Actually, and (I can't believe I am saying this) luckily, Emma jumpstarted summer vacation by having a few ER trips of her own...our first (and second) ER trips ever as parents. I say "luckily" because 1) it got us used to fitting in hospital runs 2) although she was kicked in the head during a soccer game, she was fine and 3) the amazing fall on her bike opened up our early summer schedule (can't swim until she gets a scab...and with this gigantic gash, it could be up to 3 weeks of skipping those 8:30am swim practices).
Quick discussion of bike accident: in a very un-Emma moment, she was TEARING around the cul-de-sac at the end of the Lane, spun out on gravel, and must have fallen *just so* on her knee to split it open. She had a deep gash in one place, and probably 12 long cuts from sliding on the gravel. She's usually a more cautious child...I was actually happy to see her being a little bold with her bike. She's been riding the thing for years - and riding a two-wheeler since she was 4- so I figured it was about time. I think this fall has put an end to her very short career in bold biking, though.
So I was anticipating a more relaxed start to summer - only one swim practice each day, and getting the house in order finally - but my dad's body had other plans as he landed himself in a hospital about a week ago for a procedure, and then again last week for pulmonary embolism(s) in his lungs. So, in between swim practices and meets and sibling quarrels and trying to catch a breath after the crazed end-of-the-school-year sprint, I was visiting my dad several times a day. Thankfully he sees an oncologist (mine) on this side of town, and so was stuck at Beaumont (right down the street), instead of across town, which would have made these visits much more difficult.
Still though, the stress of figuring out what was wrong, and trying to figure out a way to get Mr. Carroll to slow down and take care of himself instead of conquering the world of economic development in Detroit, was a bit much. You'd have thought I was killing him by offering to bring him something to eat (since he hates hospital food), and that the doctor was killing him by admitting him to the hospital (instead of trying to get him well). My dad prides himself on not being able to be held down, though...so it was a battle.
And Mrs. Lucken doesn't do well with stress (cue yelling and crying fits in the privacy of her own home; well, not too many, but lots of intense discussions). I wish I dealt with stress well, but no. And I don't do well with lots of non-stop-action, and this week entailed a LOT of non-stop-action.
HOWEVER, I do VERY WELL with sweet darling children, and I saw a lot of them this week. There were plenty of the expected sibling battles this week, but interspersed with those battles were many, many, many moments of children helping out and pitching in to help this family run smoothly. I was nearly swooning with joy when:
- Emma carried a giant laundry basket upstairs and folded all of the laundry, AND put it away.
- Katie took it upon herself to conquer a to-do list I made for myself - which included vacuuming the entire house!
- Nathan got into vacuuming and yes, my 3.5 year old was vacuuming the house before I carpet cleaned (because I decided the start of summer meant the end of pullups for Mr. Cubby Bear, and we had some accidents).
- Darling daughters made cards/stories for their Bubba
- All children helped with manic jumping in the car on a moment's notice...and all children barely complained when each day I had to cancel the one fun activity I had planned.
Making me feel even more like I had reached my own personal utopia - they did all of these things without me even asking!!!! Darling children...