The four of us spend the morning talking about how life might look when you get home. The division of jobs within the family will have to change a little. In the past, you were the children’s main chauffeur and I did most of the meal planning and preparing. You did the homework with the children and I did the house keeping. You cleaned the fish tanks and fed the fish and cats. I fed Annie and walked her and cleaned the litter boxes. Except when I was pregnant. We agreed that pregnant people shouldn’t clean litter boxes and then, at your suggestion, we extended the rule to nursing people. That was four great litter box free years for me.
At times the work seemed a little unbalanced but what we each did is what we were best suited to do in the run of the day. As with any couple, a well-choreographed dance begins to emerge between the partners that allows for things to get done. This is usually the result of years of practice to get it right. We were no exception.
You feel that, with your newfound interest in healthy eating and the heart healthy diet, you might try to take on more of the cooking. I think that this would be great. The kitchen is a place I like to clean. I don’t especially like to cook. I like to eat and I really enjoy eating healthy food. Having you become the main ‘cooker’ in the family would be a wonderful thing to my mind.
On the other hand, until you are able to regain your license, I will have to be the main driver. This has never been my strong suit. My van proudly bears some pretty good dents that tell any passing driver to beware of me and my car. I hope you will earn your license back. On your worst day you are a far better driver then on my best day.
We may have to get the car rigged so you can drive it. We may have to give up the standard transmission. We will also have to work on your blind spots. You must practice looking to the left. To compensate for your vision loss, you must do BIG shoulder checks to the left – just to see what a normal-sighted person would see. Even if you do all this, you may not get your license back.
You felt that “dealing with the shock of being home” well be hard. You know that you will be reminded of the things you want to do but you will know that you can’t. “If they can get me working in a month – I’ll be fine – just give me a chance.” You want to walk Annie. Annie would love that. You want to become a “walking fool”. This, you feel, will be training for being a “running fool”. (A phrase from ‘Forrest Gump’.)
At lunch you quiz the children on their satisfaction about visiting you. You are worried that I am dragging them to the hospital to visit you. I’m not. The children want to be by your side. They want to cheer your successes and know about your challenges. They want to see their Dad get better. They want to come to rehab to see you.
Tara says that you are her BFFWAP. You ask what is a BFFWAP. “That’s you Daddy – Best Friend Forever With Amazing Person”. I think she made her point. You are important to them and they want to see you as much as they can.
After lunch, I suggest that we teach Quinn to play crib. Crib has been a passion for you since I first taught you the game. Once I learned about the importance of # 29 in your life, I knew I would have to teach you crib. You snatched the pebble from the master’s hand pretty early in your crib education.
Two years ago, Tara’s Christmas present to you was learning cribbage. My Mum and I would teach Tara on the sly on Sundays while at Mum’s house. When you opened the present, you were skeptical that Tara could play. But she showed you and even beat you at one of your first games.
Quinn was keen to join in on the cribbage fun. You and Quinn were a team and you played against me. It was a close game. The score see-sawed back and forth with each crib. We had some good hands and some duds. Quinn was learning fast. The game was down to the wire. We were tied with three points left to score a win. The you and Quinn scored a pair on the count and got a point for last card! Your team won but I felt like I won because it was the best crib game ever.
Quinn is hooked on the game now. I can see lots of four way crib games in our future.
When it was time to leave, the tears flowed. You couldn’t help yourself. Quinn didn’t want to leave you while you were crying. He puts his little arms around you and holds you while saying comforting words. It was almost as if you were the child and he was your Dad. By the time we actually left we all cried. I think you realized that someone had to hold it together long enough to say good bye. You managed to compose yourself long enough to get the children out of the room.
The good bye’s are tougher with children. On the drive home, I asked about the best part and worst part of the visit. Quinn voted for the crib game. I had to agree. Tara felt watching ‘October Sky’ was good. Quinn agreed with that.
We all agreed that the hardest part of the weekend was leaving you there and driving home.