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Family, Parenting

Jolly Holiday

Ah, Day 4: It has been a cooking, cleaning whirlwind.

From the piles on Catherine’s desk, next to her desk and crammed into the bookcase I’ve carted off an armload of teen magazines, last year’s school papers (taken out of the backpack in June and not touched since), and a collection of dried-out lip glosses and other trash. I also unearthed enough loose change to buy a new wardrobe — and this was just in the one corner of the room I can work until the new Sheetrock is hammered in place tomorrow.

In the process, I kicked up enough dust that I needed to take Claritin. (And yes, I muttered and hissed her name many, many times through clenched teeth. I also had renewed appreciation for my own mother, who set my room to rights numerous times over the years.)

After the sneezing died down, I also managed to clean out the fridge, pantry and linen closet; remove the parade of Easter bunnies from the front lawn; hang a picture in the den; and make taco soup and fiesta pinwheel sandwiches for sustenance during the first few days of what is going to be a crazy week.

There’s a ton more to do, but it’s too late in the day to start mulching, switch the winter and summer clothes, or clean the curtains and wash windows. Those tasks must wait for the next break in the action. And frankly, I’m out of steam.

I did briefly venture out to return some library books and swing by the beach. I love that even though the mercury in the thermometer has barely kissed 60, there were people in bathing suits sunning themselves right alongside folks like me wearing long pants and light jackets.

In particular, I got a kick out of the little boy who changed into his wet suit, then Frankenstein-walked all over the beach in his flippers. Low tide invited plenty of kids to play in the sand, but no one was brave enough to stick a toe in the Long Island Sound.

Last night I had a brief call with Catherine before it was her turn in the shower. She sounded completely wiped out, but assured me she was having fun and announced that she’d bought me a bunny. It seemed an odd choice for a Disney souvenir, and when I questioned it, she said, “You know how at Epcot they have all the things from all different countries?”

Well, no, actually I don’t.

Because I didn’t go to Epcot.

I stayed here.

At home. Alone.


Today, the pipeline from Florida has been fairly quiet. Basil and Catherine are succumbing to Disney overload and exhaustion. One of Basil’s very few text-messages simply read, “Pooped.” He hasn’t provided a meal rating and pricing update since yesterday.

The two of them ought to be a sight when I pick them up at 11 pm tomorrow.

Today the kids had a two-hour choral workshop with the Disney staff that Catherine said was fun, and then spent the day in Hollywood Studios where screams from the Tower of Terror pierced the air.

One of just a couple of pictures Basil sent today -- in an email labeled, "New house?" I'm not quite sure where he was going with this. ...

Tonight at 9, the group will sing medleys of Disney tunes for park visitors headed to the fireworks. I’m hoping Basil’s phone battery holds out so I can listen in.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide how best to spend the last few hours before reality slaps me in the face anew. Starting tomorrow, we’ve got another marathon of events, activities, and obligations taking us right through June.

So, what should it be? Shopping? Reading? Walk around the neighborhood? Manicure? Some of the less-fun tasks on my list?

Decisions, decisions.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


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