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  • Elijah Ricks

I Sick, You Sick, We All Sick for Isaac

Updated: Sep 5

This week we were able to lure my youngest brother into our lair.


By Saturday afternoon, the boys were all basically back to normal from COVID, and Kira and I were still just very tired. I took Carver in to get new lenses put into his glasses (a new prescription), and Jesse came along to get out of the house. I then dropped Carver off at home and picked up Avey to go to one of Jesse's favorite places, 5 Below. He was anxious to blow all of his money from clearing the grass off of the driveway. For a few minutes after he earned it, he talked about spending just some of it and then saving the rest to help pay for our next road trip. It was a very nice gesture, but I think he doesn't quite understand that he gets his money from me anyway, and his few dollars wouldn't put a dent in the cost of our 2-day trips. Still, I like the way he thinks.


They had a good time looking around, and Jesse picked out a few items. We then went to Goodwill nearby where I looked for a baseball glove that would be an even better fit. I didn't find anything, but Jesse bought a Spiderman costume that matches one Merritt has. I guess he's thinking about Halloween early this year.


We grabbed some fast food on the way home and then Kira took the kids to the beach. I just didn't have the energy, so they left me at home. They said the water was cool, but it was still a lot of fun.

I showered and then tried to regain my strength for a while before starting to take apart our old box springs (I plan to recycle the metal).

Once they were home, it was a chaotic mess of showering and feeding people. Avey had been invited to a party at a friend's house, so I dropped her off there and came home to get the boys to bed. Then Kira went to pick her up around 10 p.m. It sounds like they had a good time. Hannah opted to stay home for the night.


Sunday morning I got the two youngest boys ready for church, but Carver made a deal with Kira that he could stay home if he spent the whole time working on his schoolwork he had missed while he was sick. I spent most of the morning preparing our fancy lunch. Hannah beat Kira home. Kira was moving a little slower than usual with a headache, so she napped after lunch when Hannah left. I offered to take kids to a park, but nobody was interested, so we just hung out at home. We had a short family night lesson and then played "hot potato" before it turned into a dance party. As it was getting dark, Kira made good on a promise to do archery with Jesse in the backyard.


Monday it was back to the normal grind. We got the kids off to school and then I worked and Kira napped, feeling much better after. That helped her to be ready for a full day of clients. There was a big rainstorm for an hour or so and then it drizzled the rest of the day. It was then lots of schoolwork, dinner, and bedtime. Kira was home at bedtime. I had to teach the next morning, but I was still quite zapped energy-wise, so I went to bed early, and Hannah stayed home for the evening.


I was up early to catch my train to the city, so Kira got everyone to school on time. They are doing a lot of work to the train route, adding an extra track and such, and so they have a large section of my route closed down. Instead, they put us all on a bus to get to Gary, where we then get on the train the rest of the way to Chicago. It adds a few minutes to the commute, but mostly it's just a bit annoying to have to get settled in to work, then have to pack everything up to move again. Anyway, I got to campus and had some time before my class to prepare. I was still just a little congested and had a little cough, but mostly my energy was still low. Class went fine for a first day, but I sounded congested and the more I talked, the more I coughed, so I had to explain that I was not contagious (according to the CDC). So I made it through. I was really wiped out after class, so I was glad to be mostly done for the rest of the day. I had office hours to which nobody came, and a brief meeting with a student, but it was pretty straightforward (i.e., pointless). The ride home on the train and then bus was tough with my energy so low, but there were two German couples in the seats behind me, so I had some fun eavesdropping and trying to follow their conversation. It was hard, though, and I think they must be from Northern Germany, as they had accents that were unfamiliar.


Anyway, Kira had everyone half fed by the time I was home, so I helped with dinner. Ivy was over to give Apollo a run for his money, and then we got kids to bed before watching a little with Hannah and then retiring ourselves.


