Monday, June 30, 2008

When 1 + 1 = Not Exactly 2

Tootsie left on a long-awaited road trip to Colorado with her grandparents last Friday morning. She was supposed to be experiencing this inter-generational, cross-country adventure with her cousin.

Sadly, that cousin was sick. Sick enough that she couldn't make the trip.

Before the final decision was made about keeping her home, there was a flurry of phone calls placed, messages and status reports relayed, wishes made, fingers crossed, and tears shed. It was a tough call for her parents to make, but ultimately had to be done. Her health was their top priority, and it just wasn't worth taking a chance.

Now, while there was great disappointment and frustration taking place during this time, something of a very different nature was added to this bubbling broth and was slowly stewing away in the back burner in our house: hope (albeit of a bittersweet variety). We realized our son, Bubb, could go in the cousin's place.

In less than 24 hours, we got everything lined up so that this could happen -- physician's signature on the camp health form acquired, return plane ticket held, "emergency" haircut received, new shoes purchased, bags packed. As the checklist was being completed, Bubb's hope was building.

Now let me just back up and say that Bubb...well, he just isn't typically all sunshine and rainbows; but throughout the preparations, I could literally see his shoulders straighten, his brow unfurrow, and his eyes start to sparkle. BUT! We were setting him up for a bad case of schadenfreude; his pleasure would be the result of someone else's misfortune. (To his credit, he never voiced anything like that; in fact, he was feeling really awful for his cousin.)

Then, with mere hours to take-off, it occurred to us -- he could go either way! We didn't need to make it dependent on anything. There was no need to add that additional pressure to the situation.

Our kids were excited and the final countdown was on! (And there was still the lingering hope that their cousin would be able to join them later.)

Well, the decision became final yesterday; she didn't make it.

But our two kids did. And while they are incredibly excited (and so am I!), it still feels like something's amiss.

When I picture that car driving off, I can see two heads in the back seat...but in this case, 1 + 1 doesn't precisely add up to 2.

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