One of my children has a hard time separating from her Daddy today. She had been away for a few weeks without him, so I could understand why she would have a hard time saying goodbye. He doesn't want to upset her, but he needs to get to work. He does everything that he can to try and gently separate, but it is not working. I tell him when he needs to go, just say goodbye and leave. She squeals with unhappiness as he leaves. I scoop her up and snuggle in the rocking chair until she calms down, which is almost immediately.
Later, her mom texts me an apologizes, hoping I didn't hurt myself. I feel badly that her mother is so upset. "We are all fine," I text back. And we are. I admit that I am nervous about this bag hanging from me with the kids, but it is more about how I fit the child in my lap without landing them on my bag than anything else. I try to put everyone on the right side of my body to keep things cozy and stink free.
We march to the playground. For some of us, it is a long, slow march. Eventually we get there, and the kids with me want to play super sized badminton. The rackets and birdies are huge! We play as well as any two and three year olds can play, some deciding that throwing the giant birdies is a great game too.
We head over to the empty water fountain after a while, to hang out and play. A little boy we have met at the playground before rides his balance bike over to say hello. His dad happens to be the artist who will be doing my tattoo tomorrow night.
The little boy shares his bike with us, and runs off to play on the slide. All of my kids take very nice turns sharing the bike. Sara and I don't even have to tell them to give the next person a turn. I am so proud of them.
It is hot out today, and we have been waiting for the lemonade truck to come. It is a special treat in the summer. In past years the truck has always come around eleven thirty. Then we would all get lemonade, and sit and eat it on the grass. It spoils our hunger for lunch, but it is fun to sit together and share this summertime pleasure.
Unfortuately, the truck doesn't show today, but returning the balance bike, and the promise of a popsicle after lunch help to smooth our transition.
It is a super slow march home, it seems like we will never make it. I call home to see if someone can come and help carry one of the two year olds so we can move a little faster. Ayla is going to help so I can take a nap today, and she comes to the rescue. She scoops up two little ones, so I don't have to carry anyone. We make it home much more quickly.
After lunch, we get ready for nap time. The way we do this is Sara will read stories and I will take the nappers one at a time, hold them and sing to them until they fall asleep. This works most of the time. I want to help today, just because two people working at getting kids down is twice as fast, and I need to gradually get used to holding their weight again. I have also discovered while playing a game of Hokey Pokey at the playground that my voice has become very weak from not singing for two weeks. Normally I sing for an hour to and hour and a half each day at nap time, but I haven't been singing at all lately. One more muscle that needs to be retoned.
I get two of the younger and lighter kids down very quickly. Spending the morning at the playground usually makes things easier. For my nap today I only need an hour. This is a good sign.
I go back downstairs around four in time to say goodbye to most of the kids and their parents.
Since my daughter Kaileigh first started high school, I have been going to a knitting group at the First Unitarian Church of Providence. It started out as a Parents of High Schoolers group, but only one other set of parents showed up each week with me. It was Julie and David. After a few weeks we were asked if we wanted to continue the group, and Julie and I decided we could have the same discussions at a knitting group. We started getting together in the winter that year, maybe ten years ago, and have met most Tuesday nights, since. Our group is always sometimes growing, sometimes shrinking and changing, and even though Julie has moved, we still get several knitters most weeks.
When the weather permits, I will ride my bike, walk or bus the three miles to church, but this night, I am taking a ride with Debbie. She used to come regularly at one time, but life got busy and we haven't seen her too much lately. I am so pleased to be riding in with her tonight.
As we arrive, so is Linda . We settle in and someone who is at the church to meet with a different group wanders in. It is Marcia, who has stopped in to check on me. Knitting turns into a cancer check in. Every woman in the room has been affected by some kind of cancer. All of these woman are slightly older than I am, and have survived their treatments and overcome their cancers. What better inspiration could I have? Sarah comes in. She and I teach Sunday school together during the school year. Her sister was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer that spread from her colon just over a year ago. She is doing very well today. Things seem much easier after talking to these wonderful women.
Alison has just come back from a trip to Yosemite Park, and has photographs to share. Julie is still here from Colorado. Everyone is knitting and catching up on the latest news. I am always curious about what people are working on, so I ask around the table. It turns out they are working on an afghan for me! I am touched and thrilled, since lately, I am cold all the time.
We wrap things up a little early, and I hope that I will be able to come next Tuesday, but am uncertain. It is to be my first day of chemo.
As I lay in bed all washed and relaxed, I am craving Oreos again. I grab four and a glass of milk. This time when I am done, I brush my teeth.