Somewhat Back to Normal

by Karen

Our marriage has always been peppered with times when Clay is away. Many times it is for a week, sometimes it is for a month, and he has been away for 11 months and 16 months. And no matter how long each separation is, all of the homecomings are filled with butterflies, excitement, and anticipation. Saturday morning was no different. Weston and I went to the Lawton/Ft. Sill Regional Airport to pick up Clay. For those of you who have ever flown in to/out of that airport, you know what a bumpy ride it can be. Thankfully, he arrived in one piece and we were reunited a’la Peaches and Herb style. We celebrated by getting chocolate malts. I know – we’re cray-cray.

The last stretch of solo parenting week was marked by a fever, infection, and debilitating fatigue. Finally on Friday I sought professional help and was prescribed three different medications.  Any more and I am going to need a fancy pants pill case like Grandma. I am finally starting to feel normal again <insert joke about how I am not normal>. Interestingly, every nurse and doctor I encountered theorized that I had appendicitis despite my (very limited) medical history and chart stating that I had an appendectomy in 1994. I had one health professional ask, “Are you sure?” I felt like telling her, “Well, now that you mention it, do you think my parents were lying to me and the hospital was the only place that could watch me for the weekend while they went to Lake Tahoe?” I didn’t mind my hospital stay back then though because I got to watch ‘Kids Incorporated’ on the hospital TV. It really is the important things that matter in life, you know?

Despite the hallucinations I endured due to my fever (seriously – I had a dream about a Joe Pesci’s head), I helped Clay prepare the Easter Eggs and such for our first Easter together as a family of three. Clay was in Afghanistan last year so Weston and I spent the holiday with Meredith and Harry. While it was nice, it is not the same. I was so incredibly happy we are able to be together this year.

On Sunday morning, we encouraged Weston to find pastel-colored plastic eggs filled with processed sugar. If that doesn’t remind us that Jesus died for our sins, I don’t know what does. The weather was awful. Dreary, rainy, windy, and cold. It reminded us of Easter during our Ft. Drum days. Well, it reminded me because Clay spent the majority of his Easters with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. There were no Taliban fighters among us in the pews so Clay wasn’t really reminded of the war-torn country, which is a good thing.

Our church had an inside Easter egg hunt for the children in the Fellowship Hall.  Weston acquired a whopping two eggs because he got distracted by the fresh strawberries. Weston could take or leave candy but put fresh fruit in front of him and he becomes a rabid toddler. We don’t really allow Wetson to eat candy so this was his first holiday that he really experienced candy….his favorite being jelly beans. We do think he experienced his first sugar high, for he was running around the apartment with this arms in the air while joyfully screaming. Either that or he was coked up. We’re guessing sugar high. We hope.