This is the first installment in a series entitled, “Lies I Have Believed”
Having six children is…well..busy. By the time they are in grade school they have more social engagements than I have had my entire almost 50 years of life. They play multiple sports and are in plays and choirs and have play dates galore. Because I am, in fact, one mean mother, I limited my kids to 2 sports per year. There would be no way humanly possible to get everyone everywhere with everything they need otherwise. I’m only one person here, ya know? Of course I have a husband. I have a husband who owns 2 service businesses and works roughly 40 million hours a week. He has to because we purchased some of our children abroad and some of them have unique needs (say for instance…a prosthetic leg) and being self employed we get to pay astronomical insurance rates even when they deny an adopted child for pre-existing conditions. It is what it is and I’m not complaining (today) about it, rather just warding off any comments about why he doesn’t do his part of child-shuttling. He does the entire ‘income-earning’ so I’ve got no complaints.
I remarked to the youngest a couple of days ago that snow storms are so much easier when you don’t have a bunch of little people. Because, even though he is almost 16, he is the littlest of the little people we have, he didn’t quite understand why it was easier now. I explained how once the flakes begin falling, everyone wants to go outside and PLAY IN THE SNOW. Noses are pressed to foggy windows and nobody can eat their lunch because…SNOW! When there is finally enough snow to make tracks in, I would begin the process of putting on all the ‘gear’. Snowpants, heavy coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots. Boots are the worst if you have a prosthetic foot. (it dawns on me just now that I really didn’t HAVE to put a boot on that foot, did I?) Everyone piles out of the house and into the winter wonderland to enjoy the beauty of it all. Then, 6.8 seconds later they are all cold and wet and ready to come in. Then came the piles of wet discarded outerwear and drippy boots in the foyer. And guess what? THEN they were hungry…STARVING, even.
Now when it snows, I just call them and tell them not to drive and if they must, BE CAREFUL!
If only it were that easy. It’s never that easy. Sure it was a bunch of work and laundry back then, but now I have no control over any of it! Oldest daughter lives in a small (ready TINY…almost non-existent) town North of us and they had so much snow in their alley they couldn’t get out of their garage. The ‘city’ (and I use that term so loosely) has yet to plow it. Thankfully, a neighbor helped them dig out. I guess the good thing about such small towns is there is always a tractor nearby. But it is rough on this mom’s heart knowing in order for her daughter to get to work, she has to drive snowy rural highways and WHO KNOWS WHAT CAN HAPPEN!
In the midst of that, youngest daughter, is at college in the opposite direction and is sick. Well, she is sick and she slipped on the ice and hurt her knee. That is particularly concerning since it is the only knee she’s got. She texted and asked if I thought it would be ok if she went to the nurse to see if they had a wheelchair she could use. Well of course that is alright! What does she think? Walk it off? She got the wheelchair and that helped until the janitor asked if he could put it downstairs and out of the way. She had parked it by her dorm room door because it didn’t fit IN the dorm room. Then someone stole it. Now she feels badly that she lost the wheelchair! She is sick, her knee hurts, she has State Cheer competition in a week and she lost the college’s wheelchair. Oh, and she has no snow boots. She has never wanted snow boots so we didn’t get any for college. Apparently, college is different and she needs boots. Tomorrow I will take her boots and cold medicine and soup. I don’t know what to do about the wheelchair.
While those dramas are unfolding, middle son needs rides to work. He currently resides with a friend but has no mode of transportation. We take him to work and pick him up. It seems for any extracurricular activities he has no problem getting rides. One day he told me he walked to a local fast food joint to use the wi-fi. My head got a little swimmy. This restaurant is within spitting distance of his place of employment. If he can walk to one for his own enjoyment, why am I taxiing him to work? Don’t ask. Just don’t ask.
Last week my father had a slight issue with cellulitis on his leg which led to a couple of falls, some disorientation and a whole lot of refusing to go to the ER. Long story short, he did get to the ER, was admitted, received IV antibiotics and was discharged with oral antibiotics last Friday. Since I am his favorite daughter (or only daughter who lives in town..or the state for that matter….see it however you choose), I went with them to the doctor and hospital. For perspective we went North 45 miles to doctor…then 110 miles to hospital in another city…then 90 miles back to my home. Since we were not prepared for an overnight stay, I gathered up clothes and what-not and took them back the next day to the folks. Since I came home the first night with their car, I went back to pick them up when he was discharged. The weekend and beginning of the week went pretty well. He is a stickler for taking meds properly and was elevating the leg. We experienced #Snopocalypse2016 Tuesday and Wednesday and on Thursday I went to my hair appointment. In the middle of my appointment Mom texts and says Dad needs to go back to hospital. (he goes to the VA which is 90 miles away) I say to give me an hour and I will be there. In that hour, the purple I was putting in my hair turned to blue unexpectedly and rather than fix it, I now have blue streaks. It’s all good…it’s just hair…and it is amusing to see people’s reaction. (see how I am ignoring the fact that purple would have been cool but blue is different? I know you are thinking, “why were you putting purple in your hair in the first place?” Because I wanted to, that’s why. Don’t judge me.) After an hour, we are trekking back to the hospital where we joke with staff about just being there and we must be on the same ‘rotation’. He is back on the IV antibiotics and was slated to see the the ‘wound nurse’ today. That just sounds like it is going to be painful. We will go see him tomorrow so we can combine that trip with the meds, soup, boots drop off to the college girl.
In the meantime, the youngest boy is at school 45 miles away. He attends a private school and lives in the dorms during the 4 days he has school. Tuesday and Wednesday were snow days so I delivered him to school Wednesday afternoon after driving on the highway where travel was “not recommended”. Then they cancelled school for Thursday as well. He has had one day of school this week and I will go back to get him this afternoon. I believe the roads are much more clear now so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Wait a minute. Why did I think snowy days were hard when they were all little and would be so much easier when they were grown? It’s not easier. It’s not easier at all. It was a lie. And I believed it.