This is going to be a fairly short one, if not a particularly sweet one...
When I went to pick Ethan up from camp on Friday morning, I was so happy. It was a beautiful day and I'd had the wonderful company of my friend Deb on the 2 hour drive hour out, as I was giving her boys a ride home, too. We have a lot in common, had a lot to talk about, and the drive-time just flew by.
I arrived to find Ethan looking tired and miserable, sitting on his duffel bag. I was expecting a happy-dance reunion, and I got a nine-mile stare instead. A mumble and a tearful hug.
I was more than a little miffed to find out that the message I had specifically asked to be delivered to him, that I would be doing the LATE pick-up time, as I wanted to take the camp tour, and thus to NOT worry that he was one of the last campers being picked up? Had NOT been communicated to him at all.
I assumed that an hour of anxiety was the source of his listlessness and clinginess, his resistance to going on the walking tour of the camp. That and the fact that he had slept poorly the night before. As he reported to me, he had woken up in the wee hours to pee, and had had trouble falling back asleep.
I really should know better. When Ethan is THAT out of sorts, something is up. My friend Amy even wrote a blog post about this phenomenon recently (called: those who cannot remember strep throat are doomed to repeat it) that I had read, and actually shaken my head thinking *I* certainly knew better. The more fool, I.
Because it wasn't until after the tour (which I dragged him on) and after lunch in town (which he only ate half of) while in the local penny candy store (that he was being surprisingly less than enthusiastic about) that I heard him complain of feeling cold. And it was actually rather warm in this store.
That's when the bells and whistles FINALLY went off in my head and I put my hand on the back of his neck... to find it burning up.
|Feverish Ethan, with friends|
Yikes! No wonder he'd been feeling so punk. I had also picked up some tylenol (pretty sure he would need it) so boy properly dosed, we cut short our poke-about town walk and got into the car to head home.
The medicine kicked in and the ride home was going swimmingly. That is until a large chunk of debris - it looked like a piece of bumper, maybe - flew off a car diagonally in front of us and landed in the road: hard plastic, light blue and deadly to our right rear tire.
After the bump of rolling over it, I felt the sickeningly familiar chunkity-chunkity-chunk and pulled over fast, on a section of I-80 that fortunately had a decently wide breakdown lane. The boys were all thrilled, they had never been in a car that had sprouted a flat tire, let alone one on a major highway - quel excitement!
After some time on the phone with AAA and being told we'd have a long wait for a tow truck to come to our aid, we were pleasantly surprised by fast efficient service.
Of course the spare was in a well in the trunk, which had to be emptied of camp duffels, and of course it was completely flat. But I had warned the operator of this probability and the truck driver actually had a tank of air with him, and the spare, once inflated, thankfully, held.
I was nervous as a cat the whole long, long final hour of our ride home; every bump or slight shimmy making me fear my cranky old spare had given up the ghost. But it held true and got us back home to the city with narry but a good tale for the boys to tell their friends.
I might have kissed the sidewalk in relief when we finally stepped out of the car, home safe, but I know how many dogs have peed there. So I settled for a friendly pat of the old girl's roof, telling her "Good car, good car."
And I thanked the parking fairies for delivering us a spot nearly right in front of our house. Not quite rock-star, but proof they weren't pissed at us, either.
Hopefully Jake's return home tomorrow will involve less highway adventure, and no need for thermometers.