vacation wrap-up: heading home

I’m sitting in the dark in our hotel room, as I have done every night this week. Kid’s bedtime is 8pm, and what is there to do besides sit quietly and read? I hadn’t even figured out that he can fall asleep with the computer glow on until last night. Before that, I was reading in the bathroom. My life is glamorous.

I come away from this trip with no complaints whatsoever, which is rather unusual for a visit home, even before my folks became ill. Now that I think about it, I haven’t kept the blog up to date on my folks; bad news is not my favorite to blog. Mom and Dad both have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s now. My dad’s illness was being covered up by Mom, but now it is clear that his illness is much further progressed than hers. They still live in their home, but they have a caregiver in there with them from 9am-6pm every day. This means three square meals and medications taken, and they can run errands or go to lunch with friends or do whatever they want during the day. Their caregivers are fantastic, and although it is still a great strain on my sister to work two jobs and take care of them, now that this set-up is in place, things are working out fairly well.

I was worried that my visit would be the moment when we discussed moving to an assisted living facility, but we decided to put that off for a while and maintain what is working well for the moment. We are counting on some veterans benefits to come through, as my folks’ assets are dwindling, and they may well have to move just to get the equity out of their house before too long.

We arranged the trip so that Husband was on a business trip, which bought us a hotel room. This is the best move we ever made. Our presence upsets my folks’ routine greatly, to the point my dad ended up in the hospital from the exertion of cleaning up during my last visit. But the ability to go to a different space at the end of the day, or to grab a cup of coffee before heading over to visit is profoundly helpful in keeping my wits with all the stress of Kid and Grands together all day.

We head out tomorrow, but we’ll get to spend the morning together before a long day of travel. There has been a blizzard back at home, still underway, which I hope will have passed by the time our flight heads out. Husband is calling the airline to make sure we get three seats together on the plane, given that most everyone trying to fly today failed. I will pack extra snacks and fun things. Other than that, what can you do?

But, as I was saying, the visit was a success. We had good times, grandparents and grandkid got to hang out together. Kid and Auntie are best pals, and Kid got a taste of his mom’s childhood: TV, TV and more TV.  I do not even feel bad about the poor parenting, because if you can’t go to your grandparents’ house and eat chocolate and watch TV for a week, what is childhood all about?

In addition to my visit to Denver, a highlight of the trip was visiting Kieran Healy at the super-fancy CASBS. Kieran is a delightful host, and despite his insistence that 45 degrees is a cold day, he managed to show me all the best views from the hill. Most importantly, he introduced me to World of Goo, which has already wasted away one evening of my life–I’m sure it is the first of many. And he informs me that his 4-year-old daughter can probably beat me at MarioKart, which makes her like Everyone Else in the World.

Say, isn’t it about time for another MarioKart party? I think so.

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