Dylan Didn’t Pack a Towel.

After Dylan headed off into the wild blue yonder with his church group, I went home to take a nap. We had all gotten up very early to see him off.

As I tried to sleep, I realized that Dylan hadn’t packed bug repellant. It kept me tossing and turning for awhile until I realized, He wouldn’t wear it anyway. And I tried again to sleep. Someone will loan him some if he needs it, I thought.

I had tried so hard to allow Dylan to pack for his own trip, using a four-page list that I forced him to highlight.

“Yes, I have everything on that list!” he’d told me for the fourth time, when I’d asked to go through his suitcase with him. But I did go through the suitcase – briefly. I didn’t go over the list; I left that to him. He had underwear and clean clothes and socks and tools. I’d hand-selected his toiletries over the course of several weeks. I’d figured he’d be fine, whatever he packed, and that he would learn from his mistakes if he forgot something.

But no insect repellant. It was mentioned twice on that list.

I tried to sleep anyway. Then it hit me like a baseball bat over the head:

Dylan didn’t pack a towel.

“Towel” was most definitely on the list. Dylan was going to work outdoors in the heat of the summer for eight hours a day, and he was going to really want a shower. And when he got out of the shower, he was going to want to get dry.

Yet, he’d gone off for a week with no towel.

I gave up on my nap, and I texted him. “You didn’t pack a towel,” I said.

I didn’t hear back from him for several minutes. So I texted again. “Tell your team leader and maybe you’ll be able to stop somewhere and get one.”

I still didn’t hear back from him. He wasn’t out of cell range after only 20 minutes in the van.

“Hello?” I texted again, 15 minutes later. “my msg? towel?”

“Okay,” he finally texted back.

And other than another short text conversation during which he answered almost none of my questions, I didn’t hear from him for two days.

It was not an easy task for him to call from Appalachia, but he called on Tuesday night. By then, the only thing that mattered to me was that he was happy, safe and healthy.

Of course, that’s the only thing that ever matters to me – but I manage to worry about a lot of inane details.

So I did remember to ask: “Did you get a towel?”

“Yeah,” he said. “We stopped at Walmart and I got one.”


Best of all, he’s safe, healthy and happy. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *