Summertime and Missing My Dad

My dad, for the record is fine, I’m not missing him because he’s dead or anything.

Heck, he’s better than fine, he’s cruising the fjords in a luxury ship and soaking in Icelandic hot springs, but I miss talking to him. He called me this afternoon from New York to tell me he’s back in the country and we’ll talk in the morning.

That said, I haven’t been very good at keeping up my end of communication; this blog being a primary source of current events for him. I’ll attempt to catch up.

Woop-de-do, I hardly deserve a badge these days

Woop-de-do, I hardly deserve a badge these days

We are on week five of summer vacation and I’m feeling eerily serene. Dare I say happy?

No, the boys haven’t been at sleepaway camp the entire time. They’ve had a couple camps so far, one full-day LARPing camp for a week (perhaps the nerdiest and most awesome thing ever) and then a half-day art camp at their school.

4ebb25f6b5da64be7eb84c8b9ce80bf6Other than that, they’ve been with me. And I have been enjoying it.

Yes. I’m on meds. No, they aren’t nearly strong enough to have caused this about face from last summer’s summer stress-fest.

I think it’s because 1) the boys – at least Itchy – is starting to do that teenage sleep thing where he will loll around in bed until 11am if I let him and 2) the guys are pretty self sufficient. I can go to a ceramics class while they binge watch Phineas and Ferb read books and do summer homework assignments.

Speaking of ceramics, I’m on fire these days. I’ve moved on from making Stress Balls to making butter boxes and doing print transfers onto clay.

I love my instructor. Her passion is hand-building so we get along great. She teaches me techniques that get me excited about new possibilities. It is truly a wonderful feeling to get psyched about trying something new.

The boys and I have been doing standard summer stuff. You know, hiking, biking to the library, hanging out with friends, going to the pool, getting ice cream on the mall, seeing matinees, walking the dog at dusk, etc.

This is what summer is supposed to feel like.

I recall running into an acquaintance a few years ago at the gym. Summer was just over and I was all, “Aren’t you glad summer is over?” and she surprised me by saying, “I get mad when summer is over. I miss being around my kids.”

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I now see what she’s talking about. Granted, I might be writing angry posts in a couple of weeks about how sick I am of summer but for now I am reveling in the relaxed summer pace.

And my kids are great.

I’m not one to go on and on about how awesome my kids are because I am well aware that my kids aren’t perfect and I am blind to many of their failings. Parents have to be to some extent or else their kids would just annoy the shit out of them all the time.

But my boys have surprised me with how easy they can be. For example, we drove out to Brighton to look at new chicken coops.

It’s about a 40 minute drive each way and we have been listening to podcasts and talking about them. They never cease to surprise me.

I wanted them to hear this podcast (the one about the girl suffering from racist bullying) because they have never had the misfortune of being the victim of racism. They likely never will being mostly white but I very much felt the brunt of racism growing up and related to Maya’s brave and authentic story.

Maya had racist teachers who didn’t protect her from the taunting and Scratchy said, “Why would anyone hire a racist teacher?” He knows little about the world outside of Boulder. I am so happy to be here, but in part because I know what indignities I don’t have to suffer. I want them to know, too.

This is not my beautiful life

This is not my beautiful life

In a rare moment of effusiveness I told the boys that I feel very lucky to be their mom. I told them that they are good kids with interesting ideas and I feel fortunate that they are turning out so well.

Then Itchy – I shit you not – said, “That’s not right, Mom. Kids aren’t born good or bad, you have to teach them.”

So I was all, “So what you are saying is that you are good kids because I did a good job raising you?” because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

wtf-kitteh-did-you-hear-that

“Yes. That’s right, mom.”

Holy wow. I’m not going to congratulate myself too much because I’m sure he will recede into puberty and decide I’m the reason his life is so screwed up. But for now I’ll let this moment sink in where my kids actually think I’m an okay mom.

I wasn’t expecting to hear anything resembling this for another 30 years and I’ll probably have to wait that long to hear it again.

It hasn’t been all fun and games; a nasty virus hit our house. It took Scratchy down first for a week of sore throat, fever and cough. The day he got better Itchy got it, same M.O. Then he got better and Loony got it. Of course I’m fine because someone has to keep the house from falling apart.

Loony is a pretty stoic guy, I’ve never seen him knocked down by illness before. Fortunately The Tick was here to administer first aid.

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In the summer mix is dogs; these days I have an extra dog at all times.

Tabby went back to where she came from on vacation in England and left me with The Tick for two weeks.

He suffered horribly. The kids hated it, too.

I love taunting her via texts regarding her dog.

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And then there is Stephanie. She’s Sister Sarah’s dog, some kind of chihuahua mongrel from the pound.

