Every year, for as long as any of our children can remember, Jimmy and I have taken a “business trip” with his company. And every single year, my mother, may she rest in peace, (she’s fine, she’s just staying home and literally resting in peace) has faithfully and lovingly driven across the country, to babysit our 5 kids for the extended weekend.

This started way back in the 1990s, when our daughters were toddlers and has continued ever since.

We are now down to the last two kids in the nest – our boys – who launched a protest this year, maintaining that they are sufficiently mature enough to look after themselves when we travel.

Their mutiny happened to coincide with some minor health concerns of Grandma’s, so after lengthy discourse and fractious debate,  we decided to take our sons up on their offer.   After all, James IS 18 and LEGALLY an adult, (he can go to war if necessary and plans to vote in November) and Tommy is…well, he’s Tommy.

I did, nonetheless, exercise due diligence by sending a series of TEXT ALERTS to my next-door neighbors, a friend who happens to be the President of our Homeowner’s Association, 9 of my sons’ friends’ parents, as well as Our Girlfriend’s Mother – all because I genuinely embrace the Utopian-esque concept of ‘It Takes A Village To Raise A Child.’

But, my Ace-in-the-Hole was my reliance upon The Ultimate Village, the roadblock of all roadblocks, a fail-proof infrastructure that was established long before we ever had boys tarnishing the family name; dating all the way back to when our Little Tykes toys were exclusively pink.

The plan was in place, if necessary, to activate THE SISTERHOOD…

It is simply an inescapable and universal truth that no one is going to rat you out with more passion and fervor than your own flesh-and-blood sisters. Rather than call this tattle-telling, we choose to refer to this additional layer of security as “PROTECTING THE BRAND.”

…And, that’s exactly what went down at our house this past Saturday night, when our 3 daughters converged upon their unsuspecting brothers with more femme-fatale force than an episode of Charlie’s Angels.

It was Boots-On-The-Ground in Oklahoma; with technical and on-line support streaming directly out of Manhattan and Fayetteville.

And, what an impressive well-oiled machine…The Command Center at NASA conducting a Full Scale Space Mission has nothing on these ladies.


The Trinity of Angels communicating via group text:

Edmond – “There are unauthorized vehicles in the drive-way. We’re going in.”

Manhattan- “Copy that. Are you there Fayetteville?”

Fayetteville- “Standing-By Manhattan”.

Manhattan – “Godspeed Edmond. Text pictures ASAP!


Fortunately, or unfortunately, (depending on how badly you wanted to make a “bust”) each of our 5 teenaged guests that evening had been “Pre-Approved” prior to my departure. All Emilie actually had to do was verify their wristbands, check their names off the ‘Authorized Guests’ list, poke around a bit, issue an empty threat or two, text Mamasita a few candids and retreat.

As you can see by the time stamp on the following screenshot, the marvels of modern technology available in Mexico delayed news of The Raid by several hours.  I too, was resting in peace; apparently by the time I was ‘in the loop,’ the delinquents were tucked in bed, lights out and rosaries prayed. Unnecessary force and legal action averted.


Viva La Village! Viva La Sisterhood!