Tomorrow James and I are heading to Boston for three whole nights. Alone. Be jealous. My mom is taking the reins which is really brave considering the recap from her last overnight (which, bear in mind, was only one night). Today, I share this recap and ask you to keep her in your prayers over the next few days while James and I catch up on sleep, and see what a COVID vacation entails. I will be taking a hiatus from the blog as I anticipate we will party like rock stars and anything I attempt to write will be nonsensical. I will report back, though, with a firsthand account of taking a break COVID style. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I expect a far rougher ride than the last slumber party. Godspeed mom. We promise to bring you back a Wicked Smaht Tee Shirt for your trouble.
THE PARENTS ABSCONDED
And took over my house!
Well…not exactly. I do exaggerate. But there’s a reason. I’m just coming off the high of my latest overnight with the five “angels from heaven”. It’s all my fault. I asked for it. It was purely my suggestion. I take full responsibility.
Here’s the lowdown. I recently returned from my six month “obligatory” stay in sunny, warm, delightful Naples FL during the winter months. After all, in order to maintain residency in a state, one needs to spend at least half the year there. Thus, the reason for not rushing back to Cape Cod to liberate Jill and James from insanity during the pandemic. Poor me…. stranded in Paradise. The only drawback was the fact that I missed the kids enormously. In my attempt to make up for my absence I perhaps overcompensated and offered my services on a silver platter. “Go ahead” I blurted out to Jill and James shortly after my return to the Cape and my necessitated quarantine. “Take off for a night and have yourselves a merry old time. Nana has come to your rescue. Go… enjoy! Let’s switch houses. I’ll take over the madhouse. You escape to my quiet, calm, abode. No holes barred.” Obviously, they took me up on my offer.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I “enjoyed” every single second (a bit of exaggeration here) with the cherubs. “Pure” pleasure. Listen to some of the things we did! Bike and scooter riding, frisbee throwing, soccer kicking, basketball hooping. We took walks looking for perfect climbing trees. (only found one….sort of) but it was the experience that counted. We identified different hued hydrangea bushes, just beginning to show their true colors. We discovered what I hope were rabbit burrows (although they may well have been snake holes…but I’m not telling). Lego creations were constructed followed by numerous games of Bingo. Eleanor actually “let” me win one! Cynthia rolled her eyes but didn’t make a fuss. Oh…and let’s not forget about rock painting; not to mention tie dying. That’s just a few of the daytime activities.
On to the evening roster. The troops enthusiastically hauled every conceivable futon, blanket, pillow, stuffed animal, you-name-it, into the family room for a scheduled 7PM showing of Mary Poppins, which actually was delayed until 8PM due to logistical difficulties. Snacks of all sorts were provided…popcorn, candy, cookies with frosting and whipped cream and of course sugary drinks to wash everything down. The cookie making (homemade is always the best) was painless due to the expertise baking abilities of Abigail who volunteered to take over the task. Why provide store bought when you can have fresh baked out of the oven?
We completely missed baths as, when push comes to shove, I concluded that chlorine swimming pools probably provide complete sanitation. We did spend a lot of time in the pool which seriously was the best time for me. Fortunately, they can all swim so no rescues or CPR required. We tried to perfect strokes and diving lessons provided by your trusted previous camp counselor. I’m sure teaching techniques have changed in the 55 years since, but to me, a stroke is a stroke, a dive a dive.
Since movie night went overtime due to its delayed start, it was a good thing we had changed into pjs before the showing…my attire being the standout. A freshly produced tie dye night shirt created earlier by the talented Paige and Abigail. I’ll have to say, I stole the show. Although kids in their jammies always charm me.
Good thing that we (I) had the foresight to arrange the bedroom sleeping arrangements for the night ahead of time. I’ll be as brief as possible in my explanation here. For the past months (giving in to Covid-19 compromises) Jill and James agreed that Kaleb be allowed to sleep with the twins in their compact bedroom. As a result, two beds and one futon take up most of the limited floor space. Now, Kaleb does indeed have a room of his own with lovely bed and his favorite soccer team logo adorning its walls. But for the past four months he has opted to snuggle down with his dear sisters (whom he attempts to taunt continuously during waking hours) at bedtime. Secretly he’s afraid to be alone at night but would never admit to such. At any rate…long story short, they insisted that I join them. Now there was a perfectly comfortable bed awaiting me in Kaleb’s private room which I expected to take full advantage of. But, NO! They wouldn’t have it. Me, sleep alone? What kind of hospitality would that show me? Of course, they demanded. “Do bunk in with us. We wouldn’t have it any other way. You’d be lonely on your own. We insist!” Remarkably, all four of us were able to somehow lift and drag the solid, weighty mattress off Kaleb’s bed, maneuver and drag it down the hallway to the twin’s room. And amazingly, we were able to secure it within the four walls of the room with not one inch of floor space to spare.
After I managed to get everyone situated for the night with teeth brushed (I demanded an extra brushing for all after all those sticky, sugary sweets) I literally fell onto my futon (little room to maneuver) ready for relief and relaxation. Oh yes… forgot to mention…me, being the biggest person, was graciously designated to sleep on the short futon rather than either one of two comfy beds or newly installed mattress available. Lucky me! The fact that I was awakened a few minutes later by little Eleanor who gingerly crawled in beside me, was of little consequence. Nothing in my opinion warms my heart more than nestling down with a warm, affectionate little body close by. I’m really quite serious here…unless of course they are a kicker or a thrasher. I later came to realize that there was no need after all to have lugged the cumbersome mattress through the hallway to accommodate an extra person. It went unoccupied. (Note to self for next time).
Okay, I could go on and on about all the mundane chores along the way such as cooking, laundry, straightening up messes, breaking up fights, etc. But really, why bother? All that is behind me now and I’m left with all the wonderful memories. Dare I admit I’d do it again? Of course! And when next time arises, I’d only pack one extra supplement in my overnight bag… a never-ending supply of alcohol.
I left the rascals yesterday afternoon when the parents reluctantly returned to their rightful home. They longed for me to linger but I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. It’s now the following morning. I am just arising from a 10 ½ hour blissful, uninterrupted night’s sleep. I recall my dream. I was a pre-school teacher and was surprised to learn I was given the lone task of driving 50 masked kids to an amusement park and spending the day with them. In no time at all I recognize that it was my subconsciousness reflecting the previous 24 hours, and I find relief in the realization that this was merely a mini-nightmare. I stretch my limbs and recall my time with the kids. I smile and turn on my phone and there are text messages from the little tykes awaiting me. They’re letting me know that they invaded their parent’s bedroom super early this AM as a result of being awakened and scared by the thunderstorm outside. They wanted to know if I was having a thunderstorm at my house and making sure I was okay and not scared to be alone. My silent reply… “Hardly!” But it was so wonderful to realize their genuine concern for me.
Loving and caring transcends the generations. And so it goes….