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The Summer of Suck

August 25, 2012

That’s the easiest way to say it: our summer sucked. There were a few bright spots here and there but overall, it was terribly horrible and horribly terrible. It sucked emotionally and financially. I still cry about some of the events and I’m hoping this post will make me feel a little better by making you feel like shit. I kid, I kid.

Event 1: My husband’s grandfather died in mid-May. He was beloved and almost 90 years old. I had a trip planned to New England to visit my former nanny kids so I missed the funeral but Don and the boys spent five days in Michigan with his family.

Event 2: The boys came back from Michigan with lice a couple weeks later. We had received a note from the school where they kindly let us know that lice was going around the first grade and it decided to make an appearance in James’ head late one Thursday evening as I was getting him ready for bed.To make it even worse, my best friend had flown in from Michigan the weekend before so I had to call her and let her know that she needed to go get checked for lice–because my kids love Aunt Jane so much James had crawled into bed with her in the middle of the night, snuggling his little lice head up against hers. (Hi Jane, I need to talk to you. Don’t freak out, it’s something that happens when you have little kids, it’s totally not a big deal, and I hope we’re still friends after I tell you that James has lice and you need to go get checked out. Love you! Bye!)

After I found it on J, we shaved his head (hey bud, do you want a really cool super short summer haircut?!) and make an emergency trip for some lice shampoo. And then in the morning I promptly found nits on the second son and the baby girl. OMG. We bagged up everything in the house that was cloth (all stuffed animals, pillows, comforters that were too big to be washed), washed everything in the house, sprayed the couches/mattresses and basically I didn’t sleep for three days while I scrubbed my house and scratched my head incessantly. I never found anything in my head (but HELLO if you know me, you know my thick, curly, slightly dreadlocked hair) but I washed it once a week with the lice shampoo for a month just in case. and then….


This is the Jack memorial tree that the boys decorated with his toys. Notice the shaved head on son 1.

Event 3: Our puppy died. His name was Jack, he was a year old and we’d adopted him through a friend at UAHuntsville. He was nuerotic and crazy and the cutest little dorkie ever. We came home from a friend’s birthday party and he was seizing in his crate. I thought he was choking, Don grabbed him and took him outside until he stopped but he never really recovered. He went in and out of his seizures while we held him and brushed his fur and did what we could to keep him calm. I frantically called a friend to come stay with the kids so we could take him to the after hours vet. They thought at first it was epilepsy but he only stopped seizing when they gave him anti-toxins and he was so sedated his was unconscious. After 36 hours of seizures, Jack was put down. Don said it was the hardest thing he’s ever done and the kids were devestated; except for Ben who said that we shouldn’t be upset because he was playing catch with great-grandpa and Jesus and maybe now we could get a cat?

Event 4: A few weeks later, my grandmother died. I have so much to write about her that I can’t even start. I will say that she was the most amazing person I’ve ever met and since I’m not close with either my mother or my (adopted former step) father, she was my person. I adored her and I still cry once a week when I think about her. Like I told my friends, the smallest thing can set me off. It can be the smell of Tide, a breeze when I’m running or when I look at the picture of her on my fridge where she’s sitting on Price Edward Island, picking wild straw berries and looking so happy she could burst.

Event 5: My social life went down the tubes. All my closest friends from Alabama are either not friends with each other or me anyone. It is a big huge mess and I don’t know if we will ever all be able to be in the same room with eachother. It sucks.

Event 6: I’m unemployed. It really is a double edged sword. I love that I have time with my kids and my house is the cleanest it has ever been (don’t hate me, Adrienne Rich). But I was supposed to teach a class at UAH (it was dropped) and I was supposed to babysit (they cancelled) and I haven’t had anyone calling me from the four other colleges where I’ve applied. What.the.heck. If they would just call me and set up an interview they would see that I’d make a fabulous instructor as I can speak the language of normal people and it’s not all fancy academic talk (who am I kidding, I can’t fancy academic talk to save my life).

But there were a couple of bright spots: the boys spent a ton of time in Michigan with their grandparents, we were able to spend time with their good friends Ashton and Dane, I saw Jane more than once, we attended an insane family reuinion and the kids ran wild and free with their 25 first cousins at the farm. I’m closer with my neighbors and one of my closest friends in Huntsville moved into our ‘hood. It wasn’t all bad. Just most of it was. But this fall is going to be the fall of awesome, so help me God.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Candace permalink
    August 25, 2012 4:45 pm

    I think Alabama is the lice state! The kids came back from a 2wk visit with their aunt in Alabama and brought home lice. What a nightmare! Alex had his head shaved, too. I’m sorry to her about your grandma 😦

  2. jennifer B. permalink
    August 25, 2012 4:52 pm

    I’m sorry hear about your awful horrible no good summer. Hoping your fall is fantastic!

  3. Christine permalink
    August 25, 2012 7:47 pm

    Oh no Theresa! I am SO sorry about your Grandma and Don’s grandpa and everything you have had to go through this summer! It made me cry to think about you hurting so much. I have had an almost equally sucky year but I am trying to remember that it can only get better from here. Just remember that you have tons of great friends in Michigan, Chicago, Denver, etc that love you so much and would do anything for you! I hope this fall that one of those colleges smartens (is that a word?) up and hires one of the brightest people I know to teach one of their classes! I will pray that things start looking up for you and the whole fam! – Christine

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