Stephanie is adorable although I get the feeling that someone had an ex-girlfriend named Stephanie and this was some twisted way of getting back at her.

Steph’s problem is that she hates two people. The housecleaner and Sister Sarah’s husband. So I take her on Mondays (when the cleaner comes) and whenever Sarah is out of town because Steph snarls and snaps at her husband.

I love Steph, she’s a sweet dog and does this adorable thing where she bears her teeth like a smile when you come home. Two dogs is more than I would want have on a permanent basis but I sure do love hanging out with these sweet creatures.

And then there is Biscuit.

Third base, with a bullet

Third base, with a bullet

He lives kitty corner (har) from me and is the sluttiest cat ever. His owner invited me to sit on her porch any time and motorboat the shit out of him.

She didn’t actually say motor boat the shit out of him but I’m assuming that’s what she means when she says I can pet him.

Mr. Bates is awesome as ever. I’ve taken to calling him My Husband, much to my kids’ dismay.

Baby, get me a beer

Beer me, babe.

Super exciting news, my first ever pole crush, Dirdy Birdy, is completely in love with him. She even said so. She wants to come out for Pole Theater next year with Shimmy and Sparkle just so she can make out with him.

For realz

For realz, she wants to visit. From Australia! Because she loves my cat!

Do you know who she is? A refresher.

I have been FB friends with her before she blew up on the internet. This is serious shit, people.

Scratchy is totally weird about cats. Like, way weirder than I was when I was his age. He carries That Fucking Cat around and waxes rhapsodic about her kitty lips all day.

I’ve had 43 years to get this inappropriate about cats, he’s already pegging the inappropriate-o-meter at age eight. Oh boy.

Finally there was the Bat Incident.

Loony and I are very clear with the boys when it comes to bats. DON’T TOUCH THEM!

Don’t try to catch it. Don’t try to rescue it. Take the animals and go in the other room, close the door and let us deal with the bat.

But a bat got in the house and before we knew what was happening That Fucking Cat caught it and the boys tried to rescue it from her and flew up at Itchy and hid in the kitchen.

Loony managed to catch the poor thing and before releasing it, we asked the boys if they had touched the bat. They said no.

Scared bat

Scared bat

It didn’t fly away immediately after we released it, which was a little strange. Then a little later Itchy showed me a scratch on his leg, he said he didn’t know for sure where he got it. It could’ve been from camp, but maybe the bat nicked him when it flew up at him, he couldn’t be sure.

Rabies from bats is rare. Only one person dies a year in the US from bat rabies. Boulder bats test positive for rabies; not a ton of them, just 1 in 200, but rabies is nearly 100% fatal and 100% preventable if the vaccine is administered within 72 hours of contact. I had no choice.

While it was highly unlikely that the bat was rabid and that it actually came in contact with him, the Center For Disease Control’s protocol is to vaccinate if there is any question.

Pro-tip: if you catch the bat, don’t let it go. It’s much easier to test the bat for rabies than get the vaccine.

The only place you can get the rabies vaccine is at the ER. While I bristle at using the ER this way, I had no choice. I called clinics, his pediatrician, the health department, no one could help us.

We got very used to this place

We got very used to this place

For the last two weeks we have been regulars there. Itchy got the four shot protocol: once on the day of the incident (with two monster immunoglobulin shots), three days after, a week after and two weeks after. I got him up at 5am and drive to the ER in our PJs where we could be seen quickly.

I must say, the Boulder Community Hospital ER is sooo nice. Going to the ER sucks, but this one is as warm and friendly as it gets. The lights are soft, the chairs are comfortable, I find the hum of the HVAC to be rather soothing and the male nurses are fine. Itchy particularly enjoyed the pre-warmed blankets.

Itchy was such a trooper. He never freaked out or obsessed over the shots. He just got up, brushed his teeth, and proceeded to fall asleep in the ER until the doctor could see him. Coincidentally he started feeling sick the morning of the night he ran into the bat, so he was one miserable kid for a week.

Despite that drama, we’ve had a great month. Our whole country has had a great month (unless you are a conservative or a bigot in which case you can suck it) with the Supreme Court upholding The Affordable Healthcare Act and making it even harder for future administrations to dismantle it, and marriage equality is now a thing.

Everyone on FB was rainbow colored

Everyone on FB was rainbow colored

It’s so much a thing that anti-gay Christian groups have resorted to making videos like this because they feel oppressed because they can’t oppress any more. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disgusting. Or disgusting if it wasn’t so funny. You decide.

4 thoughts on “Summertime and Missing My Dad

    • Thanks Rachel! Is this Shawn and Rachel? I never know who anyone is. Are you the person I know in real life or are you one of my imaginary friends? And I say that in only the best way because I am the ultimate imaginary friend.

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