Friday, July 31, 2020

Summer Break, Bonus Week

Saturday Makenna, Kate and I went thrifting together. We found a lot of great deals and enjoyed the outing. I was pretty surprised by how vacant the stores were despite falling on a weekend. As lovely as that detail was for us, it can't be good news for retailers.

That evening, Makenna went out with friends to celebrate her birthday. They dined on a deck along the river and made it out of town just as the bridge was blocked by local law enforcement to contain protesters. We are grateful the kids didn't end up inadvertently in the cross fire despite remaining  on the Indiana side of the river.

Sunday Kate assisted me in the pre-K room at church where we learned four year old kiddos are going to wear masks exactly how one would assume preschool children would wear masks. There was chewing, a sling shot maneuver, pushing aside so a nose could be picked and countless adjustments required. My personal favorite was placing wet elastic over tiny ears repeatedly. We had four children for two hours and I am certain we spread far more germs than we contained. Kindergarten is going to be a blast.

That afternoon Grandma and Grandpa delivered Ty home and joined us for another birthday dinner celebrating Makenna. A Mexican food bar was selected and lemon cake was served for dessert. There were no complaints.

Monday I walked with a friend, confirmed appointments and delivered a caffeinated beverage to another friend. After a few minutes with the kids, I understood fully the need for the above mentioned drink. I love these girls.

Tuesday, Makenna took Ty and her little summer sidekicks to the skate park where one little guy enlisted support from more advanced skaters to assist Ty. Our shy boy wasn't sure what to make of the attention.
Someone managed to trick us into feeding her twice Sunday night. She hasn't given up hope she will succeed again. We have resumed leaving a note on the counter when we feed her so she doesn't score a second dinner anytime soon. Poor Layla. She looks like an ASPCA ad. 

Wednesday a friend invited us over to swim. We got a little too much sun and discussed the world's problems with no answers but it felt good to commiserate for a bit, none the less. I was honored to deliver food to a new mom and left without poking my head inside to see the baby; this season being one that doesn't welcome babies quite as fully.

Thursday we joined friends at a local indoor amusement center. We spent the rainy day bowling, skating, riding bumper cars, playing laser tag, experiencing virtual reality roller coasters and playing spy games. It was the perfect rainy day activity. Kate was so good with little friends, she was offered a job and had the commute not been more than I wanted to tackle for a teen's part time gig, she would have loved the opportunity.

Thursday night Kate joined me on the porch swing and with longing in her voice said, "I wish I could dance in the rain". Surprised, I pushed her to do it. She took off the knee brace and was able do exactly what she set out to do. She literally danced in the rain.

She then lounged in a hot bath. The evening was exactly what we needed.
Friday night we ran errands together. I called it a date. We went to Home Depot after all. What else would we call it?

Friday, Kate had an MRI to gain better understanding of what may be happening with her knee. The week long wait for results will be tense but it will be what it will be. This appears to be our 2020 motto. It will be what it will be.

Saturday, July 25, 2020


She said she wanted her birthday photos this year to represent the "terrible twenties" because she recognizes adulting is overrated. And expensive. I obviously enjoyed capturing her sense of humor and willingness to laugh at her circumstances.

But that evening, we captured her genuine smile and personal style. Those images remain my favorite. She makes twenty look beautiful despite juggling two jobs, school and a longterm relationship.

She plans to move out within the next month or so and is eager to prove herself capable of independent living. We are proud of her and expect her to soar.

Happy twentieth birthday to you, Makenna Grace. We love you.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Final Week of Summer Break

Ty called my sister Saturday to make plans for his visit with her this week. He requested glow sticks for a pool party and jump time at their trampoline park. She easily complied with his wishes. He loves Aunt Theresa's house. She has no rules. It's an eleven year old's dream. She is also able to listen appropriately to his endless, extremely descriptive explanations of his world. Aunt Theresa is a fan favorite.

We celebrated national ice cream day. Of course we did. His buddy spent Sunday night with us and they concocted a strange game involving a lot of props. We were given strict orders to ignore items out of place throughout our house because we would destroy the game if we moved those items. So for twenty hours or so we had a chair in the hallway, a sword on the counter, a bat on the table and nerf bullets tucked in between pillows and under furniture. He attempted to explain this game to me and all I can do is thank God for friends who can follow all his words and ideas.

I went into the week well prepared to relax and read before returning to work. What I failed to realize was how many appointments I scheduled for the kids and how that would impact my ability to hide with a few good books. I planned all the routine checkups to be taken care of before school started and that had us running daily. I need to note this for the future. Also, worth mentioning is how so many books on hold can arrive at the same time. This has cost me considerable amounts of sleep. I have no regrets.

Kate came dancing into the kitchen before youth group because she was excited to be wearing her converse for the first time since quarantine started in March. Her happy dance amused me but when I questioned why she hadn't worn them if they made her so happy, she laughed at me, "because I haven't worn real clothes since quarantine either." There you have it. By the way, she dances when she eats too. Sister is usually pretty easy to please.

The dishwasher has required packing tape to keep it closed during wash cycles and the circuit breaker to be flipped in order to start it for years. Literal years. However, my dishes were still cleaned so I have refused to replace it. At one point this week, I almost conceded and started shopping for a new dishwasher but Greg was able to repair this fiasco so we just bought another roll of packing tape instead. Isn't it funny I often question where my children's stubbornness originated?

Our grandson video chatted with us this week to lead a stretch session complete with his version of gymnastics, like his Uncle Ty. We all gathered to watch and encourage, missing him intensely. He is just so much fun.

Tuesday evening, while Greg and I ate dinner together at the table, Ty was too busy to join us. He had to load the car with his suitcase, hoverboard and skateboard for his trip to Aunt Theresa's house. The fact he wasn't leaving until after a 10:30 appointment on Wednesday was of no consequence, I realized when I also discovered he had gone to bed Tuesday night fully dressed and ready to hit the floor running Wednesday. I love how excited he is for time with his cousins.

Appointments both Wednesday and Thursday indicated Kate may require surgery to repair her knee. I'm very much still processing how this child needs more medical attention despite being told repeatedly she has exceeded her quota.

Wednesday we met my parents with Ty so he could be escorted on down to my sister's for the remainder of the week. We had lunch together and then made a few stops on the way home. Erin was able to join me and Kate so it was an impromptu and delightful girl's day full of laughter, stories and general catching up.

Thursday was a fairly long day. We met with the orthopedic surgeon and had some paperwork completed with the pediatrician. I spent four hours assisting the teacher I support in classroom preparation and then listened to yet another school board meeting where everything we expected for back to school next week was redirected. We aren't returning until August 12 now and Kate will be on a hybrid model, opposite her one close friend.

But we ended the day with night tickets to the Louisville Zoo for the lantern exhibit. It was stunning and so necessary after all the news of the day. Makenna and I quietly processed what the changes mean for our jobs as well as the kids for whom we both love.

Friday, Makenna escorted Kate and her best friend to the high school to walk their schedules. There is a chance this will be the only time this year the girls are together at school.

My 2020 planner says "best year ever" on the cover. Lies. I emailed the manufacturer on Thursday and suggested the 2021 version read,"2021 don't be a jerk." I think it would be a best seller. Maybe it's just me.