I’m Sad Today

It’s kinda late in the day for a first post, right? I usually flood the internets with blather, but today I’ve been quiet.

Why?

I’m sad today, that’s why.

My step daughter leaves for college on Wednesday. Today is the last official day that she’s at our house before she goes. She’s going to pay a quick visit to say goodbye on Tuesday, but other than that the rest of her time at home is Dad’s house time. That’s why I’m sad. She’s leaving again and she’s not leaving from here.

All of those Monopoly posts yesterday were because of her. She asked if she could spend the last evening at our house playing Beatles Monopoly. Absolutely we could. Strangely, we actually played until someone actually won. She and I both went completely bankrupt at about the same time. Jen and Harry kept going a little longer before Harry finally won. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game of Monopoly actually finish before.

356/365

The kids left for Dad’s house a couple of hours ago. I’m going to see Bellana only one more time before she goes. I already miss her.

Of course, given Covid-19 she’ll probably be back in a couple of weeks, but that’s sad too.

The Low Point of the Week

We had two distinct low points this week. I just experienced the lower of the two.

On Monday afternoon the kids left our house to go to their dad’s house for a couple of days. I had to say goodbye to them. I didn’t want them to go. I never want them to go.

Today was worse for two reason. They left for dad’s about an hour ago. This time they are going for five days. We won’t see them again until Wednesday. That’s bad enough, but when they left I was in a meeting and I didn’t get to say goodbye.

From suck to double suck.

I wish this weekend was a mom weekend instead of a dad weekend. I wish they were all mom weekends, but I get the reasoning. Give me a break, it’s been nearly four months of quarantine and I am being a selfish brat. I’m not sorry. Blah.

I miss them already.

So That was a Night

We had to do some grade A schedule juggling last night.

My step daughter was on a school trip to Europe.  Yesterday she woke up in Barcelona.  She was booked on a flight to Lisbon, and then another flight to Boston.  The Barcelona plane had mechanical problems and was delayed for a long time.  Long enough for them to miss the connection in Lisbon.  Now what?

The tour company and the airline did some major league scrambling just trying to get the 33 students and all of the chaperones back into the USA.  They ended up getting onto a flight to JFK in New York.  From there they took a bus up to Logan airport in Boston.  Instead of picking her up at her high school at 4:00pm or so, we ended up needing to pick her up at 1:20am in Boston.  That would be rough enough on us old people, but when you add in the other thing…

My step son has a school trip of his own.  He’s staying in the country, but has to take a long bus ride.  The plan was to get him to his school for check in at 5:00am.  So if we pick up the world traveler at 1:20 and get home at 2:00, we’d have to get up at 4:00 to get ready to drop the other world traveler off at 5:00.  Oh, and then we had to go to work.  Yeah.

My beloved wife took care of the Boston side of thing and I took care of the check in side of things.  With the stress of the whole day and the fluidity of the situation, neither of us got much sleep.  I have no idea how much I got.  Three hours?  Maybe?  certainly not four.  The downside of yesterday is that I am possibly more tired than I’ve ever been.  I’m mentally useless today.  The upside is that step child #1 is home safe and sound, and step child #2 is off on a really cool adventure.

Fair trade.

Safe Travels

Safe travels, he said to his step daughter. He was trying to sound excited and confident and optimistic while actually feeling terrified.

She’s going far away for a few days.  She’s going to have an absolute blast, the time of her life.  I know this without a doubt.

Having said that… (wimper)

Last Night

Last night was a fun night. A number of the ladies of the game night group went out to dinner together, so one of my oldest and best friends ever, Larry, and I hung out at his house. It was kinda like old times except it wasn’t. This time we were joined by a six year old. Instead of the usual stressing about life and the trials and tribulations of taking a shot at the whole adulting thing, we watched Larry’s son drive his RC car up and down the driveway. It was great!

We took a shot at watching Highlander while editing it for television on the fly. You edit movies on the fly through the use of the fast forward function, reaching out and covering little peoples’ eyes, and strategic use of singing, “La La La!” really loud. We were successful for a good part of the movie, but once you get into the last third of it the intensity ramps up, as does the violence, so we stopped. It’s okay, Highlander will still be there the next time. Someday that six year old little man will be old enough to sit on the couch next to his old man and watch the greatest movie even made about an immortal sword fighter from 16th century Scotland and his adventures in New York in 1985. After all, there can be only one.

The initial plans for last night also included Mike the Lizardfish Bass Player, but he had spent the previous two days on top of a mountain and probably needed some sleep… and maybe some Tylenol or something. That just means we have to try it again soon.

As I was getting ready to leave, Larry’s son told me I should just stay over. “You can have your own room,” he said. He’s the same age now that my step daughter was when I first came into their lives. If you could go back in time to any point prior to 2007 and ask me what I think about kids… my response probably wouldn’t have been all that positive. Not bad, really, just indifferent. I didn’t think I wanted kids. I had almost no experience with them. A few little cousins and small amounts of time with friends’ kids. Not enough to form an informed opinion.

Today, I have two step kids, three nephews, one niece, and a whole pile of friends with kids of their own. Ask me how I feel about kids now? I’ll tell you. They are the best thing that could ever have happened to our universe. My step kids… I can’t rave about them enough. There are no adjectives in the English language that can accurately describe just how much I love those two people. I don’t know how I got so damn lucky. I mean first I meet Jen and fall in love with her, then her kids are both superhuman amazing? What did I do to deserve this, and how can I guarantee that it will last forever?

Thanks to Larry and his son for having me over last night. I had a lot of fun. It was great to see you guys again.

Know what else is great? When I got home I had to bring the trash barrels in from the street. As I was carrying them up to the garage, my beloved bride, Jen pulled into the driveway. We were about three minutes away from getting home at exactly the same time. If you didn’t know better, you’d think we were meant to be. You’d be right, we were meant to be.

Tonight’s Events

Tonight has been interesting. After work I went to a spelling Bee. Both kids won their English class spelling Bees and earned the chance to compete for best in the school. They did not win, but they both did a great job. My step daughter the eighth grader made it through three rounds, and my step son the sixth grader made it through five. I’m very proud of both of them.

When I got home Jen was working on her computer in the living room so I went down cellar to watch a bit of the Bruins game. There I found a bit of a surprise…. Water. Three large puddles. It seems that while the Patriots and their deflated balls were beating the Colts in the pouring rain, some of that rain came in through the cellar window. I shop vac’d up the worst of it, but I can only imagine how wet it was on Sunday night.

And that, loyal readers, was my Tuesday night.

Best Thing Ever

I am pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that one of the main reasons I wanted to play in a band again was jealousy.

Both of my step kids have been playing piano for years. They’ve both dabbled in saxophone too, and my step daughter is very active in her school chorus, while my step son plays bells in his school band. He has also recently started taking guitar lessons. His teacher took a few of the students and formed them into a band. They rehearse on Saturdays and are going to play some Christmas music at an upcoming recital. Their big number is “Jingle Bell Rock”.

The first time I sat in the hallway listening to them play I decided it was time for me to get back into the game again. No more sitting on the bench for this fat boy.

Anyway, last night was my step daughter’s school chorus holiday concert. My wife, step son, and I were sitting together enjoying the show when the select chorus started singing “Jingle Bell Rock”.

That was the moment when the Best Thing Ever happened.

When the song began my step son smiled like he was going to split in half. He was getting a serious thrill out of hearing (what he probably thinks of as) his song. Then it happened. The little rocker dude started air guitaring. Like a Boss. Even better? With his left hand he was fingering the chord changes. He was air guitaring the actual chords!

Like I said, Best Thing Ever.