• Elijah Ricks


This is a week we would much rather forget, but then I would have to just make up something, and I lack the energy for that. There were a few pleasant moments peppered throughout our crap salad, so I’ll try to pay special attention to those…

Monday was strangely uneventful: an eerie calm before the storm. 

Tuesday was a tense day for us all as Kira’s father underwent a complex surgery to remove cancer and then rearrange other parts. I had the distraction of a full day of teaching, but Kira tried to manage the kiddies with one eye on her phone for updates from her mother. We are glad to say that he is recovering well, but the entire process has been a stressful reminder of our mortality and deep love for family. Now we wait to hear news of whether the cancer will return, and if so, how quickly. 

That night, Hakan had a rough time sleeping. He caught some sort of cold after his strep was gone, so he dealt with those symptoms for a few days. Unfortunately, Merritt came down with the cold, too, which caused further chaos later in the week…

Wednesday was relatively uneventful, also, at least for me. Kira kindly let me stay late on campus where Bill Kristol was coming to speak. That was enjoyable for me, and it was nice to have a night off. 

Thursday was horrific for a few reasons. First, it was my especially long teaching day, so I was gone from 7 a.m. until a little after 5 p.m., leaving Kira all by herself. Naturally, that was also the day when some local criminals decided to go for a high speed chase and crash just a few blocks from our home (read about it here). There was an ensuing manhunt, so the police put Avey’s school on a “soft” lockdown, meaning that they would not release students to go home on foot, but they could be picked up with a vehicle. Of course, Kira had opted to pick her up on foot before learning about the lockdown, so they were stuck there at the school for 45 minutes until a kind officer offered to escort them all home by driving alongside them. 

After all of that nonsense, and my long day of teaching 4 courses, Merritt decided that his cold symptoms were more important than his parents’ sleep and sanity. The poor little guy just could not stay asleep with his stuffy nose, so we were up with him half of the night. We finally got him to settle for a stretch after some ibuprofen, and putting him in his car seat: it keeps him propped up just a bit, which helps with the mucus.  

Friday, rising before the sun with parenting hangovers, Kira and I dealt with kids and then I was off to a scheduled doctor’s appointment. I was overdue for a standard physical, and I wanted to get checked for strep to see if I was the source of Hakan’s repeated illness. Maybe I just wasn’t showing symptoms. I was relieved to learn that I do not have strep, and surprised to find that I have lost a little weight, my blood pressure is fabulous, and I am otherwise in great health. I’ll have some routine blood work done just to see how things look under the hood, but I’m encouraged.

After a fairly productive day of work at our local library, I returned home and we decided to take a family trip to Costco. That was sort of enjoyable, but mostly turned out to be too long. As a result, the tired boys got to bed later than we’d hoped.

If our week up to that point was a whirlwind, Friday night was a tornado of blood and tears. Merritt slept peacefully for a few hours in his bed, apparently having passed the worst of his stuffy nose. But when he awoke, he did so coughing. I approached to see if I could soothe him, when he threw up a little in his bed and on his pajamas. Kira cleaned up his bed while I tried to clean him and myself up. At first we thought it might simply have been that he gagged on some mucus, but after a little bit of water, he emptied his stomach all over himself, me, and some of the bathroom floor. The smell of bile and peanut butter was everywhere. He had a fever, and would not be left alone, so Kira took the first shift, and then I took the second, and then it was Saturday morning. Kira took everybody into the doctor while I napped, and there were no obvious problems, so we hope that it was just a brief bug passing.

On the way to the doctor, she dropped Avey off at a ward activity with a rope course, which Avey thoroughly enjoyed.

After a few more errands, and finally getting the kids to bed, we could put the last nail in this week’s coffin.

Thankfully, Merritt’s fever is gone now, and he slept very well last night. We may yet survive this. Now let us never speak of this week again.


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