And there was much rejoicing. Jess is home, the night wasn't without frustration and controversy though. If anyone wants to meet me in a field and put down some fists and baseball bats of punishment on an Epson Photo 820 printer, I'll bring the Office Space Soundtrack and we can whoop ass. Damn, don't it feel good to be a gangsta.
When I got to work yesterday, Gretchen and Courtney wanted to know what we were calling our action plan for getting Jess, seeing as getting Geoff was GRAP (Geoffrey Retrieval Action Plan). I hadn't thought of it... JRAP just didn't sound right. So I said that we could call it Girl Retrieval Action Plan... so that stood. GRAP II. All day I did my work, checked the Virgin Atlantic Website, did some previewing, checked the Virgin Atlantic Website... stalked my child as she flew across the ocean. I'm glad they didn't have an animated airplane flying across the ocean page that showed the exact lat and long of the plane... I may have gotten lost in watching that.
I left work around 4:15 and went to the airport. I'm not sure how it only took me a half an hour from door to gate, but it was pretty sweet. The flight was slated to land at 5:18. It landed at 5, and at 5:30 we were all still standing around waiting. The kids took forever getting out of the baggage area and all the parents were abuzz with "have you heard from anyone this week?" "did he call you?" "do you know how their performances went?" We were all rather hopeful and giddy, having been without our charges for so long. I talked to one parent who grew up in South Africa and we talked about Jess and Germany and eating foreign food that isn't packaged up for American Tastes in restaurants here... how the kids reacted to the food (her son texted her and said the food was awful, but it was Passover and his choices were limited by his trying to be as close to the plan as possible).
Finally they came out. Jess was one of the last and there was a sea of humans between us. I just smiled and waved... and she was beaming and joyful. And I was so happy to have her back, even though I couldn't hug her.
Immediately came the stories from all the kids... I heard about crazy times in the British Museum, Henry being her dog for her monologue (Launce from Two Gentlemen), the constant "Oh my God, you guys! _____" insert some major exciting awareness here. Ross told me that his bank card didn't work either for pulling money out for Jess or for himself, so he gave me a big "I'm sorry!" and a hug and we commiserated over the problems with the ATM cards that a lot of the kids had. Lesson learned. Some of the kids had NO problem at all, so we need to regroup as parents and make sure that all our kids have THAT kinda card if they go next year. Our lessons are the legacy for future Rebel Shakespeare Travelers.
From the moment I got her, all through dinner (we stopped and had a mom-girl dinner on the way home), to Staples to get ink and posterboard (see below), to the front door at 8:30pm, I don't think she shut up once.
And it was amazing.
I loved her stories. I asked her questions. She told me about all the practical jokes, and how Keri is the reigning queen of playing jokes... ghosts in hallways, boys too scared to go to their rooms at night because of the ghosts (convenient excuse!), superlatives and awards bestowed upon one another. I read her journal, the parts she let me read at least, where the kids all wrote to her about her... they all swapped journals and wrote "love notes" to one another before getting on the plane. Some of it made me cry a little, knowing that people out there love her that much.
Oh my God, you guys! My daughter is home.
And then comes the unfun part.
She had a project due Monday that she got an extension on. Which made it due today... I knew it would be tough on her... but she set to work on it after she showed me a few of the thingies that she got. I went to bed at 10 and was exhausted and she was typing away and preparing her stuff for the posterboard. At about 12:30 she came and woke me up saying "Mom, the printer won't print and I've tried everything."
Usually, she's tried everything just short of the one thing that she needed to do to make it print. But this time? That puppy was whacked. Paperjams when there were no paper jams. Printing obscure strange characters. Printing all crooked and stupid. Shut down the PC, clear the memory/cache/whatever. Reprint. Ghostly shadows around the text on every page, more crooked printing than before. She's freaking out now. It is 1am. I'm doing printer maintenance... head cleaning and alignment stuff. We changed the ink because it was just about all out before she even went away.
At about 2am she had just what she needed printed out but man, did it look like absolute shite. She went from "I'm not letting this beat me," to "I'm not going to school and turning this in," to "I don't care what grade I get on this. Screw it," to "Oh my God, you guys, Mrs. L is going to flunk me so bad," to "Mom? Can I cry now," to "WHATEVER!"
It broke my heart and I kicked myself for taking her out to dinner and keeping her from getting in here to work on the stupid thing... I emailed her teacher at about 2:45am and said "look, don't fault her on this. If she had one more day I would have known about the printer snafu and we could have printed it elsewhere, like my office or at school or something..." so hopefully her teacher will see the time stamp, have an ounce of mercy (Jess says she won't, but ... we'll see) and Jess insists that whatever grade she gets, it was worth every second of taking her spring break and going to London. So there.
Give me an F. I went to London. Ha!
In reference to the little league lights and PA entry from the other day, several people have contacted the organizer of the program. People who actually abut the property, I'm across the street. We'll see what happens. And, honestly Carrie -- there's nothing wrong with "Sweet Caroline" in theory. I just don't see what it has to do with the Red Sox, ever. I never GOT why that was played. But I do think of YOU when I hear it instead of baseball.
That entry got picked up by Universal Hub, so thank you Adam... and a couple days prior Nance mentioned me telling her to go to Rogers Sale in Ohio, so she went and wrote up a big ole review with pictures and stuff. Probably the most comprehensive coverage Rogers Sale has ever gotten. Ever. So my hit counter went well over 100 both days. Which is funny. No one ever sticks around and comes back repeatedly off of those "Colbert Bumps" as it were... sigh.
But it did rain for a couple of days and the lights at the field were off, so it was nice to sit in my livingroom and not be blinded for a night while watching TV.
Alright -- so I got like 4 hours of sleep and now I'm late for work. Gotta get a shower and out the door and stuff. More later!