Sunday, July 24, 2011

A week off...of sorts.

We're in the 36-ish-hour countdown to ankle surgery.

I am trying not to think too much about it.

Unfortunately, my house is too quiet.  So I end up thinking about it.  A lot.

The Fries are currently bunking with Gramma and Boppa, so that I can recuperate in semi-quietude, without rambunctious children.  (I missed them before all of us even got out of the restaurant parking lot where we all met for lunch today.)

This was also our last Sunday at the church we've been attending for the last 17 months.


Because Hubby starts a new job at PSUB Church in S'burg tomorrow.  (And, after 17 months of him being out of work, this is a good thing.)  He's their new associate pastor of youth and worship.  Yay, Hubby!  (We will miss our SUB church friends.  Thankfully, we aren't going to be moving very far away.  S'burg is just up the road about twelve miles.)

This is just a rockin' and rollin' week.

Making it worse on my mommy's heart is the fact that we seem to have totally failed in explaining to the Fries exactly what is going to be happening on Tuesday to my foot.

We recalled for them the accident and its aftermath--all of us girls going to live with Gramma and Boppa for two and a half months--and my "big boo-boo" on my foot.  (A boo-boo in two places, no less.)  They've seen photocopied x-ray pictures of my foot, and they know about the skwrews I have inside there.

Small Fry tearfully sobbed, "But I don't want da doktewr to take out da skwrews!"

That they were tired when we first tried this did not help.  It was a discussion born of necessity.

The second didn't go any better.  (That time, they were hungry, too.)

We tried explaining that this would help Auntie's foot feel better.

No soap.

I hate that we screwed this up so badly; I didn't want them to be scared.  I just wanted them to understand why they needed to go stay with Gramma and Boppa this week.  And that they would come back home with us.

But it would seem that my nervousness has leeched out into the atmosphere that Medium Fry has completely come unglued.

Our latest naptime/bedtime foe is now pirates (in addition to the usual suspects of monsters, giants and wombats), thanks in part to Disney Junior's Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

We're three minutes from home, having left the restaurant where we had lunch, when my cell phone rings.  And it's my mom.

"I have a very important question to ask you," she says.  I put my phone on speaker.  She tries to do the same with hers, but even if I shout at my phone, I'm still only a whisper on her end.

The call fails, and Hubby pulls over to the side of the road.  Mom calls back.  VIQ time.

"Are there any pirates around you?" Mom asks.

"No, no pirates," both Hubby and I say.

"Can we call you on Skype when we get back to our house, so that Medium can see that the pirates didn't get you?"


There went my planned nap.  Okayyyy...I'll go to Kohl's instead, and see if I can spoil myself a little.  Or spoil my kids a little.  Or both.  (I ended up spoiling the kids--the twins have seriously outgrown their 4T nightgowns and needed some bigger ones--and buying a picture frame for Hubby's new office.  So he can have a picture of the Fries for his desk.)

So we talked to the Fries when I got back to the house.  Then they went to the park, and had a marvelous time.  Boppa sent me pictures and even video from his cell phone.  (Bless those smart phones.)  They had supper.

I wasn't surprised by the text from Mom at 7:30, asking if we would Skype at bedtime.

So we did.  It was the most chaotic bedtime prayers we've had in a long time.

And we reassured the kids that we love them, we miss them, and they'll be home soon.  And we can Skype any time that it's possible.

Half an hour ago, at 10:30, the Skype incoming-call window popped up.


Something she found that was interesting and related to the ongoing, underlying custody stuff?


Medium Fry.

Who woke up and is scared.  And needs--craves--the reassurance that she's loved.

We throw hugs and kisses.  Tell her how much we love her and miss her and that we'll see her soon.

She finally agreed to go lay in Gramma and Boppa's bed for a bit and try to sleep.

Mom called back a few minutes later, and said that it just might be that I'd have to come out (something we'd discussed, if it was too much for me to be alone the day after the surgery) because of the Fries' separation anxiety.

I was nearly in tears myself at this point, because all we'd wanted to do was explain to them why they were going to Gramma and Boppa's, and that they would be back.

Mom was the one who suggested that my own nervousness about this procedure--something I can't really control--was affecting Medium the most.  And that we'd done absolutely the right thing in trying to explain to them why they had to go stay with Gramma and Boppa.  The emotional memories they have from more than three years ago still affect them on a deeply subconscious level.  (I can't tell you how much I wish I could heal that for them.)

I told Mom that, yes, I had said the doctor was going to cut into my ankle.  But a couple months back, one of them had asked me how the doctor had gotten the screws into my foot.  I scrambled for a way to explain this to them.  I ended up grabbing two squares of notepaper off a pad on my desk, and sketching an ankle shape on them both.  On one, I drew an approximation of "bones," and put a "break" in one of them.  Then I stuck that one on the bottom, lined up the "ankles," and showed it to them.  The x-ray pictures, I explained, told the doctor that my ankle bone broke and that it needed to be fixed.  But because the bones are under my skin, he couldn't just get at them.

By this time, I had all three Fries crammed around me at my desk (a spot not conducive to a four-person, close-quarters meeting).

I picked up my little embroidery scissors I use when cross-stitching.  The doctor, I explained cut through my "skin"--the top layer of paper--to get at the breaks and fix them.  And when he was done, and they were all fixed, he sewed me up.  I slapped a piece of scotch tape over the incision I'd made with my little scissors.

Mom and Hubby were both impressed with my little illustration.  It was an excellent explanation.

Something right!

Fortunately, with Hubby going to work tomorrow and us only having one vehicle, I will be housebound all day, and so I'll be able to be at Skype beck-and-call (if you'll pardon the horrible pun).

Hopefully, the separation anxiety will ease.  Or I'll go out and spend the rest of the week with Gramma and Boppa.

I just wish that I'd thought to send our wedding scrapbook with them.  The kitty scrapbook I made for Medium--who misses our kitties and needs to see pictures of them when we're away--isn't going to help with missing us.

Perhaps that should be my next project...little family-fun scrapbooks, that they can take with them.

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