Update: By the way, my defense is still over a month away, making this whole process even more ludicrous.
Part of my near-panic was (is) caused by my defense trip, which I'm not concerned about from a defense point of view. I know what I need to do to prepare and am ready to do so and to fill out forms and cross t's and dot i's. But the logistics of the trip were complicated and my mother stepped in and made things more complicated and stressed me out even more. Here was the issue. I had thought that since I was going to be about as close (distance-wise) as I'll ever get and since the whole family was planning to travel with me, that we'd hop over to see her after the defense. I mentioned this to my mother at some point and she sprung into action. A week after that brief mention, she called to see if she could rent a cabin closer to Defense City. I haven't even begun to plan.
My defense is on Tuesday. I want to arrive on Monday and I thought I'd make it over to visit my mother on Wednesday or Thursday. We will be at the beach until the Saturday before I defend. Mr. Geeky needs to be in Large Southern City on that Saturday, so he'd already planned to leave early. We hadn't worked out what was going to happen after that and there was a chance that the Saturday event was going to be canceled. My mother called several times to discuss the plans. She has booked the cabin for Monday through Friday. I said that was fine, but Mr. Geeky and I, at least, wouldn't be there until Wednesday at the earliest, which I had explained the very first time she even mentioned this scheme of hers. She calls again to ask if we've made our travel plans again. I say no. First, they're going to be complicated and Mr. Geeky and I have both been running around like chickens with our heads cut off for the last couple of weeks, so we haven't had time to think. Second, it's going to cost us about $1000, and we don't spend that kind of money lightly. So, then she explains that not only has she booked the cabin, but she's reserved canoes for Tuesday. I say, you know Mr. Geeky and I won't be there till Wednesday, right? Oh, you're not coming over after your "little conference"? She asks. I've said this to her before, but I say it again, enunciating like she has a hearing problem, "Mom, this is a big deal. It determines whether or not I receive my degree. After it's over, I'm either going to go out and celebrate with friends or commiserate. Either way, I'm not going anywhere until Wednesday." Seriously, this is at least the third time I've told her.
I've told everyone at work this story (sorry everyone!) because it just really gets my goat. I realized that the reason it gets my goat is because I wanted to control this whole trip and my visit with her and instead, she took over and made me fee about 12 again when we used to go shopping for clothes and she'd bring me only stuff she liked. I know I'm complicit in this because I let her do it to me, but it's so hard not to fall into that same dynamic again. I have honestly been thinking about Phantom and her determination to say no more often. I really wish that the very first time my mom had called to suggest the whole thing, I'd just said, "Mom, that sounds like a great idea, but I really don't want to make this trip that complicated. Give me a week or two to make my own plans and we'll figure out how to visit with you." But I'm never that prepared.
At any rate, we did come up with a plan, and I swear, it's close to one of those cheesy Family Circus comics where Billy zig zags around the neighborhood. First, we go to the beach (yay!). Then, we all drive to Southern City (about 6 hours) on Friday and Mr. Geeky does his workshop thing while me and the kids hang out with some unsuspecting friends. On Sunday, I fly to Defense City and camp out in a hotel and prepare to defend. Mr. Geeky and family arrive by car sometime on Monday-ish. Somehow, we get the kids to my mom. Tuesday, I defend. We celebrate (I'm an optimist). Wednesday, we meet up with mom and family. Friday, we drive back. We're planning a scenic route. And then, the real relaxing begins!