One should never joke, really. It only makes the reality even more ironic.
Last weekend, my wife and I headed out for our 20th college reunions. It is a special event because we connected at our 10th and things led from there to marriage and kids. We packed the kids in the car for the seven or so hour drive on Friday, got the kids situated with their Saba before heading out for a small gathering of friends that evening, and then Saturday was filled with reunion activities. We left our son with his grandfather and took our daughter with us for the morning. She enjoyed seeing both campuses; my wife and I attended nearby colleges, and I even majored at hers. In the morning while my wife was in a class meeting, I took my daughter around to see the campus and visit with my senior thesis professor. My daughter also enjoyed the picnic lunch and popsicle. In the afternoon, we all headed over to my college and had a quick tour before we drove her back to my wife’s father’s house. We then returned to the reunion action, had a wonderful time, and arrived home late and exhausted.
As we contemplated the seven plus hour drive back to Boston with crabby kids, I joked, “Let’s drug ’em.” Now, I am the one who errs on the avoiding medicine side, so it was just dark humor to deal with the inevitable challenges of the ride. However, the universe was listening, and my daughter deposited a parting gift on my father-in-law’s bedroom carpet. We hoped whatever was bugging her was out of her system, but as we started the drive, a faint voice from the back of the car informed us that all was not well. I had improvised some bags, and my daughter promptly used one of them. We stopped, purchased some Dramamine, and proceeded on our way with a very wilted, unhappy kid who, in part thanks to the drugs, slept much of the way home.
Filed under health, travel
Tuesday I sat in the evening spooning Campbell’s Tomato Soup with cubes of cheddar into my mouth. The cumulative lack of sleep plus a very trying day previously tipped me over the edge, and all day I felt the sore throat coming on. I sneaked upstairs when I got home to rest, and when my children came up with my wife for bath time, I got to hug them, share a really positive moment, and then head downstairs. I am on the next two nights, so a reprieve was in order. Plus I was sick.
I wanted my comfort food. I even walked to the grocery store to get it. I know Campbell’s is not the healthiest choice. It comes in plastic coated containers, it has lots of salt. Every time someone opens a container, an environmental fairy dies, but from my early childhood, this is what I eat when I don’t feel well. My archetype for what comfort food was set, and when the chips are down, that is where I return.
I already know one of my daughter’s similar comfort items. I have no idea how it will play out, but I am sure it will feature somehow. One time when she was sick, she was allowed to watch a movie on TV. This is a very rare occurrence; she gets almost no screen time in our house. We chose Microcosmos, a feature that shows bugs going about their daily lives with no narration. She took to the movie instantly, and now whenever she is ill, she asks for the bug movie. I love it because it is not overly dramatized, and it has no commentary to influence her (except for a musical soundtrack).
What other things that we do as a family are going to be the cornerstones of her future, and how will they overlap with my son’s? I am sure there will be plenty of unintentional pieces added, but I hope the regular interactions with exercise, gardening, reading, and other things I value will also feature in her constructed world.