If you're clicking here for a fun vacation recap, complete with cheery pictures attached, you came to the wrong place.
Most vacations end abruptly as soon as you walk in the door and begin unpacking smelly suitcases filled with dirty laundry. I thought I might be able to ease my way back into reality this time since the kids have a day off school today.
Unfortunately, our vacation ended abruptly as soon as the plane coasted up to our gate at KCI yesterday evening. We dashed to baggage claim, stuffed ourselves into a shuttle bus bursting at the seams, sped away to economy parking, and dashed straight to Reese's last volleyball game of the Fall season. Just as I got as comfy as one can get on the bleachers, the coach came around pleading for a score keeper.
Awesome. Just what I wanted to do. Watch every move of the entire game intently, nervous that I would miss a point and everyone in the stands would start hollering and waving their arms wildly at me.
We finally made it home after 9pm to a bare refrigerator and cupboard. Ok, not completely bare. There was a pound of grey ground beef in the fridge I had forgotten to throw out before we left.
It felt so good to be in my own bed, I didn't want to leave it this morning. But Drue woke up around 7:30am and chose to announce to me that she was getting in the shower. Whenever our kids voluntarily take a shower, something is awry. Either there's been some sort of bodily fluid accident or they decided to tattoo themselves with permanent marker and are hoping to scrub it off before I see.
"Is everything ok?" I garbled.
"Yes. There's just something crusty in my hair."
And why she felt the need to alert me she was getting in the shower escapes me. Yes, when they were 5, I liked for them to tell us when they were getting in the shower so I could know to listen out for unexplained crashing sounds. But I've pretty much learned to ignore a lot of those now anyway, so I probably need to give them a refresher course about acceptable reasons to wake me up from a deep slumber. Fire? Yes. Broken bone? Yes. Getting in the shower? N-O.
As you will see when I do post our vacation pictures, apparently I haven't taken a good look at Tate for the last month. Because his hair had gotten crazy long. Bushy actually. Wispy waves stuck out all over the place and you could no longer see his ears. So just look past that and focus on his completely adorable grin, which didn't leave his face much of the trip. Except when he was punching his sisters in line.
So that was my first order of business this morning. Get that boy to Great Clips. We pulled into the parking lot and my van wouldn't shift into park. At all. I tried a few times and then just turned the van off. But, of course, the key wouldn't come out and it wouldn't turn back on. A panicked call to David was quickly placed. He calmly directed me to put it into neutral and start it. Of course, it revved right up. And now that I knew I would probably be able to make it home, I put it back in neutral, pulled the emergency brake, and headed into Great Clips.
Tate was quite concerned that the keys were still in the car. And that someone might steal it.
"First of all," I explained, "Nobody wants that van. Second of all, it's broken so they wouldn't get far with it."
"Well, they could push it. And then they'd just push it away."
"I would probably just let them," I sighed.
I was still a little frazzled when we walked in and the lady behind the counter asked how old Tate was.
"He's 9," I replied.
"Mom, I'm 8," he corrected.
"What? No, you're 9," I continued, thinking it was funny he forgot he'd had a birthday in May.
But he was adamant, "I'm 8!"
We went back and forth for a few seconds before the lady finally said, "Well, it doesn't matter, as long as he's under 10 he gets a child's haircut."
As he settled into the chair, it dawned on me he was right. He was 8. Just when I thought I must be losing my mind, I whispered to him, "Oh, that was crazy of me...I was thinking of Drue."
He whispered back, "Mom, Drue's ten."
We picked up the dogs on our way home. I parked away from other cars and pulled the emergency brake as hard as I could, lest we come out of the vet to find my van had rolled into the thrift store next door.
The last time I took my van to the shop, David was out of town and I just walked home. It doesn't seem so far when you drive it. But I was a tired mess when I got home, huffing and puffing. David offered to come meet me today and just work from home, but I had the bright idea to toss my bike in the back.
"Tossing" turned into "lumbering". And I breathlessly called up the stairs to the kids, "I'm leaving now."
"What? We thought you left a long time ago," they hollered back.
As I was biking the couple miles back from the car shop, my phone rang. It was Reese.
"Mom? Hi. Nothing's wrong," she started.
If all she was about to tell me was that she was getting in the shower, I was going to toss my phone into the creek bed running alongside the bike trail.
"Well, we know what that crusty stuff was in Drue's hair. She threw up in the night. But she thought it was a dream, so she didn't get up or anything. It's all in our bed. And it smells, so...I'm gonna jump in the shower."
If my legs weren't getting so tired, I would have just kept biking. Biking to a place where there were no vomit-covered sheets, broken down vans, or smelly suitcases. But I went ahead and pulled into the driveway.
I'm going to take a deep breath now, and go through our vacation pictures. Tate is star of the week at school and wants to show some to his class. At least they'll know it's him making the presentation, now that they can see his face again.