My last post was such a drag that I figured I had to follow it up with something uplifting. Of course, this post will be bittersweet, all things considered, but let's focus on the sweet instead of the bitter, shall we?
Shortly after dad's diagnosis in March, my family came to The Big D for a visit. My mom flew in first and spent some time with us and the boys. Isaac showed off by doing what he does best, things like being really cute and doing funny things and being really happy. He also discovered Alex's Smart Cycle and thought he was the baddest thing on two wheels. I told him that would be true if he had a badder helmet than his boring white one with the lame shamrock sticker, like maybe one with flames or a skull and crossbones. Then he headbutted me.
Mom loves to give the boys baths, and the boys love to take 'em, so that worked out nicely.
My dad and my Grandpa Poppo road tripped in a few days later. While we were catching up in the living room, Alex had gone into the garage to ride his bike, and when I went to check on him, this is what I found:
I managed to take a picture that doesn't really capture the gravity of what was happening, so I'll have to describe it for you. Those pipes to the left are attached to the top of the hot water heater, and the white stucco wall in front of Alex is the partition around the half bath in the garage (don't ask). The boxes to the right are stacked up to no less than twelve feet off of the ground. So to put it into perspective, that would place Alex's head somewhere around the ten foot mark. Evel Kneivel Jr. had scaled a pile of empty boxes that we had stored in the bathroom to see how high up he could climb. Answer: 10 feet. Of course he didn't think far enough to wonder how he would get back down. After taking pictures of him and laughing while he calmly stated, "I need some help, I'm really scared", I called the rest of the family in to witness his feat before helping him down.
The first day they got here was beautiful, so we spent some time outside. Alex was very excited to play "Wrestle House" with Grandpa.
Isaac would have loved to play Wrestle House, but he hates the grass, so he sat this one out.
He got his own bonding-with-Grandpa time when we went back inside.
He got some bonding time with Poppo, too.
After they had gotten one day of relaxation under their belts, I put my folks to work. By now, they really should know better than to expect that a trip to our house is going to be a vacation. Because matching the energy level of two very busy boys isn't challenging enough, I roped them into helping me assemble a big wooden swingset that we had bought the week before, which ended up being a fun, if exhausting, family project.
The reviews for this particular swingset claimed that it would take 2 people 8 hours to assemble it. As Poppo said, it really takes 4 people 16 hours to put the thing together. We ended up taking two days to finish it, but we finished, and it didn't fall down when Alex climbed on it. Success!
Even little Isey got to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
We spent the rest of that afternoon enjoying the nice day.
Unfortunately that was the last nice day of their visit. I had promised 80 degree temperatures and sunshine, and the rest of week brought 60 degree temperatures and rain. Oh, and did I mention both of my parents came down with the stomach flu and had to be quarantined in the hotel for two days? Yeah, that wasn't on the agenda either. But it did mean that Poppo got lots of time to hang with the boys and gave him a chance to brush up on his Pacman skills.
It was really hard to see them go at the end of the week, but we decided that this was the first of many opportunities to create good memories. I'd say we succeeded.