Would you believe it... the reason for my blog silence over the past couple of days has been because I haven't been close to a computer! Somehow the stars aligned, the babysitter worked out, and Nate and I actually got away. Not for a couple of hours, not for an evening... for 2 days and 2 nights. A vacation! I almost forgot what that was.
Nate and I spent the past couple of days at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia... the closest good skiing mountain (according to several other northern transplant skiing aficionados we know) to central North Carolina.
We left early on Friday morning and spent the better part of the next 7 hours on county roads and switch backs, making our way first over the Blue Ridge Mountains and into the Allegheny Mountains before making the climb up Cheat Mountain to the resort. At first the skinny curvy roads were fun and the 18-wheelers barreling towards us exhilarating... but after a couple of hours of that, I was honestly just happy that we weren't getting car sick.
We arrived, checked in, suited up in our ski gear (snowboard gear for Nate) and headed to the slopes. It had been 3 years since we last hit the slopes at Elk Mountain in northern Pennsylvania. We were a little rusty, but not too bad!
We did well on the slopes (only 2 falls), braved some more difficult terrain on the second day, had fun shopping for souveniers, eating out, playing darts, and most of all... laughing. Thank you so much Oma for watching the boys, and for Stara, Joe, Michele, Susie and Kemp for helping her!
It was a little strange that there was no cell phone reception on the mountain. We soon learned that due to Snowshoe's proximity to the Green Bank Telescope, there are no cell towers or radio frequencies for a 13,000 square mile area! Talk about radio silence. There were no people walking around on their cell phones, all the kids were skiing instead of texting, and we actually had to use a calling card to call home! So nice in a way...
The boys did seem to miss us (Luke told me that when he "gets 5," he wants to come with us to go skiing) though they enjoyed all the time sans parental law and order. We got home on Sunday just as naps were ending, so we were able to catch up a little that afternoon before the week started again. Apparently they cleaned up the chaos before we got home, because things didn't look too bad around the house.
Of course the biggest concern for us when leaving home for a day or two is Will's care. Let's face it... caring for him is complicated and could easily be intimidating and scary. He is a challenge to feed, takes a number of medications, and has seizures that only Nate and I have experienced. Makes you want to sign up for babysitting, right?
To the best of my ability, but trying not to be neurotic, I developed a spreadsheet of each boy's typical day, including waking times, little habits and -isms, medications, preferred foods, and bed time routine. I gave Will his own page, including the all important sections of "How will I know if Will is having a seizure?" and "What do I do if Will is having a seizure?"
I say "all important sections" because unfortunately Will did have a seizure on Saturday night while we were away. But Oma, Susie and Kemp handled it in stride - they caught it early, read through my instructions, administered Will's emergency medication, and tested for sub-clinical seizures. They called us, of course, but all we could do from our hotel room was offer support and make recommendations for the next couple of hours.
I will be honest. I felt a little helpless and guilty for being away while Will had a seizure. I did not sleep well. My mind kept saying "if I were home, I'd be checking on him now..." But I wasn't home. I wasn't there. But now, a couple of days later when I stop to think about it, I am relieved that we were able to rely on someone else to assist! When you're never sure when the next seizure or shunt malfunction is going to be, it could be fear-inducing enough to keep you alone on your own couch for the rest of your life. I am grateful for the assistance, the confidence, the ability and the willingness of my mother to help us out! Thanks Oma!
Getting out and spending time together is essential for a marriage. A kick in the pants, a push out the door, a reminder that time away is important... thanks Village.