Monday, May 30, 2011

Tommy's Turn

This was Thomas Henry's weekend.  It's been scheduled for months now.  Since the day we got Joey's open heart surgery date we started planning for this weekend for Tommy.  The coming days and probably next weekend will be filled with organizing, packing, finishing work and just trying to pull it all together before we leave for the University of Michigan one week from today.

On Monday, June 6th we will pack up the car and drive up to Ann Arbor for Joey's big surgery.  Tuesday the 7th is his pre-op day and that starts at 11am.  I had wanted to wait and make the drive on Tuesday morning because that would be one more night at home with Tommy, but clearer minds (my husband's) prevailed and we'll go up on the 6th so we are settled into the Med Inn (a hotel in the hospital-- incredible!  It is literally about a 2 minute walk to the Pediatric Cardiac Unit) before our almost all day appointment on Tuesday and then the surgery on Wednesday.  

Tommy is the oldest, which means he will also always be my "first" and in some ways in my heart the "baby" because he first made me a mom.  For some reason, when I'm talking to folks I can calmly discuss how they will cut open Joey's sternum and put his heart and lungs on a bypass machine, but when my friend Maureen asked me the other day what Tommy would be doing while we were gone-- I just lost it.  Maureen is both dear friend and amazing hair stylist and God bless her for letting me just cry it all out while she was in the middle of trying to cut all my split ends (my fault- not hers-- I waited way too long in between cuts). 

Maureen and Tommy after the Grace 5k today.

I don't know if it is Joey's upcoming surgery or the sudden change from excessively long winter to super hot summer, but we packed a lot of living into this holiday weekend.  Saturday morning was spent going to the Akron zoo with some wonderful friends who are in a playgroup that we hope to someday get to actually go to once we finish this long pre and post surgical road.  It must be all the stuff I have on my mind, but Tommy and I arrived at the zoo with my camera, his doggie (his #1 all time favorite blankie), my wallet, cell phone, one diaper and a sippy cup of water.  Nothing else.  No stroller.  No snacks.  Not a Nutri-grain bar or extra snack cup of goldfish in this mama's bag.  

The fact that I was so ill-prepared (not a hat or sunscreen to be found, either) was not that big of a deal until we jumped off the carousel and I realized with a giant pit in my stomach that Tommy's Doggie was nowhere to be found.  I circled the carousel a couple of times and finally scooped him up to search for our missing Doggie.  The thought that we might not ever actually find Doggie never occurred to me because it just was not an option.  In the meantime, the only bit of comfort I could offer my baby boy was a cool sippy cup of water...

Exhibit A: Doggie in left hand.

Exhibit B: No Doggie to be seen.

We hustled (okay- I hustled and Tommy picked up every rock he could find) on our search for Doggie.  This combined for more of a "meander" in search of Doggie.  We finally made it back to the snow leopard exhibit and before I could even say a prayer to St. Anthony I looked up and sitting quietly on a bench was Doggie.  Clearly some other kind mom or dad had found him on the ground and sat him so nicely on the bench.  Blessings are coming to that kind soul!

The rest of the visit was wonderful and included feeding goats and riding on the new train and hanging out with the other cutie pies in the playgroup.  It was such a treat to have a day with Tommy.

Dana and Sebastian by the Capybara

Dana and Chezarei

Cheza giving her best rockstar point.

Amanda, Abby and Dan-- beautiful family!

Hanging with the big boys.

Making a wish.
We also stopped by to say hello to dad while he worked.  He's had to work a lot of Saturdays and late nights to make up for all the many doctor's appointments and to try and get ahead of things before we are gone for surgery.

Why is he always drawn to the motorcycles?

I think the waiting and preparing for Joey's surgery has rustled up some kind of nesting instinct in me.  For example, last weekend I busted out the Tilex and a toothbrush and scoured our shower to within nearly an inch of its life.  This weekend, after our big outing to the zoo, I decided that I would vacuum the entire house and then use our steam vacuum cleaner to clean all the carpets.  It seemed like the right thing to do at the time and the end result is spectacular and very satisfying.  Got stress?  Clean your carpets!  

Quick Joey Intermission
Focusing on Sophie II.

Hanging out with Flat Stan (or Stanley?) for a picture for Grandma to send to Evan.
Sunday was the day Tommy has been waiting for since I made the mistake of mentioning it ten days ago.  Here's a word to the wise-- children under three (maybe even under 4-- I don't know-- we haven't gotten there) have zero concept of time.  Zero.  This meant that for ten days Tommy has woken up every single day saying, "I want to go on the train, Mommy."  

Well, Sunday was the day and he was a happy, happy boy.  We drove down to the Boston Mills Station and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad hosted another incredible event. 


The rest of the weekend flew by and it takes everything in me to not talk about Mommy and Daddy being gone, but I know that Tommy isn't the right age and that while I would feel better telling him about what is going on, it's just not something he is ready for today.  I think we've decided that we will either talk to him about it next Sunday or even next Monday morning before we leave for Ann Arbor.  I know he'll be fine, but it just makes me a little sad inside knowing that 3/4 of our family will be in one place and Tommy will be back at home.  I know he'll be fine.  So far, Miss Kelly's bringing the girls over to say hello.  Miss Shannon is bringing the boys over to hang out.  Miss Maureen is going to stop by.  Aunt Pat is planning on bringing Sky Way over one night.  Miss Tricia brought over an amazing basket of books and toys and Tommy will get to pick   out one new book/toy every day we are gone.  The more I write, the better I feel-- Tommy will probably be having a lot more fun than we could have ever planned for.

Time to plant our vegetable garden.

Watch out, Joey. Tommy going in for a hug.