Clearly we have just one priority at the moment. Getting Rico treatment and helping him slay the dragon are at the top of the list. But the other things aren't quite so clear.
You'd think I'd have this figured out. Seriously - if a girl who has lived this exact same scenario and made it her life's mission to protect her kids from the same fate doesn't have the answers - who does?
I was in kindergarten when my mom got sick. I remember going to radiation treatments with her. I remember sitting in the waiting room with my 3 year-old brother being placated with Jolly Ranchers while my mom waved to us from the TV monitor in the nurses station.
I remember sitting by the couch when she was sick from chemotherapy. My brother and I not moving, not talking, just waiting until she woke up or until our daddy got home.
I remember not knowing whose house we would be staying at when my parents left town for treatment, or who would be there when I walked home from school. I remember dropping out of dance class because there was no way to get me there. I remember wanting to snuggle in my mom's bed and being so careful because I didn't want to hurt her and make things worse. I remember my parent's friends whispering a lot and nobody laughing anymore.
And those things would never happen to my kids.
But here we are.
I walked into Yoda's kindergarten class on Friday and she was sitting at her table drawing row after row of sad faces crying big blue tears with the words, "Feel better Daddy," at the top. I sat next to her and watched. The deja-vu of it was unbearable.
I still have my kindergarten drawings. They look exactly the same.
And the truth is - I do not know how to stop any of it. I do not know what comes next on the list of priorities.
I have missed all three kids school conferences. I have never missed even one before.
I fell asleep for two hours in the waiting room at Mayo. I barely hit the deadline of registering Kooka for high school classes. I still haven't decided which first grade class Yoda should be in next year. I haven't had time to read book-in-a-bag twice, and it's my favorite part of the day. I was two days late paying the credit card bill (Rico says I was technically on time, but I cried about it regardless). I've missed a fair few days of work. The dog is overdue for shots. Yoda never has her shoes for dance class, she barely has her hair combed. The kids are overdue for dental appointments. I forgot to put money on their lunch accounts. I've cancelled two doctor appointments of my own, and I haven't been able to take Punk for his driver's test.
It feels like failing. It feels like doing everything wrong, even though I know better.
Logically, I know there are no right answers. But after decades of wondering why my parents did what they did, I figured there would be "better" answers. I just haven't figured them out yet.
There is another appointment tomorrow. So far we know that there will be roughly five weeks of daily trips to Mayo (5 days a week), followed by surgery. At least that's what we were told yesterday. Rico says he is going alone tomorrow - that he'll be fine this once without me.
I don't know if it's true. But what I do know, is what awaits little girls who draw sad emojis in their free time at kindergarten, and it is not good at all. That is the only thing I know for sure - so for tomorrow, that will be our priority.