Monday, June 16, 2008

Celebrating Dad

Dear Mark,

Happy Father’s Day! I want you to know how much we appreciate you on this day and every day.

Thank you for being the kind of dad who is affectionate with the kids. I love it that you tell them that you love them, that you give them hugs, and that you smile at them so much.

Thank you for being the kind of dad who is kind. I think this is one of my favorite things about you. You just show kindness in all that you do. What a great example that is to the boys! Not only do you show them a kind spirit, but you are always that way, and I know that they see the way you treat others.

Thank you for being the kind of dad who is patient. You rarely show frustration when the boys don’t “get” something or when they are making you wait. At least they know that they have one person in the family they can rely on to be calm.

Thank you for being the kind of dad who is always learning. You are constantly studying something, improving your base of knowledge. I want the boys to be like you. And I think they will be. I’m sure that their love for reading is there because you always have a book in hand (or in your ears).

Thank you for being the kind of dad who loves his children’s mother. It’s so reassuring to them, I’m sure, to know that their father and their mother are close. They hear you talk to me, they see your kindness to me, and they know that you love me.

Thank you for being the kind of dad who spends time with his kids. Your weekly dates, bike rides, and reading times, and homework time--all of these are memories you are creating for Sam, Jack, and Joel. Your camping trip recently was a big hit, I know. Thanks for taking the time out of your busyness to spend time with them like that.

Thank you being the kind of dad who would rather be sick himself than to see the kids suffer with even the smallest ailment. You are truly sacrificial, and that is manifested in times of sickness. Thanks as well for being the clean-up crew when I can’t deal with that.

You are the BEST kind of dad. And I’m so glad that you are the father of my kids. I love you and appreciate you!!


Of pleurisy, a neighborhood party, a cruise, and an allergic reaction

We were excited all week about the neighborhood party planned for Saturday. Two other stay-at-home moms (almost unheard of here) and I took bull by the horns and decided it was time to have one. It has been a couple of years since we had, and we lost our main "planner" when she moved. So after a couple of talks in the middle of the street, the idea became a reality. I designed an invitation, a couple boys in the neighborhood distributed them, Claudia and Andrée-Anne checked into renting or buying some blow-up equipment , and we were on our way to a fun afternoon.

But on Friday morning we received a call from school saying that Jack had some suspicious red spots on his arms and legs and that we should come get him. We gave him some Benadryl and had him lay down for awhile. He was very eager to go back to school, and the spots seemed to be fading, so he went. We had noticed that he had a couple of ugly mosquito bites on his leg, but we didn`t think it was related.
We had a great evening Friday. We went over to our favorite little spot, the highschool track. Mark and I rollerbladed while the kids rode their bikes, played football, and ran around. Then we went down to the bike path that overlooks the airport so we could get a glimpse of the airshow taking place. We have some friends who live just up the hill from where we were watchig. They were enjoying the show from their backyard with some other friends of ours and invited us up. We stayed there for about an hour. The boys all went swimming and ended up staying until around 11:00, although we left much earlier to get Joel in bed.

In the morning Jack seemed to have difficulty waking up, said he was weak. I gave him some juice, and not long afterward he threw up. He was really miserable. I think the worst for him was the idea that he might not be able to take part in the much anticipated neighborhood party. He watched all the preparations from the open door--the blowing up of the water slide, the hanging up of the balloons, and the general hub-bub. I was so sad for him. We had no idea if the hives and his upset stomach were related or not. All we knew was that he was pretty sick, and that our plans for the day were probably about to change. Mark and I had been looking forward to a date night--a fund-raisier cruise for the YWCA.

But Jack wasn't the only one causing our potential plans to change. I woke up with a weird tightness in my chest. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong as it didn't feel like anything I'd ever felt before. And because I had heard about Tim Russert dying of a heart attack the night before, I imagined that it was my heart. I had too much to do to prepare for our big day, though, so I didn't really slow down. As the day wore on, I knew exactly what it was--pleurisy. I got it for the first time about 10 years ago, and have had little bouts of it here and there maybe once every year or two.
The party went great. We had a lot of participants, great conversations, and I met a lot of neighbors that I had seen before but never talked with or knew their names.

It was a great bonding experience. Mark pretty much stayed with Jack with a few trips over to the "island" to chat for awhile. I was suffering, but didn't want to miss out on anything. By 1:00, Jack seemed better, and we let him come join the fun. Although for him it wasn't really too fun because we wouldn't let him eat a hotdog or slide down the waterslide.

We also decided that we would be able to leave him with our babysitters (a family from church) and go ahead with our cruise. I just did NOT want to miss it. But by the time we got there, I was kind of wishing that we had just stayed home. It was cold and rainy (NOT at all what was forecasted) and I was feeling worse. There are no pictures of us together on this cruise. I did ask a friend of ours to take one of us as we passed the Chateau Frontenac, but that was a big mistake as I don't think he had ever taken a picture in his life. He was bumbling around, making a scene, didn't know what to push, and ended up just popping the flash up. I was too embarrassed to have him try any more and on top of that, we had already lost our photo op. We just said thankyou and acted like he did a great job, quickly grabbed the camera away from him, and settled on just taking pics of the scenes as we passed. A meal was served on the boat, but otherwise it was just milling around enjoying the view (of cloudy, sometimes rainy Quebec) and chatting with people.

By the time we got in the car to go home (around 9:00) I was miserable. We tried to stop a couple places to find some Advil, but no luck. We picked up the kids, put them in bed, and then I tried to sleep. I did eventually sleep, and woke up in the morning as if nothing had ever happened. I couldn't believe it! It usually lasts 2 or 3 days for me. I was certainly thankful that it was over.

And just to finish up this little tale, Mark took Jack to the clinic today to check on his "bites" which had seemed to get worse and to see if there was any relation to his hives. The doctor and another one she called in to consult with think that it is some reaction to an encounter with a poisonous plant of some kind and not mosquito bites. She gave him a perscription for antibiotics and some topical ointment. Hopefully that will set him right.

And now I think this wordy post is done!