We got back late last night from a brief trip out to Western PA to get Jess and bring her back. Her freshman year is complete. Waiting now to get the grades for this semester. I hope they are as good as her first semester. I feel like this year dragged and flew at the same time. If that makes any sense at all.
Geoff didn't come with us on this trip. His 8th grade class takes a trip to Washington DC each spring, so we planned our departure for the same day as his. He was exceptionally excited to go on this trip: he started packing the day he got home from the Boy Scout bike trip; he obsessed over being ready. He wanted new clothes and a hair cut (he got new shirts but we didn't get his hair cut -- I want him to keep it longer through the summer for Shakespeare because it just looks so curly and cool).
Our dog sitter came over Tuesday night to go through the routine and say hi to the dogs. Doug bugged out of work early so he was here at 5:30. We all ended up at Kohl's and the Petsmart (for guinea pig litter) and then a lovely dinner at Unos together. We had a great chat, and Geoff was on edge about getting home to pack. We got him all organized and he stayed up until after midnight, and then got up at 4am and showered, paced the house, and waited for me to get up at 6.
We brought his stuff to school and he took off like a shot. Bye! Have a nice trip!
I went home and laid down on the bed. Doug let me fall back asleep while he packed and cleaned. The last load of laundry had to dry... So me getting a little extra rest was a good thing. We left at about noon, and headed to Chris & Chrissy Kelly's down near Scranton. It has been a really long time since Doug has had the time to spend with Chris on one of these trips. Usually he (Doug) is in a hurry to get all the way there. This time he felt like taking his time. We stayed the night, had beer and wings (the wings conquered us, unfortunately) and enjoyed Hockey Night in Scranton watching the Bruins beat the hated Canadiens and the Penguins (unfortunately) lose.
We dragged our feet in the morning, Doug and Chris were exceptionally chatty and it was nice to listen to them go at it in playful argument and discussion. We hit the road at noon, and got to our hotel at about 5pm. Doug's parents met us for dinner, and we had a really nice time.
Normally we stay up by the mall, but Doug wanted to save money so we stayed at the Willows Inn down in Industry. We saved 30 bucks a night, but it was kind of super awful. I'm on the verge of a Yelp review that will not be ... kind. Normally, I save my snark and don't really pour it out there, but ... yeah.
Doug and I decided that to save 30 bucks a night to sleep on weird smelling pillows... we'd suck it up and pay a little more and go up by the mall.
Anyway, Friday morning we went down to Pittsburgh. Jess' friend had asked my help in moving stuff into storage because she had no way to get things there. Jess later told me that she did have friends with cars and that I got played, but ...whatever. I'm helpful. Because I agreed to do this my husband and daughter went out to lunch. I had fun helping C move her stuff into storage, and she was worried that she wasn't going to have enough room in the storage unit for her stuff... but it turned out that she did so we went back and got more.
We got to Jess's dorm and Jess was angry with me that I took so much time with C. Part of it was traffic... I can't help that there was an accident in my way. But she was so ready to go, and so bitchy. She swore that she had not accumulated anything, but turns out she sure the hell did. Our entire hatchback and the back seat was basically full -- just enough room for Jess to squeeze in the back. It's a good thing we didn't have Geoff with us.
She simmered down a bit by the time we made it out of the city. We got to Doug's parents and Jess put enough things into storage there in their garage so that there would be room enough for her to ride home comfortably. After we emptied out the car, reorganized, reset, we headed out to Ohio to visit with Doug's grandmother. It has been quite a while since we'd gone to see her, I think it was Mother's Day 2009 the last time we went out, the same weekend we buried his other grandma.
She is 93, and a sharp cookie. We had a nice visit, a bunch of laughs. She keeps saying that she can't believe she is lucky enough to see us again when we come. It kind of breaks my heart. She walked us down to the exit with her walker thingie and hugged me so hard. And she beamed at us as we left. I wanted to cry.
Doug's dad always takes us on little tours of where his people are buried in eastern Ohio. Doug patiently tolerates it... I think it bores him because it is the same each time. I didn't expect it this time because the light was fading fast. But I want to bring a GPS and mark them so that we have a record of these things. He's obviously wanting us to make an effort at connecting to his family's past so ... I'll make the effort.
Second night in the hotel was good, Jess slept in a chair because she didn't want us to bother the hotel at 10pm and get a cot. And then she complained about it being uncomfortable.
We stopped to see Diane, J and the kiddos at their new house, which is awesome, and they have a pool, and my niece and nephew are horribly fun and entertaining and I love them.
We knew our dog sitter was not going to be able to stay at the house Saturday night. That came as a surprise to us.... as she emailed it to me on Thursday to let me know that her mom wanted her home. So we discussed driving straight through, or having our neighbor let them out at 9pm and again in the morning. I figured they'd be frantic left home alone overnight. We have never done that to them.
Traffic was mercifully very light, and we made it from Beaver Falls to home in about 10 hours. We didn't stop for dinner. We stopped for gas and burgers somewhere in Connecticut. We got home to watch the newly minted Dr. Who on the DVR and go to bed... I think I fell asleep at 1am.
Geoff's bus was scheduled to arrive between 8am and 9am this morning. I checked in online with one of his friends with facebook on his phone to find out their arrival time. I went and got Geoff a doughnut and me a coffee, and headed over to the school. The parking lot was a disaster, hugely crowded and horrible, and Geoff ended up getting a ride with someone else while I was stuck in traffic. I was so angry. So incredibly angry. Horrifyingly, head splittingly angry.
I actually have not been this angry in so many years... I think that biologically there is something in our brains that keeps us from murdering our kids. That is the only thing I think that has kept this boy alive. Oy. I called home and told Doug that my urge to kill was rising, and he laughed at me, which is not good, and he told Geoff that he'd better be ready to apologize to me the second I walked in the door. I was greeted with open arms and "mom! So glad to see you!" which made me even more angry.
I got over it.
I'm happy right now to have all my family home in one place. And no one has had a fight, yet. Yet. And I haven't killed anyone.
Welcome May... Looking forward to this summer.