What a week.
To begin with, the kids' schedules were completely thrown off because of the holiday. All of their normal summer activities were put on hold for the entire week. We had nothing planned for a week. Some of you are probably thinking that it sounds like a great summer week full of spontaneous joy. You would be wrong. Simply wrong. Oh, we had some fun, but we also had way too much time together.
The kids had been begging me to take them to the beach, so off to the beach we went. The first fifteen minutes were fantastic like the scene from a movie where kids frolic and giggle with utter abandon. At minute sixteen, everything fell apart. The black flies started swarming and we all ended up with welts all over our bodies. Staying in the water helped the fly situation, thankfully, but then there was the Great Beach Ball Incident of 2014. You see, during the last few weeks of the school year, Lottie won a prize package for something at school, and one of the things was an FLE beach ball. She was terribly excited to play with the beach ball at the actual beach, and both kids had fun watching the ball bob on the waves. (You know where this is going, right?) At one point, the wind blew the ball into the water before anyone could grab it, and it started to float away. I heard Dallas yell, and I took off after the ball. Lake Michigan isn't exactly warm, and I was a bit worried about hypothermia as I chased a plastic ball deeper into the water. After a few minutes, I realized I was never going to catch up to it, and I trudged back to the shore. Imagine my shock when I found both kids crying - SOBBING - because the 99 cent piece of plastic was floating off into the great beyond. I was so shocked at their reaction that I started to laugh, and that was not well received. They cried harder and threw themselves on to the sand. I promised them a new beach ball, but they didn't want a new one. Lottie felt especially sentimental about that particular beach ball, and Dallas felt guilty that Lottie's special prize had been lost. I tried telling them that the beach ball would have a great adventure out on the lake and maybe even be picked up by a passing ship. Both kids looked at me like I was an escaped mental patient and continued to cry. Just like that, the day at the beach was over. We packed up our things and drove home. I managed to keep up a happy, positive chatter on the way back to our house, but I noticed as I pulled into the driveway that the kids were still crying. Incredulous, I said, "Seriously? Is this still about the ball?" Wrong question, Mom. Because yes, it was still about the "you-know-what" that apparently we weren't allowed to discuss anymore. That darn ball is like the Voldemort of our summer break.
The rest of the week wasn't much better. We saw a movie, played with friends, and hung out together. A lot. A lot of time together. The kids played, the kids fought, the kids played, the kids fought, and then the kids fought some more. In the meantime, T started his chemoradiation at Northwestern. He is already feeling fatigued and nauseous from the treatments, and he's only three sessions in. He started taking the anti-nausea medication prescribed to him by one of his doctors. Unfortunately, he had a terrible reaction to that particular medication, and it ended up being more of a regurgitant than anything else. He spent the entire Fourth of July vomiting and having chest and back pains. He was out of it, I was terrified, and the kids could only think about fireworks. 'Merica. He talked to a doctor at NMH on Saturday, and she prescribed a new med for him to try. Fingers crossed that this one won't make the chemo seem like a walk in the park.
Thank goodness this week brings a return to some semblance of schedule for the kids and for me. I think a little routine makes everyone feel a bit more secure. The kids will be back to summer camp, ballet, and tae kwan do while T will start his first full week of treatments. I'll be attempting to keep all the balls in the air at any given time. Once again, I am grateful for my family and friends who have done so much for all of us. I hope someday to be able to repay all of you individually for your kindness, concern, and help, but for now, please know how much we appreciate your love and support.
Our eyes are on the prize, always on the prize.