Saturday, August 23, 2008
Don't ask what possessed me to do what I did today...I'm still trying to figure it out myself. I traveled alone with 4 out of our 5 kiddos. I have traveled with them alone before, in various combinations, swearing to never do it again, but somehow forgetting the past experiences and thinking to myself it won't be too bad, we'll have fun! Yea, right! Will I ever learn? Anyway, for those of you who don't know, my mother has multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed with it about 4 years ago, after battling breast cancer (and winning!) the year before. I've come to realize that M.S. is a terrible disease, comes in different variations, and robs the individual of having control over what they want their body to do. I've also come to realize that my mother is a fighter (which I've known for quite awhile) and she does her darndest to battle against this demon every day. She never gives up, still works at her job 4 days a week, and tries to maintain everything she possibly can. My folks still live in Albion (my old stomping grounds) and today I decided to go for a visit and help my mom out around the house. This was a great idea by itself, until I piped up and asked "Who wants to go with me to see Grandma?" Well, John seizes this opportunity as a chance to drive, Tommie says he'll go because he's bored and oh yeah, he hasn't seen Grandma for awhile, and of course, Emma & Abbie go anywhere I go no matter where it is as they are currently attached to my hip. Shawn of course volunteers to stay home with Joey, saying they will clean the house (they did a magnificant job, by the way). Joey knew something was up, but he was cool with the whole thing because he knew he would have the run of the house and not have to share anything with his sisters. We get all loaded in John's car, I'm still thinking this is okay, and Shawn and Joey are smiling and waving from the porch. We start out driving across town in the opposite direction we have to go, because one of the gas stations is running a penny an ounce fountain pop special. And the boys think this is so awesome, a big 44 ounce pop for 44 cents. Great deal - right? Sure, until you include chips, suckers, hot dogs, and beef jerky. The ride to Albion was not too bad, Abbie fell asleep, and Emma was busy munching Ruffles. The only conflict was which kind of music to listen to, and an occasional SLOW DOWN! coming from my side. We get there, Grandma is happy to see us, we're happy to see her, and the girls begin dragging out everything they can find to play with and the boys start bickering over who gets play my brother's old Nintendo first. All in all, it was a good visit. I helped mom out with a few things she needed done, we got our bellies full, and managed to leave her house undamaged when we left. We give hugs and kisses to Grandma, she thanks us for coming, a big smile on her face as we walk out the door (why does everyone smile when we leave them??). We all pile in the car and of course we have to stop at the Dairiette for malts. This adds on an extra half hour to our travel time but the ice cream is great. The ride home actually turns out to be pretty fun. I manage to hide my nervousness (John has never driven when it is getting dark), Tommie turns the music to some great stuff from the 80's, and we all are slurping on some malts. I never thought that when the day came I had a teenager, that we would enjoy the same music. But John is a kid after my own heart, enjoying Journey, Def Leopard, and REO Speed wagon. Tommie is slowly coming along, liking only a select few. The girls were even singing along with their versions. We made it home in one piece, John did pretty well for his first nighttime driving session, and I got some good bonding time in with the kids. For the record, I am putting this one down as a good day.