As this time of the year approaches, we as parents get both excited and a bit frightened for the coming weeks. It is the start of the school year, and with it comes a whole myriad of emotions, both on our part and the kids. The other part of this tale is that working in the pediatric world of dentistry, the weeks leading up to the start of school equates to pure madness at the office. Urgency ensues, and everyone wants to get that appointment done before the truancy officer comes knocking. It seems as if school administrators have become entirely to harsh for missed school due to doctors appointments, but thats for another time. Our very busy days, turn into sheer madness in the last week of July to the third week of August. Some days we can barely catch our collective breath! The slow down has hit, finally, and we can play catch up on the summer that was a complete blur, or so one would think. Then this past week hit….brace yourself.
The last Monday of summer break for most of the local schools, which is the equivalent of panic to get that last appointment in before the first day of school. The schedule is packed and that is not even counting the home front, oh and we started back to regular hours, 8-5. No more summer hours, and everyone is a little grumpy! We had a mutual separation from our long time (8 years strong) nanny and this was the first full week of the new nanny! As one could envision, my best friend is beside herself with animosity about how all this will work out. Can she hack life with SEVEN boys, not to mention twin 10 month olds? Combine that with a schedule that has maybe one opening, which of course will be filled by some sort of emergency, and we have the makings of a manic Monday. All things considered the day goes fairly smoothly and the week begins. Over the weekend our 8 year old, Gray, has a recurring pain in the lower left quadrant of his abdomen that raised a little concern…should we make a visit to the doctor? See, earlier this year, Beau the Maniac, has the same sort of thing only a bit more acute, the result was an appendectomy. Anatomically speaking, about the only thing possible to be wrong in a males lower right quadrant is the appendix being enflamed. So one of our team of family members that help at the house takes the little man to the doctors visit. That visit turns into an appointment at the imaging center for an ultrasound of his belly, so momma leaves to head that way. He has all the clinical hallmarks for an appendectomy. The result…inconclusive…what do we do, or better yet what does the doc decide to do…Room 310, here we come, admitted for observation. Bear in mind this is gauntlet week and its the middle of the day, but we are parents and one of us must go…ugh. They spend the night in the hospital with no decision and I managed to get 6 kids in bed, but she had to sleep in the hospital….I will take the 6 kids!
Same song and dance, as far as the routine of chaos that we call the end of summer. Crazy schedule, tripping over each other, and the natives at home are restless for school to start. Oh, and I have to get this done by myself, which is no small task. I have never once taken for granted how invaluable and irreplaceable my beautiful wife is and its days like these that make me even more appreciative for all she does. The day flies by and there is not even any time to go and visit my son in the hospital. Still no decision, but leaning towards no surgery!! The only problem is there is another twist to this story. We had our god daughter spend the night on Sunday and by Tuesday we find out she had Hand Foot and Mouth disease…things just got potentially worse. So Gray gets discharged, which takes all but 8 hours, another day lost, but he doesn’t have to get his belly operated on and that makes us ecstatic. The only problem is he misses the “meet the teacher” day, as does momma. I think I mentioned once or twice we have a lot of kids and even when one is under the weather, the other 6 still need parenting. The good news is, thanks to the team that makes this family function, the day is saved!
Here we go, the first day of school…the office will slow down, the boys will get in bed early, and the house will see order. Everyone gets off to school without a hitch; Brenden 11th grade, Colin 10th grade, Beau 3rd grade, Gray 2nd grade, and Quinn kindergarten, hard to believe time has gone by so fast. Of course the morning consists of the normal lunacy of getting everyone ready. Blair comes to help and take first day pictures, what a great day to see your kids grow up to become these young men in uniforms and ties, and its off to school. Oh, and Gray is just a little stopped up….but the afore mentioned hand foot and mouth disease had reared its ugly head. The twins start to run a fever…
The morning starts with Quinn running a fever, and the twins have more of the same, with a couple of lesions popping up on the lips. The trouble with contagious diseases and having a big family is there is no such thing as containment, especially when the two youngest happen to be twins! The mess ensues and it is going to get ugly, in more ways then one. The thing about this disease is it is extremely painful and dehydration is very common. My poor dreamboats do not know what is going on, other then they have a fever and are hurting. So sad….
Ahh, its finally Friday, except that the third day of this virus is the peak and it did hit a high. We are all working on very little sleep, agitated, yet epithetic to the struggle these little men are going through. It is just not fun to have half the house struggle while the other half sit around with nothing to do but wait for the storm to pass. The up side is school has started well and everyone is happy. This is 15 year olds first year at a new school and is living full time at the house, finally all the boys reunite! It will take some adjusting on all of our parts, but the is life in a family, right….
The weekend is more of the same, blisters on hands, feet, faces…we are a family of lepers at this point! It is ugly and I am not so sure I have willed a week to be over as much as this one. Would have been possible to squeeze and more suffering and stress into seven days…probably, but it would have been tough. The upside is we bonded together, both at the office as a family and at home. It is hard to keep a strong unit down with the love and determination that binds this one together.
Bottom line is this, struggles build character, adversity makes us realize how much we can conquer, and perseverance leads us to the new tomorrow. The sun will rise and tomorrow will bring new surprises. I heard someone say once that “this too shall pass”…words we could all live by, and low and behold it is passing.