life · Twins

Traveling Chickens, Covid, and Teenage Sleepovers

Suddenly it’s nearly June 15th, and the last month has been…eventful. Not that events excuse dropping the blog for a few weeks, but for a while there something had to go, and I saved up pictures and notes to write up later. Today is later.

In May I went to Cocoa Beach, FL with my parents, sisters, brother in law, and Han/Evil/Rocket/Groot. It was both lovely and occasionally terrifying: the kids liked the ocean MUCH more than the pool, so there were many moments where one of us stood in the surf to prevent anyone under 10 from floating away. But the kids were boogie boarding and shell collecting and sand castle building all week. We also went to the gator rescue zoo and each of them got to hold a baby alligator (named Allison) and a white ball python called Udon.

View from our balcony, which was just lovely.

There’s a nerdy-wonderful nature preserve up by Cape Canaveral where you essentially drive slowly through a swamp and look for alligators and birds. This the biggest dude we saw that morning. And that’s why it’s a nature DRIVE.

This trip was a whole-family vacation originally planned for 2020 (and I’d been looking forward to it as a celebration of completing chemo, which ended two weeks before we were supposed to go) and was put off for 2 years. Thanks Covid. Since it was planned and purchased long before I’d even considered the possibility of a SK + horde, he and the kids didn’t come along on this trip. The week before Memorial Day (in the US, the last Monday in May is a holiday to remember those killed in military service) is a bad time to take older kids on vacation anyway: it’s too close to the end of the school year and there are SO. MANY. EVENTS. Han, Evil, Rocket, and Groot are still little enough that missing the week didn’t disrupt their school year.

Anyway…the point here is Stone and the other kids at my house couldn’t come along. Therefore Stone sent a sneaky surprise adventure guest in my luggage, and I was required to send home pics of his activities in Florida.

Stone’s sneaky chicken was packed away for the flight home right along with the rest of the souvenirs.

And then our flight was cancelled twice.

Eventually we did get home, and honestly while the vacation was mostly a wonderful time, it was JUST wild enough that I was happy to get home and settle into summer.

And then, after the holiday Monday, I tested positive for Covid. Judging by the usual incubation time, I’m guessing I got it on “shopping day” in Florida, since I wore masks the airport and while flying.

I was extremely lucky (or unlucky, I suppose) that my cancer status makes me high-risk, and my doc prescribed the antivirals the same day I tested positive. I’m not sure how it would’ve gone without them, but I am still SO grateful I was allowed to take them. My fever was spiked above 102 before they kicked in, and the bone aches in my hips and legs were equal to the awful Neulasta days during Red Devil chemo. The antivirals helped me kick it that week, but I slept for most of three days, and I’m still easily tired. It feels like a step back in what I’ve rebuilt for stamina and strength since cancer, which is infuriating.

None of the rest of my family got it, for which I am thankful. It was icky to lose a whole week (and have the kids unable to come home while I was sick), but I did manage to avoid getting the ‘vid until it’s been out for more than 2 years, and I didn’t get it while I was actively in treatment. Small victories.

Ok. So that brings us to this past weekend, wherein school ended and Stone got to have their 13th birthday party on Saturday. They invited seven people. We had NINE 13 year olds (counting our own) and one 10 year old screaming like banshees in the yard and basement (because the oldest was playing D&D in a gaming store downtown for most of the day).

Minerva was significantly less than thrilled: the screaming set her off in barking frenzies whether the kids were inside or out.

TWO OF THEM stuffed themselves into the dryer as a hiding place during hide and seek. Ffs.

They managed to cram six kids on the hammock at once.

Nobody was bitten, fAngus didn’t run away, and no pets had accidents in the basement (if kids had accidents I didn’t hear about it). Snacks were had, cake was eaten, there was much giggling and happy screaming, and everyone slept at some point (without keeping the rest of us up overnight). The kids were all gone by 10am yesterday. Overall, I think it was a raging success, but HOLY SHIT that’s a level of noise I do not remember from being 13 myself (approximately ten thousand years ago).

Interestingly the group was all girls except for one dude (he didn’t stay overnight). One of the girls (not either of mine) and this boy have been dancing around being a couple all of 7th grade, apparently. At one point Stone told me they have succesfully “ship’d” (and that’s how I learned that “ship” means acknowledging a relationship, which was a new bit of slang for me).

This tidbit of teenage romance is important because at some point SK’s office was used as a hiding spot for hide and seek, and this morning he discovered a treasure:

Names removed because I don’t actually want to embarrass anyone: I think this is WONDERFUL.

This adorable note is proof that some teen experiences and behaviors are wonderfully consistent across generations, and I LOVE that. And so I will say, in 1995, the year I graduated high school (and let me say this style of note was RAMPANT in Jr. High and High School back in my elderly days), George Strait released a song that seems applicable.

If you actually made it reading this far, thank you, and you’re welcome for the (sigh…now classic) country.

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