But it was ruined by a number of let-downs of varying severity. It all started with Archer and a persistent fever that showed up on Sunday night. He didn’t have any symptoms up to that point, and I kept waiting for something to show up. I kept waiting for him to get a runny nose, or to start coughing, or throwing up, but nothing happened. It was just this fever ranging from 101.1-102.5 that was only responding to Ibuprofen. I kept thinking he was teething, but usually he runs a fever for no more than 2 days. My silly ass decided to keep waiting for either symptoms to show up, or for the fever to disappear like magic.
Let’s just cut to Thursday, because that is where the real magic begins.
Archer seemed to be feeling well enough to accompany us to Deven’s gymnastics class. Deven, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with gymnastics. He didn’t fight me over it before hand at all. He got up, got dressed, and went to class as normal, but just refused to do anything the teacher told him to do. He even walked out of the gym and started running around the waiting area. In fact, none of the little boys in the class gave two shits about gymnastics that day, and they make up 2/3 of the class. The teachers are so great about it. They don’t scold them, they don’t nag them, they don’t show the least bit of frustration, even though you know they’ve got to be feeling some. Bless their hearts. I think there is a reason little boys gymnastics classes don’t start until they’re 6.
We went to Target, and everyone behaved. Poor Archer’s fever returned while we were in the store, and I had to pull over in the snack area to give him another dose of Tylenol (which does not work). I spent money on earrings and a $5 movie, and had no idea I had any reason to feel about it. I treated Deven to McDonalds because gymnastics class starts right at lunch time, and he didn’t give me any grief over going, at least. Everything was fine. I was looking forward to watching the Gymnastics All-Around final that night. I felt good.
And then Vance rolled in a little after 5, which is insanely early for him, with a jug of Sailor Jerry and a 2-liter of coke. Something was up. I asked him over and over again why he was home so early and just kept laughing and saying, “You won’t believe me.” Oh, jesus.
Then I got a phone call from my Mother-in-law, her relaying in an uncertain voice that her son had been laid off from his job. Vance and I had always agreed that because he is a shit and likes to joke about it constantly, that there is no way I was going to believe him when the day came that he lost his job. The plan was that he would have his mom call me to deliver the bad news. Then he handed me the severance checks and all of the paper work. So there. Thats how it all went down.
Vance was dancing with joy (he hated his job), and I was crying, because HOLY SHIT!?! They gave him a severance worth about 2 months of his pay, but what about after that? There are no jobs! We no longer have health insurance and Archer is running these 102 degree fevers, and now I have to get a job, and no one wants to hire me except Papa Johns and that place is HELL!
I never realized how afraid I am of change. This could potentially be a good opportunity for Vance, because he could wind up at a better-paying job he actually enjoys, with a boss he respects. We could wind up paying off our debt inside of a year and possibly even in a house by the time our lease is up. It could also mean that I could be working full-time while taking care of the kids and taking 3 classes, something I am not mentally or emotionally prepared for. What if Vance finds a job that pays $20,000 more a year, but it means he has to travel and be gone from home for weeks at a time? That’s what he’s been looking into ever since talking to my dad, which I knew was a terrible idea to begin with. I’m not emotionally prepared for that either. I’m scared of having a very infinite amount of resources to live off of, seriously: that scares that the crap out of me. I remember all to well what it feels like to be so broke, we’re relying on CoinStar machines to provide us our next meal, or we’re selling our video games to cover an overdraft fee. Now we have kids who rely on us. I know that we’re lucky and we have people around us who would step in to keep us from starving or becoming homeless,and we’re so grateful for that, but it’s not at all what we had planned for. I’m not ready for what will surely be a life of austerity.
At least Thursday ended well, in what turned out to be a in-a-grand-scheme-of-your-life-Who-Gives-A-Shit kind of way. Gabby Douglas won the All-Around gold. She was absolutely spellbinding. Again, she was solid and consistent; she owned the competition through all 4 rotations. It was incredible to watch, and I am so excited for her. We might be royally fucked, but at least there was someone I could be happy for.
I want so badly to say this is only the beginning for her, and in many ways it is! But the truth is, this will likely be her only Olympics. The popularity and accessibility of the sport in this country guarantees that there will be another Gabby or Jordyn peaking just time for the next Olympics, and by then she’ll be considered a “Grandma.” The demands of the sport on the body also mean she’ll likely be forced to throw in the towel by the next go-around. Gymnastics has changed ever since the days of Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, and Svetlana Khorkina. It’s so much harder than it used to be, it demands so much focus, and it demands so much of the body. I’m not saying it’s impossible, and I would love to see her in Rio in 2016, I’m just saying…I don’t think it’s likely. BUT I still think she is wonderful. I kind of wish I could be 11 again so that she could be my hero and I could take gymnastics classes so I can be just like her when I grow up.
So. Vance and I decided we weren’t going to worry about anything until Monday. We spent Friday relaxing. My dad blew into town for a few hours to hang out with the boys and to visit with us. He told Vance all about working with Trains as an engineer or something, and how they get paid 6 figures, but have to travel a lot, planting this evil seed in my husband’s head. I finally had enough with these fevers and crankiness that just wouldn’t let up and took Archer to the after-hours doctor. The Doctor seemed just as puzzled as I was that he had a fever for 5 days with no other symptoms, that is, until she looked in his ears. He definitely had an ear infection in one, and some slight inflammation in the other. How could I have missed that one!?! How could I have let him go that long without taking him in to the Doctor!?! Archer, I’m so sorry. I’m also sorry I have to give you the nastiest medicine known to man 2 times a day for 10 days. I’m so, so sorry.
After the first dose of Amoxicillin, I noticed a change. He didn’t run a fever at all during the night, which meant better sleep for us all. He wasn’t running one this morning either. He might gag through every dose, but it’s working, and maybe this will encourage him to learn to how to swallow pills.
So starting next week we both have to start job-hunting. My days as a care-free housewife will officially be over. Until then I am going to try to unwind as much as I can this weekend. I’m going to hang out with my friend tomorrow, which I need to keep from losing my mind. God, I wish I could drink.