The kids and I drove to central PA today to visit my parents and go to Memorial Day festivities in my hometown, supposedly the home of Memorial Day.
First off, the kids were freaking awesome. It's about a 3.5 to 4 hour drive and there was not on complaint, not one argument; snacks and toys were doled out, music and books on tape were listened to (Dr. Seuss was a big hit), and we stopped for ice cream.
My 4 yo. son is someone who loves to travel. He is always up for an adventure and talks about our trips here as if they are of mythic proportion. He loves staying with my friend Erica (and her "green juice" which is some kind of healthy juice that she got him hooked on), and he talks about visiting my dad at least once a week. He had a blast with my dad today, as always and totally made my mom's day when we got to her house, by leaping out of the car and running at her, arms outstretched, like a romantic character in a novel and hugging her leg to death. I think he's met her just a handful of times, but the magic label grandparent surpasses any possible shyness he might otherwise exhibit.
Lucy (2) was also pretty friendly with the gparental units, and was just a delightful traveler. Emma was like having a wife along - she got all the luggage out of the car while I got the kids in and settled, unpacked their sleeping bags, and then was sociable and talkative with our hosts. Like who is this kid, and how did I end up with the coolest 13 yo ever? Soren just was easy and along for the ride, cooperative and chatty on the ride here. I'm still amazed at how easy this trip has become; it used to be a thing of dread and despair.
My mom, after 3 weeks of oral chemo, looks amazingly better. She was off the O2 quite a bit while we were there; cooked us dinner (oh my god, I haven't had a decent crabcake since I moved to NY almost 6 years ago - I was in heaven!) and we did dishes together. It was such a huge relief to see her so much better! She was pretty good with the kids for the most part and I think we had the nicest visit we've had, or maybe second nicest....um....ever. Even Emma couldn't believe how great it was.
Mom did lose some of her eyebrows but it wasn't very noticeable, since they're almost invisible anyway. Her hair looks fine, and the puffy predisone face is almost gone.
I got to visit with our hosts briefly but had to wrestle Lucy to sleep; the sleeping bag didn't really float her boat and she's in my bed now. We're doing shed cleaning at mom's tomorrow, visit with dad, and carnival in the evening! Then Sunday...maybe church, and visit with my childhood friend that I just got back in touch with via Facebook? Monday, more carnival, craft fair, good food all day, probably run into old friend...I can't wait!
I was totally not into coming here, but so far so good. I prayed this morning for compassion and patience, and so far it seems like that inner reminder about what to focus on was a good choice.