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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Ticks, Pins, and Needles

I failed to mention last week that Kira’s paternal grandmother passed away on April 30th at age 96. She was the grandmother that Kira did not know as well as she would have liked, but she was Avey’s namesake, although she went by her middle name throughout her life. We are glad that Avey and she met in 2009, along with all of the other Aveys that had come since ours (our Avey is on the right):

We have learned a decent bit about her over the last few years, but wish that we could have known her better. 

I also forgot to mention last week that Kira spent most of Friday volunteering at a career fair at the middle school. She said several kids came through and she gave them a short introduction to the sort of work she does as a counselor. It was fitting timing, as she also officially has her Indiana license now, so she will start taking in clients as soon as she gets things settled with the office she’s planning on subleasing.

This was probably my busiest week of the semester as it was finals. That meant that I had about 45 essays to read through and grade, along with several other brief writing assignments, and plenty of emails from students freaking out about their grades. On top of that all, I had one of my doctoral students propose her dissertation on Friday right before I went to the ceremony to hood one of my doctoral students who finished last summer. I then attended commencement, squeezing in all of the grading I could in between things. I finished, thankfully, so now I just have a few last smaller tasks before I can call the semester officially to a close.

Monday night, we had some guests come by to spend the night on their way to the East Coast. My littlest brother texted me to ask if his old roommate and coworker could stay with us, so I talked it over with Kira and Hannah and we all agreed it would be fine. Hannah knew him a little also, so she vouched for his character. He was traveling with a young woman also, so we bribed Avey to give up her bed for her, and we put the young man on our couch. They were off before 8 a.m., and were very pleasant.

I ran to an appointment that morning at a physical therapist. Back in January, I was doing a project and jabbed my right shoulder with a ladder, causing some bruising, and it has ached a bit ever since. I figured I was just getting old, so didn’t pay it much mind, but then about a month ago my right arm would get numb and I’d feel that “pins-and-needles” sensation maybe 4 times a day. When that kept going on, not getting any better, I figured I’d better get it checked out. X-rays found nothing unusual, so physical therapy was the next least invasive option. I’ve gone twice now, and it does seem to help. I get the sensation less intense, it seems, and less often now. I’m just glad it doesn’t seem to be anything serious or progressive.

Hakan is all done with preschool now, so Kira’s been good to get the boys out of the house for the sake of sanity most days. The older two had an e-learning day on Tuesday, so they were home. As Avey’s reward for giving up her bed to the guest, we paid for her movie ticket to see the last Avengers movie with Hannah (after she’d completed her assignments for the day). They were gone most of the afternoon, and came home with notes for us to all discuss.

Carver’s school tests came back this week, and again he is scoring in the 99th and 98th percentiles for reading and math, respectively. We feel a little silly going over his vocabulary and spelling words each day for his homework, because he seems to need to see it just once and then have it down.

Apollo seems to have taken his role in our pack to heart. He seems much more comfortable around the house, and he’s caught onto our rules pretty well. He had a bath on Saturday, which he tolerated very well, and then that night, Hannah found a tick lodged inside the back of his neck, so we spent a long time dealing with that. He was very well behaved, voicing hardly a complaint, though it was clear he didn’t enjoy the ordeal.

This week’s plan is for me to finish up the semester and get started on the fence I’ve been planning for months. If the weather cooperates, we should be in good shape, though I’m still waiting on the utilities to tell me whether I can dig the posts where I want…

We are thrilled to have today to celebrate Kira and our own mothers and grandmothers. We tend to take them so for granted that it’s good we have time set aside to truly acknowledge all of their hard work and dedication. Kira sacrifices so much for the kiddies, and is their comfort and peace. Hannah gave a talk at church today on mothers and noted also that, although the kids love to have Hannah’s help with things, and they love to play with me, whenever they need comfort or security, they go straight to her. This again was evidenced after a park trip today. Hannah and I took Apollo and the boys to a park so that Kira could get a nap. On the way to the car, Merritt tripped and got some small scrapes. He demanded his mommy, and worked hard to stay sad the whole drive home so that she could be the one to kiss his wounds and hold him close. He scoffed at my attempts to comfort him, which just aren’t the same somehow.

I’m also very grateful for my mother. I was blissfully ignorant as a child of just how patient, thoughtful, selfless, and loving my mother was to all of us. She truly poured her heart and soul into making sure that we grew up feeling loved, but also that we learned important values. I continue to see her nurturing of my own kids, and especially of the kids she works with as a teacher’s aide. She has made so many lives better that I can’t even begin to count. I can’t imagine having a better mother, and I do my best to emulate her in my dealings with my kids.

Don’t forget to call your mothers and others who nurtured you, and who nurture others!


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