Tuesday, October 20, 2015


So, we had a bit of a whirlwind week. On Tuesday I drove my daughter to Williamsburg, VA, to have a look at William & Mary. It should be about a 6 hour drive, but it got progressively longer as the exit ramps we needed were closed for construction. I've never seen so many highway closures. Yikes.

Wednesday was a lovely day to tour a lovely campus. We got to have lunch with an old good friend, which was a special treat. Then we drove home in time for a late dinner with Dad.

Thursday was an oh-crap day. As in, oh, crap, it's Thursday! I said that at 9:06--the garbage usually needs to be on the curb before 9. My daughter, just stumbling downstairs, said, "We'll both do it," and grabbed her car keys (our driveway is really long, and we have to pick up trash from the barn, too). We got the trash down. Then I realized a whole bunch of other things I'd forgotten--that book I was supposed to review--oh, crap, I hadn't even read it yet--the van needed new tires before we drove it to Indiana that night. I ended up reading my review book at the tire store, while bribing my daughter and her friends with pizza to go get our showjumps from the barn where the pony club show had been held, and fill the truck with diesel while they were at it, and take the dog to the kennel....it was a little stressful there, especially when the guy at the tire place wanted to know where I kept the key to my lug nuts. My lug nuts have a key? News to me.

I got the review written--I do not miss deadlines--and everything essential accomplished before my husband came home from work and we hit the road again. We needed to get somewhere near Kenyon College, which is somewhere near Columbus--this involved driving back up the same highway I'd traversed on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm sure I could have been more efficient there. Anyway, we stayed in a Microtel in the middle of nowhere, woke early, and ended up at Kenyon on time despite a complete freak-out by our GPS, which seems to be growing ever more untrustworthy.

Kenyon was lovely. All the colleges are lovely. It was cool, crisp fall, a perfect day for imagining yourself a college student.

At 3 pm, we got back in the car. Destination: Notre Dame. And while our daughter did attend an admissions information session there, our real reason for that college was to see our son and watch the Fighting Irish tromp USC. Unfortunately there was a bit of road construction and a traffic-snarling accident on the way--the four-hour trip took five--eventually we found South Bend and an Italian restaurant and our son and his friends, and it was all good.

Saturday I logged 22,450 steps on my phone's pedometer, all on campus. This doesn't count all the jumping around I did in the upper reaches of the stadium, in an attempt to keep warm during the  night football game. Sunday, driving home to TN with our beloved son--it's his fall break--I logged 450 steps. Mostly those were from the car to a gas station restroom, and back.

It's all good. It's great. It's awesome. Some of my son's friends are doing fancy stuff with their break. They're clearing trails in state parks or helping the homeless or, in the case of the ND golf team, playing the best courses in Ireland. Our son is hanging out with his family. He's sleeping in. He's helping his Dad coach middle-school basketball and going out to lunch with me. He's curled up in his favorite afghan with the dog. He's had a big semester so far; he's worked hard. Next semester will be even bigger, since he's spending it abroad.

When my husband was a medical resident, he could have moonlighted in the local emergency rooms for lots of extra cash (compared to his paltry resident salary). I believe all the other ophthalmology residents did this, even though, like us, they had small children and working spouses. My husband didn't. We had enough money to meet our needs; he valued time spent with us more than the extra stuff more money would buy. I loved and applauded this choice. I like my son's choice now. Sometimes you fill every moment, but sometimes, like now, you very deliberately don't. Sometimes you just need to rest at home.