Location: Oregon, United States

Monday, June 26, 2006

First week of summer break

It is the first week of summer break. This frankly scares me to death. I do not feel like I'm a gifted at-home mom. I feel like I'm supposed to be either the activities director on a cruise ship, a police officer or Cinderella. Usually I'm just bored stiff.

The kids started swimming lessons at the pool in our neighborhood. They complain that they already know how to swim, but fortunately, we had just been to the beach and I can explain that they need to be strong swimmers in order to swim in the ocean. The pool is outside and the lessons begin at 10:15. It is still cool (okay, COLD) and I sit on the side in slacks and a sweatshirt. On the first day, I meet the father of one of Thomas' friends. I've already met the mom and the dad must feel like we've already met because he just randomly starts a conversation with me. He mentions that his son would try out for the neighborhood swim team if he had a friend to join him. I indicate that I will check with Thomas to see if he is interested. In the back of my head, I worry that this parent may be super-competitive and we are asking for trouble. But Thomas is interested and this provides new reasons to do well at swimming lessons so I push the worry aside.

The pool ends up being a great place to meet people in the neighborhood. Many of them are already familiar because we've been crossing paths at the kid's school. But now we have a chance to just sit and chat while our kids have their lessons or play in the water. It will be interesting to see how these relationships develop.

We are still down to one car until Thursday, when one of Paul's co-workers leaves town and lets us use her car while she's gone. THANK YOU!!! So we go to Target, the grocery store, the library and William's doctor's appointment all in one day. (This is a lot for us.) Here's the scoop on William: he's lost 6 pounds in five weeks without trying and he has a swollen throat. This is not good. I tell them that we've taken him off dairy for three days with no improvement and the nurse says maybe we should try taking him off wheat as well. This would be the end of the world as we know it, but I see her point. Many kids on the autism spectrum have food allergies, especially to dairy and wheat. I'm praying this is not the case, however. The doctor orders stool samples and blood work done. The only thing I will say about the stool samples is that I hope we did it right, because I don't want to have to do it again. Blea!

We bring the samples to the Lab and they do the blood work at that time. The technician misses one of the tests they want to run and she has to poke him again. William is a trooper, making funny comments right and left to deal with the anxiety. I don't know when we will hear the results, but we are supposed to stay dairy free until we do. Part of me agrees, but the other part of me thinks "what's the use? It's not working anyway!" I definitely do NOT voice this to William, as it is hard enough already.

Saturday, the neighborhood sponsors a huge garage sale. I decide to participate at the last minute and put a bunch of things slated for Goodwill out on the lawn. It is totally haphazard, but I work on organizing the garage while people stop by. We get rid of most of our large items, met more people from the neighborhood, and make a little money while we're at it. Fun! However, in the afternoon the weather heats up to nearly 100. The house doesn't have air conditioning but we decide to see how we do. The warmest room in the house gets up to 88, but it is comfortable in the family room. The kids and Paul go to the pool while I close up shop and by dinner time, the air outside starts to cool down dramatically. We grill and eat outside, open up all the windows and let the cool breezes come in. By bedtime it is comfortable throughout the house - not bad! Even the dog seems okay.

Sunday and Monday are supposed to be near 100 again. We go to the mall for supper on Sunday and hang around in the air conditioning there, leaving the dog with a bucket of water, access to the cool floor in the garage and praying she stays okay. When we get back she is super-perky and wants to play. Whew. Maybe we will all go to the beach or a mountain today (Monday), we'll see.

I'm not bored! The kids and I worked out a chore plan so I'm not Cinderella! The pool provides entertainment for free twice a day! I'm still a police officer, or mediator, but I figure this keeps my skills honed for when I do get a job again...


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