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  • Elijah Ricks

Aaron's Absence

What a chaotic week we've had!

Sunday was fairly typical, except that in a scuffle on the trampoline, Hakan headbutted Carver (allegedly on purpose), and he knocked a tooth out.

Fortunately, the tooth had been loose for some time by then, so it was not a big deal. I'd offered to pull it at least a dozen times, but Carver just didn't want to part with it yet. So I suppose that this has been more proof that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Kira let me try a nap in the afternoon, and Apollo had a play date with his best friend, so it was fairly calm. Hannah picked him up, and then came over for the evening. We had the normal bedtime routine with the boys, and then the rest of us were all tired and couldn't think of anything to do, so we watched some old family videos to enjoy some memories before calling it a night.

Monday started out and ended stupidly. Just before 6:00 a.m., when the boys were all awake and keeping themselves entertained with various and sundry electronic devices, our power went out. Thank you, again, Mother Nature (a tree was to blame). That, of course, threw the entire household into pitch black, as the sun had not yet risen. Kira tried to calm them down while I lit a few candles and reported the outage. We were thankful that our Switch has a long battery life, so that they could at least stay entertained with it and their other little devices. Power was back on before breakfast.

With my brother, Aaron, scheduled to arrive the following day, I was motivated to get ahead on as much work as possible. I had a lecture to prepare from scratch on the psychology of war, along with a lot of other maintenance-type work. Because Kira had no clients scheduled for the day, she let me go into the city so that I could work a full day without interruptions. I got the lecture almost done, and got mostly caught up on other things. At home, Kira worked hard to keep the kids focused on their school tasks. It's been especially complicated now that they are back at home, because somebody thought it would be a great idea to schedule several video meetings with teachers throughout the day. That means that Kira needs to keep track of all of the video meetings going on with Carver and Hakan, and then needs to make sure they join in time. Naturally, all of those meetings are time that the boys are not actually completing their tasks, so it stretches the whole day longer.

I came home from the city in time to help with dinner, and then Aaron let us know that, due to a misunderstanding, he would not be able to fly out the next day after all. We were all disappointed, and vowed to try again sometime soon. Hakan was fairly bummed about it, as he had planned a few little gifts to give to Aaron. We hadn't made up Aaron's room yet, so it was not a problem, but we did miss him all week.

I had planned to work from home on Tuesday so that my schedule would work out to be there when Aaron came, but now that he was not coming after all, I went into the city again to teach my courses remotely from my office, and I worked a lot on other things, including finishing up that lecture on war, and recording almost all of it to post the next day. Kira had a smoother day at home with the remote learning, although Carver still had a lot of work to do after joining so many meetings. I made it home after the boys were in bed. Avey had gone into school in the afternoon for Drama Club. She auditioned for a narrator part in a play they are putting together. There are a lot of students in the club, so they found something that has a lot of small parts, but the narrator has relatively more lines. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday was another stupid-busy day. On top of the remote learning the kids had to do, I had a faculty meeting, and then a couple of hours of grading to do. Our home insurance sent out a leak detection crew to look into that drip we saw last week. Before they arrived, I figured I should unclog the shower drain, as it's been slowing a bit lately, and then when they came, they asked me if it was a slow drain usually. I discovered that it wasn't draining at all, so I figured I must have pushed a clog deeper down when I went to clear it. I had to mess with that the rest of the day in little spurts when I could. In any case, the leak detection guys said that there is no problem behind the wall. The issue is that our floor has a slope and there is a little gap between the wall and the floor where the water can get into the floor boards and then drip downstairs. That was a relief that it wasn't something worse! Later in the week, I caulked the gap up nice and tight, so that should solve that. I also cleared the shower drain later that night so that it was good to go the next morning.

Avey had another drama club meeting that afternoon, or so she thought. Kira and Hannah practiced a musical number at our house for a funeral later in the week, and then Hannah dropped Apollo at a play date and Avey at drama club. I went out to pick up some groceries, but realized I had taken off my mask at home, so I had to turn around. Kira texted me to instead go pick up Avey, because apparently drama club was not meeting. I went to get her, and then we picked up Apollo and went home in time for me to join another dumb meeting. I never did get to the grocery store, so Kira went later just to get out of the house. On her errand, she also picked up a hold for me at the library - the first installment of the latest season of my favorite show (Better Call Saul). I did the last half of dinner and the bedtime routine by myself, baked cookies, wrapped some presents, and then Kira was home in time to say goodnight to the boys. Hannah came over for a bit - with all of the school lockdowns, she is doing a little driving, but mostly cleaning and washing whatever is needed. They have been short on drivers after 13 of them went out for drinks together and then one of them came down with COVID, forcing all of them to quarantine.

Thursday, I was not feeling the city again, so I taught my 3 courses from home, and then spent the rest of my time grading like crazy. We had a pizza coupon for Hakan's reading, so we decided to get food for all the kids. Carver ate an entire gluten-free pizza, impressing us all. Hannah came over for the evening, and Kira spent it on the phone with her mother, taking a little time to remember Kira's dad - it was the anniversary of his passing.

Friday was more of the remote learning, and I did a ton of grading again. Kira and Hannah sang at the funeral in the afternoon, so I was on daddy duty. I helped Hakan finish his school stuff and finished up grading my own students' exams. Kira came home and I left on some quick errands, picking up the second disc of Better Call Saul on the way. It was another standard bedtime routine and then some TV before bed.

Saturday was full, too. Kira and Carver attended a baptism and then went out to lunch together while I held down the fort. Hannah, Avey, and I then went to Michigan City for a big shopping trip. We got a lot done. Kira took the boys to a park, but on their little adventure walk they all got burrs all over their pants, so most of the park trip was spent picking those out of their clothes, and then they came home.

This will be my last week of classes, and then it's finals! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I can't believe I survived the semester. The kids are looking forward to their break, also, although we're not sure what January will hold. In any case, we are all excited for Christmas!

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