I'm Taking Time Off This Weekend

Denise

I'm Taking Time Off This Weekend

Denise
cross-country-960333_640I happily work hard to keep Caregiving.com running as smoothly as possible.

Which is why I'm happy to tell you I'm taking time off this weekend!

I'm heading to Peoria, Ill., today for the Illinois High School Association Cross Country State Championship. My sister's children (16-year-old triplets, two boys and a girl) will be competing tomorrow.

I'll miss the weekend chats on Caregiving.com but will be home in time for Sunday night's #carechat. I'll check in to make sure all is well and to publish your blog posts.

Last year, my parents traveled with me for the championship meet during which my nephew, Jack, competed. That trip, in my mind, was our turning point. My father relaxed during the trip rather than trying to control my mom and I. On Friday night, as we walked to the nearest restaurant to our hotel which happened to serve fondue, my dad said, "I've never had fondue before and I've always wanted to."

At dinner on Friday night, my parents struggled to navigate the overwhelming menu so I offered them suggestions and then ordered for all three of us. When we went out to eat as kids, my dad wouldn't let us tell our order directly to the waitress; he asked each of us what we wanted, jotting down (and sometimes changing) our order on a napkin. He then placed the order for all of us to the waitress. As we got older, we loudly lobbied to order for ourselves. Interesting how my dad welcomed my ordering for him.

On Saturday afternoon, as I drove us home, my dad happily commented from the back seat, "It's so nice to drive through these small towns." When I said we would stop at McDonald's to grab a quick bite to eat in the car on the way home, my dad calmly agreed. He never allowed us to go to the drive-through in the past.

During the meet, I scoped out spots for my parents to sit, looking for the best vantage point for them to see the race's beginning and end. My mom used her cane and my dad's arm to make her way through the crowds. I lost them at one point after the race only to locate them after 20 minutes of running around trying to read their minds. My mom was irritated that we had gotten separated; my hot-tempered dad took it as a grain of salt.

As we left the meet the afternoon, I said to my sister, "They won't make it here next year."

Unfortunately, I was right.

They seem neither upset or mad that they'll miss tomorrow's race. They will be anxious for the results but I think happy to be comfortable in their apartment.