575 days down and 18 to go.
Wow. It hardly seems possible. I’ve had longer countdowns to Horatio’s four visits over the past 19 months.
I thought summer would bring a sense of calm and we’d breeze through the final six weeks, but I should know better than to disregard Mrs. Murphy’s law. (For those of you who don’t remember, Mrs. Murphy’s Law is the corollary to Murphy’s Law. It says, “if it can go wrong, it will go wrong, and it will happen when Mr. Murphy is out of town.” I learned that from my mom. My dad traveled a lot when I was growing up, so she had a lot of experience with it.)
In preparation for the long dog days of summer, I enrolled Bob and Harold in day camp for the four weeks leading up to Horatio’s return. My line of thinking was two-fold, first, it would keep them occupied and happy and help the time pass more quickly for them. Second, it would give me some much needed free time to get ready for the Horatio to come home. Over the past year and a half, I have taken advantage of the extra closet space and cabinet space Horatio vacated. I’ve stashed paper products, clothing, spare toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc., everywhere. Now that he is coming back, I have to clear out his space so he can move back in and be comfortable. I also need to organize everything for our big family road trip to Florida and Georgia. I don’t think Horatio would be too happy if he got home and I immediately said that I had to get busy getting things ready for our trip, thereby ignoring him. I also scheduled doctor appointments for everyone and Dwight is playing a lot of tennis, so I drive him to and fro most days.
Then Mrs. Murphy decided to show her face. Last Friday night a massive set of storms, called a Derecho, moved through our region. While we never lost power, most of our friends did, so we ended up dog sitting for friends who abandoned ship for cooler ground at hotels and reorganizing our fridge and freezer in order to accommodate friends’ groceries until their power was restored. We lost our television signal and phone line for a while, and our outdoor umbrella was broken and the table was damaged when the winds flipped them over, but thankfully, we were otherwise untouched.
Bob and Harold both love camp. The days are full of fun activities like crafts, swimming, field trips and more. I drop them off at 9:00 and pick them up at 3:30, a long day for any kid, but particularly long for a four year old. Once Harold realized that he didn’t get to go home after lunch, like he does at preschool, the easy drop off became a mere memory. Every morning, when I open Harold’s door to unbuckle his carseat, he starts yelling, “I don’t want to go to camp. I want to stay home with you.” He clings to his car seat strap for dear life and I have to pry his little fingers open. It would be heartbreaking if I didn’t know that he stops as soon as he is inside the building and plays and laughs for the rest of the day until I pick him up and he tells me he doesn’t want to go back the next day. Incidentally, amidst Harold’s commotion, Bob chirps, “bye mom. Love you. Have a great day,” and bounds up the ramp into the building.
At this point, as I drive out of the parking lot, I should be looking ahead at a day full of checking off boxes on the to do list, alas, those days are few and far between. Dwight has been having some health issues so he has seen doctors on five of the nine days of camp thus far. Plus, I’m not sure I mentioned it in a previous post, but I sprained my ankle about 6 weeks ago and it refuses to heal. So, I, too have seen doctors and am now hobbling around on a sprained ankle and damaged tendons in a knee-high black walker boot. It slows me down more than a little since it is my right foot and I have to remove it to drive and replace it to walk around at each stop.
The long camp days also make our evenings more hectic as young Harold tends to hover near meltdown temperament from pick up to bed time. Anything can set him off, so time outs and defense tactics dictate the course of our afternoons and evenings.
You can see what I mean from these pictures of him holding our shrinking paper chain:
Not to be left out, Zack started complaining of a sore throat on Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, his fever had climbed to 104. So, we had to ditch Dwight’s tennis lesson so I could take Zack to see a doctor. As luck would have it, our pediatrician’s office had not regained power, a full six days after the storm, so it was closed, allowing me the luxury of driving two miles to urgent care, rather than 12 to the doctor’s office. One rapid strep test revealed the presence of an extremely virulent strain of strep throat, which sent us off to Target to wait for the prescription. An hour in Target is never a waste of time, of course, so Zack sat sipping a soothing Icy while I shopped and checked in at the pharmacy periodically.
On Thursday, Dwight and I visited BOTH Walter Reed National Medical Center, in Maryland, and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. I don’t know the mileage count or the total amount of time we spent in the car, but they were high. We managed to visit some Wounded Warriors, shop at the commissary and stock up on supplies for Horatio’s small welcome home party, though, not to mention the doctor appointments that took us there in the first place, so it was all time well spent.
As life happened around us and to us, other things got lost in the shuffle. I know of at least 3 light bulbs that need replacing; grocery bags full of dry goods sit waiting to be emptied; laundry lies in baskets, waiting to be folded; and I haven’t written a blog post in weeks; but everyone is on the mend, I will get to the light bulbs, laundry and groceries soon enough, so I really can’t complain.
Let this be a better week for everyone!