This week is like Christmas in May. For Pam and me, the real Christmas initiates a four month spell where we don't get to see our kids. We might spend a day or two in Columbia to visit Kaitlin and Jon, but we never see Patrick during those four months. I use that time to concentrate on my business and curse all the horrible winter weather, then the hellacious pollen, and generally complain a lot about being abandoned by my children. But this week...all is forgiven.
We will pack up the car, turn the house keys over to our house/dog sitter and make the six hour drive to Columbia, SC on Thursday to see Kaitlin. There is a teacher of the year banquet, where all of the winners in the district are recognized, and the district winner is announced. Despite being in her first year of eligibility, Kaitlin is one of the five finalists for the top prize. Since her husband is in the Grand Canyon for his annual park ranger training, she would be attending this soirée alone. Not gonna happen! If she dosn't win I intend to make quite a fuss at the injustice of it all. (Just kidding, Kaitlin. Let not your heart be troubled.) Afterwards, we will take her someplace to celebrate, then spend the night at her place with Jackson, the wonder dog.
Friday morning, we will set out for Nashville, a seven and a half hour trip across the Blue Ridge mountains. Upon meeting up with Patrick and his girlfriend Sarah, we will drive to Smyrna, Tn. to have dinner with and meet her family. The real reason for our trip however, is to help our son move into his first solo apartment. Since leaving home for college eight years ago, he has always shared quarters with others in an assortment of dorm rooms, apartments and houses. Now, he has the resources to strike out on his own. So we will spend most of Saturday helping him move in and set up the new digs. I am led to believe that a minor league baseball game is in the works( the Nashville Sounds )and some special Mother's Day event. We will attend church with him on Sunday, get his pantry good and stocked, then head home on Monday, which will feature many tears being shed by my wife for the first 30 miles of the drive on interstate 40 with Nashville in the rear view mirror. Eight years ago, she didn't stop sobbing until we reached Knoxville! This time she will demonstrate much more composure, since July in Maine will be right around the corner.