Kira let me sleep in a little extra on Wednesday morning, and then I helped get the kids ready. I drove Avey to school and then did work at home. Kira and I then spent most of the rest of the day getting the house presentable for Isaac to come the next day. I cut the grass and cleaned elsewhere. I got a little more work done, and then I had to leave to catch the bus/train again to Chicago. Because I'm the program director for one of our master's degrees, I put together a little meet-and-greet for the incoming students with some of the others in the program and the faculty. I had reserved a room 3 weeks ago, but when I got there they already had the room set up for another big event, and they told me they'd had it reserved for a year. I don't know why it let me reserve it in the first place, but I then had to arrange for another room at the last minute and then tell everyone. Anyway, it worked out alright, and the whole event seemed to go well. It's weird being the program director for a program where I don't teach any of the students, so I never had occasion to see any of them.


Anyway, I caught my train/bus home and made it before bedtime. Kira got the kids bathed and most of their homework done. Kira was on the phone that night, but Hannah, Avey, and I started a new show that was pretty intriguing. We called it a night early again, because I had to go back to the city in the morning, and of course Hannah gets up early to drive the bus.


Avey was feverish and felt rather nauseated in the morning on Thursday, so she slept and stayed home the rest of the day, finally feeling a little better in the afternoon. Kira arranged to take her for some tests on Friday, but everything came back negative so far, so it's not clear what she has. Luckily, she is doing quite a bit better. It's possible that she is just now getting COVID, but we had assumed that she brought it into the house in the first place, as she was the first one to get sick this school year. Anyway, we're keeping an eye on it.


I went to the city and taught again. I was doing much better compared to Tuesday, so I think I might just survive this semester. My youngest brother, Isaac, landed in Chicago around noon, so he rode the subway into the city and then we grabbed him a quick lunch before he joined me for my afternoon course. It was our first meeting of the semester, so it was rather dull for the first half as we go through policies and all that. Then I did about an hour of lecture, and that was better. Isaac even made some intelligent comments, showing the class what a college graduate looks like.


We then rode the train/bus back to Indiana, and had very excited little boys waiting to see their uncle. He brought a gift from our brother, Aaron, which was a little plug-and-play Star Wars video game he'd found at a garage sale. Carver and Merritt were especially enthralled by it, and so they wanted to try it out immediately, and they had a lot of fun with it. We caught up with Isaac, and Hannah came over. Kira threw together a quick dinner for us all, and I worked on getting some other chores done before we all sat and ate. He'll be with us for just over a week, so we're looking forward to some fun times. We went to bed at a normal time.


On Friday, Kira let me sleep in while she got the boys to school. Avey was home still sick. I eventually got up to work, finally feeling nearly normal energy-wise. We chatted with Isaac, and then I took Apollo on a walk. I was home in time for Kira to take Avey to the doctor for those tests. The boys came home on the bus, and started enjoying their weekend. Jesse and Isaac went on a bike ride in the evening, and Apollo played with Ivy again. We ordered a pizza from our favorite place, but when Isaac and I arrived there right on time, the lady said that she got the time of our order wrong, and it would be another 20 minutes. Isaac and I ran to grab a milkshake and then went back to find that they had just finished our pizza, but she had the guy put the wrong sauce on it. She was very apologetic, and gave us a free 2-liter soda with it, so I decided not to burn the place to the ground, this time. We enjoyed the pizza back home, even with the wrong sauce.


We decided it was a good night for a backyard fire, so we let the boys stay up past dark. Jesse rode his car around in the backyard and we adults heard more about Isaac. We then got the kids to bed. My siblings and I had looked forward to binging the final season of my favorite show ever, Better Call Saul, and so I signed up for the streaming service only to find that they had only the last two episodes available. We were sorely disappointed, and so just started a movie late, then went to bed.


Isaac and Hannah went to the European Market this morning, and then our plan is to go to the beach this afternoon to make sure Isaac knows what he's leaving behind if he ever does decide to ditch us.


This week should be pretty good, even though both Isaac and I still have our normal jobs to do. But we should be able to squeeze in some fun.

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