This has not been a week of happy summer afternoons spent lazily by the pool watching the kids frolic and splash. Here’s why: doctor appointments. I hate them. They aren’t for me either, they are for the kids. I still hate them. They are necessary but they are not fun. They are always time consuming. One way to really lose an afternoon, or a morning, is to simply schedule a 20 minute doctor appointment somewhere in the day. Anyone, who’s even attempted to parent a child understands what I am saying here.
First, it means getting up and getting dressed. I’m not talking about the kids here, I’m talking aobut me! As a teacher, I just don’t like getting dressed during the summer. It’s too much work. In fact, I usually don’t. For example, it is right now almost one in the afternoon and I have still not exited the pj’s. Never mind that I’ve been up since 5:45 this morning because my oldest daughter left to go to a ten day choral academy out of town. If I do manage to stop whatever I’m doing long enough to get out of my pj’s, then I’m hopping into a swim suit. Usually the chores around my place involve maintaining a pool, hot tub or garden all of which are better suited to promoting my tan if they are done in a swim suit. I’d go nude but the old men in the houses around me would collapse of heart failure and I might be up for some criminal charges of sorts, I suspect. It certainly wouldn’t engender positive feelings with their wives either, I’m sure. I’m also just a bit shy that way, but I digress.
The doctor’s appointments. This afternoon my son has his second appointment this month. The first was his physical, since he’s entering middle school in the fall and wants to play sports. The one today is a routine three month check up to keep tabs on his ADD/ADHD. (Yes, I medicate him. Yes, I can post at length about the years of studying the pro’s and con’s about that before making that decision…if anyone is really interested. No, that’s not the point of this post.) Yesterday, out of the blue, I had to schedule one for my oldest daughter, the one who left today because her allergies were acting up. She’s going to a place in Oregon where the allergies are rampant. If you don’t have allergies when you go there, you will by the time you leave. She felt it might be a good idea to refill her prescriptions and I concurred. Filling the prescriptions required an appointment first, of course, and so it was good-bye to my entire afternoon. This afternoon’s agenda: my son’s doctor appointment. Tomorrow, my second oldest daughter, has an ortho appointment. Three of my afternoons this week have disappeared in some medical professional’s waiting room or at some pharmacy filling a prescription.
I am a big believer that one’s time is their life. I hate the thought the sum total of my existence for three afternoons this week can be found in a doctor’s office. It’s depressing at points. So now that I’ve waxed melodramatic about that situation, let me just say that I am incredibly grateful for a number of things here. While I hate incredible disruption to my fairly hedonistic and fun lifestyle during the summer, I must say I’m glad for quality health care. I’m glad for a job that gives me freedom to get my kids to their appointments. As a single mom, I can’t rely on the other parent and I have no family in the area to support me in this effort. It is up to me and me alone. I am grateful for the time during the summer and the sick time during the school year that my job provides so that I can keep my children healthy. But, most of all, I’m glad for the time this afternoon will give me with my son. This time will give just the two of us, without the demands of other siblings and priorities, some much needed time to just connect. He is the only boy in a family of very verbal, opinionated, outspoken women (yes, do feel sorry for him, he’s earned it). He is also the son of a busy, harried, single mom. Sadly, he is often outnumbered or overlooked. He yearns for a brother but that won’t happen for him I’m afraid. We love each other very much, but because I’ve been in survival mode this year, it has been difficult to spend any kind of really decent time with just him. Things are looking better for us as a family. Post divorce rebuilding isn’t always smooth or easy. It has been tough but it has also been very, very positive. While I am annoyed that part of our afternoon will be absorbed in a hot car and a boring office, I’m pleased for the up side to this annoyance. And, I believe there is always an up side. This afternoon will provide the two of us some much needed time together. I am looking forward to it and I know he is too. And, now, the very worst part of it all: I must get dressed!