toilet paper? I needn’t have worried, the rest of the moms were busy on their cell phones checking on their families too.

That’s what happens when you get a group full of moms away for a weekend. So I stretched out in a chair, finally happy to be stuck between a rock and my cousins.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is home and back in control of litter boxes and toilet paper. You can read her column every week on under the Lifestyles section.. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or “like” Living with Gleigh on Facebook.

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