Monday, March 31, 2008

Sorry About the Interruption

We're back again - even our luggage made it back eventually, though it didn't arrive until past ten last night. My original thought had been that I would blog Mon, Tues and Wed before we left, and then Sunday upon our return, thereby only actually missing three days. Instead of which I blogged none of these days, plus not having actually mentioned on-line that we were going on a trip! Whoops!

The boys and I went up to Boston for four days, visiting A. While we don't have the money for such a trip particularly, when a friend wants you to visit bad enough that they send you the plane ticket money, you go visit. A's had a rough year medically, having had endoscopic gall bladder surgery turn into full abdominal surgery, followed by two infections, peritonitus, a screw-up with an idiot giving her blood thinners, thereby delaying a needed corrective surgery substantially, and finally a stent. So I can understand the intense desire to a) have a friend come visit and have some fun (and hugs), and b) have four days where worrying about who is going to help you dress, bathe, get places, etc. is simply not an issue.

Two days before we left, Rob called from work. They had decided that he needed to go to a conference (which starts today) in Quebec. Rob has an application in for a passport, but no passport as of yet, so I had to find his birth certificate to get over the border. So my intended leisurely day of packing and cleaning (and not incidentally blogging and writing) was turned into a full house rampage as the bc was NOT in the lockbox where I keep all the vital papers. I hunted for about eight hours - until Rob came home - with no sign of the birth certificate. Rob then joined in the hunt, and found it in about an hour. It was in the glove compartment of the car he was at work with. Oi.

Apparently one can't fly into Canada with a birth certificate, but one can drive across the border that way - at least for now. So Rob flew up to Vermont yesterday, rented a car, and drove up to the meeting (which is about building chemical plants in foreign countries). On the good side, he was able to park the car where I could find it, so the boys and I had a car waiting when we flew in, but only had to pay for about six hours parking.

The next day was taken up with the now much more frantic packing, repairing some of the damage from the paper hunt (on the good side, I've now thrown out about four large garbage bags of shredded paper), and the random last minute emergencies that always happen just before trips start. We made the plane in good order, and then discovered that the ticket agent had stuck us in separate parts of the airplane. On both flights. Anybody who's travelled with young boys will tell you, this is Not On. The people on the first flight were lovely about switching, so other than the shuffling people about in a crowded plane, it went very well. On the second flight, though, the two boys had been put together and I'd been put four rows up on a window seat. The guy in the aisle seat next to the boys was upset about my asking to switch, but even more upset about being seated next to two children, and pissed and moaned about losing his aisle seat so loudly that a very nice woman on the aisle seat across the way offered to take my window seat, give him her aisle seat, and let me sit next to the boys. Which we did, but the man I had displaced continued to glare at me whenever he got the chance for the rest of the flight. Did he pay extra for no child seating or something? Because I thought that unless you paid for, oh, three seats together, you sat next to whomever the airline put you with.

Boston itself was much fun. As always with A, it was nonstop. Thursday was spent shopping, running errands, and finally driving into Worcester (1 hour drive) and back to see L, because her husband had called to say that their eldest son had "gotten into an altercation" at school and been sent to the UMass psych ward. Which is now causing much head scratching, because he was perfectly calm and cooperative at UMass, to the point where they sent him home that same afternoon with an appointment for evaluation in May. So what happened that the school would have the police drag a (small) ten year old boy away bodily? It's hard to tell at this point because the school is much more interested in justifying themselves than in providing useful information. A loaned me her van to drive up, which is much appreciated, but for some bizarre reason views this as a favor that L owes her (when she and L have very little interaction, and don't actually get on very well), instead of a favor I owe her, which would be easy to pay back.

After that entertaining day we spent 22 hours straight in the Boston Museum of Science, right down to sleeping on the floor of the Mathematica exhibit (MoS Camp-in program, highly recommended). Their special exhibit right now is Reptiles Alive!, so Aaron was over the moon. We went to a Planetarium show, an Omni show and a lightning show, plus a workshop on dinosaurs, which involved dissecting owl pellets (found two skulls - a rodent and a mole). Due to a sleeping bag mishap, I ended up sleeping on bare floor, which didn't really allow for much sleep. Then we had friends over at A's apartment from then until bedtime. (I found a second beta reader for Ghost Dancer! Woot!). At which point it was time to pack up, because the taxi was coming to get us at 4am. The boys got a whole 3-4 hours sleep, while I ended up substituting a shower and change for any actual sleep. Poor Robbie kept falling asleep at the airport, and plainly felt terrible. After he tried to walk through a plexiglas wall, I picked him up to carry him through security and the gate (being lectured on the size of your toothpaste tube while carrying a 65 lb. child and falling-over tired is an interesting thing). I managed to stay awake long enough to stagger onto the plane (the ticket agent seated us together this time. Go Ticket Agent!), where we all pretty much passed out until Charlotte. Repeated the stagger and pass out for Louisville, except that when I woke up on descent, I discovered Aaron had been awake the whole time, and had been talking quietly with the person next to him (he was across the aisle from me), and gotten a drink from the stewardess, all without feeling the need to wake me. Go Aaron! A couple of years ago, it took him up to a week to warm up to a strange adult. Got to Louisville to discover that our luggage had not yet left Logan in Boston. They did find it eventually and it showed up about ten last night, once the driver found our house (our neighbor's limosines are proving a really handy landmark).

I did get some writing done during all this, but it's all in long hand on a legal pad, so you'll have to wait until I get it typed in to find out how much it is.

And that is What I Did Over Spring Vacation.


Becky said...

Sounds like a busy week. The Science thing sounds like it would be so much fun!

Bill said...

Good to hear from you again!
Exhausting, but it sounds like, taken together, a positive experience.
Give my love to your guys.