It's been quite a week.
Gerald's back went out Sunday, leaving him in bed, immobile, hours before my grandmother was due to arrive for a dinner that's been postponed twice already. Have I ever mentioned that I'm not much of a cook? Gerald's the master chef around here, but he was in no position (literally) to be preparing anything. So rather than cancel dinner yet again, I grabbed the kids and headed out to the Pittsford Wegman's super-duper-supermarket, where I picked up salmon fillets in dill and lemon sauce, linguined (did you know that was an adjective? I didn't...) vegetables, and roasted potatoes, all cooked and ready to pop into the oven for warming, along with some shrimp for an appetizer, and a fresh baguette. Then back home to transfer the foods to my own dishes and hide the plastic containers, and out again to pick up my grandmother.
Dinner was a success, despite it being punctuated by phone calls from the doctor's office. The only pharmacy open on Sunday night is conveniently located close to my grandmother's assisted living facility, so I dropped her off, then cooled my heels in the drugstore waiting for the much-anticipated valium (no, not for me, alas). Once Gerald was medicated and the kids were in bed, I cleaned the kitchen and threw laundry in the machines, then crashed...thinking that at least I'd have a couple of days with the kids in school to get my own stuff done, and take some time for myself. (She said, in a tone heavy with foreshadowing.)
The next morning I got up early, packed lunches and backpacks, and waved to the kids as they pulled away. Gerald's the room parent for Alex's 2nd grade class, and he'd promised to provide drinks and snacks for the Thanksgiving party. After showering and dressing and taking care of Gerald, I was getting ready to head out and buy the supplies...when the phone rang. School nurse. Lane threw up in gym. <sigh> Rushed to the grocery store, grabbed drink pouches and pre-packaged snacks. (Once again sacrificing thriftiness for convenience, something I hate to do.) Dropped the grocery bags in the school office with a plea to the office staff (who adore Gerald) to make my apologies to Alex's class. Picked up Lane, who admitted on the way home that he'd chugged an entire bottle of pink lemonade and eaten a bunch of cookies for his snack, and moments later gone off to gym to jog and skip. No big surprise that he left the cookies and lemonade on the gymnasium floor.
Cooked (if you could call it that) dinner for them and Gerald, fed and medicated everyone as needed, and crashed again, relieved that Lane was fully recovered and at least I'd have one day of peace and quiet coming up.
After spending the morning worrying about Gerald, doing more laundry, and trying to get the syllabus up for my grad web design class, I got another call from the school nurse. Alex this time. He's recovering from a bout with pneumonia, and the symptoms sounded suspiciously like when he was diagnosed, so I picked him up and headed over to the pediatrician's office, leaving word with Lane that he'd need to let himself into the house since his dad couldn't get up. The pediatrician couldn't tell for sure if the lungs were clear, so we went off for x-rays. Except now Alex was hungry, and feeling terrible, and really wishing for some homestyle chicken soup. (I did mention that I can't cook, right?) So we made a detour to Fox's Deli for world-class matzo ball soup to go, then off to the radiology clinic for chest x-rays, which were clear.
Back home, again, to deal with sibling squabbles, Lane's "worst day ever" at school (fourth grade is full of social trials and tribulations, it seems), and Gerald's continuing excruciating pain. Got Alex to sleep, and was chatting with Lane when our neighbors called around 10pm to tell me that Lane and their son had apparently attempted to access a porn site on their computer. So we had a chat about that. (It's hard to be a librarian who hates filtering software and knows how flawed it is when you're also a parent of two intelligent, adventurous, curious boys. Cognitive dissonance to the extreme.)
This morning I had planned to meet a grad student for coffee at 9 to help him prep for his first-ever "I'm the professor" teaching experience. I was going to bring Lane and his friend (who we were watching for the morning), and Gerald would have been fine with Alex for the hour or so I'd be gone. But the chiropractor called at 8am to say she could fit him in for an emergency appointment at 10. No phone number for the student, so I emailed him to cancel, hoping he'd get the mail. But what to do with the 3 kids? An hour with them in the chiropractor's office seemed like a very bad idea. So I called my mom, who's trying to get ready for the big (12 person) Thanksgiving feast she's hosting tomorrow. She graciously came over and watched the boys while I took Gerald in. (And he's walking now! Yay!)
Back home, picked up all three boys, whom I'd promised to take out to lunch. Back to Fox's, with a short stop along the way to break up sibling squabbles in the back seat. Plenty of soup, latkes, sandwiches, strudel, cookies, laughter and full stomachs later, we headed back to the house.
Gerald was feeling much better, and showed me two cards that had arrived in the mail from the kids' school office--a "get well" card for him, and a "sympathy" card for me. Gotta love those women! Then he kicked me out of the house, telling me to find someplace to sit and relax so that I could decompress. But as soon as I left, I realized that my mom was probably even more stressed than me, so I headed to her house to see how I could help, and ended up volunteering to pick up my aunt, uncle, and cousins from the airport, and drop them at the hotel (two of them) and my mother's house (the other two). During rush hour traffic. The day before Thanksgiving.
That accomplished, I headed back home. Where I am now. Sitting on the couch, listening to Sarah McLachlan, and feeling...
Thankful that I have such a wonderful husband--who takes care of me in so many ways, and who I could take care of this week because I'm actually on vacation, with pay. Thankful that my kids have illnesses no worse than an upset stomach, and misbehavior no worse than visiting an off-color web site. Thankful that we have good health insurance that keeps me from worrying about doctor's visits and precautionary x-rays. Thankful that my mom is making her trademark wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, and that my grandmother lives here in Rochester now where we can see her not just for holidays, but regularly. Thankful that my house is warm and lively and a place that makes me happy to come home to. Thankful for the many blessings and riches in my life, which have been highlighted rather than hidden by the stresses of the past few days.
Happy Thanksiving to you all.