After kind of a whirlwind month of travel hubbub and...whatnot...the final row on the July calendar featured...a whole lot of mundane. I checked in with the naturopath, who remains very pleased with the results of her ministrations so far, and commended me on doing such a good job...of basically avoiding many of the things I like to eat. She decided that, since my hand has improved, but every food I test seems to cause...ahem..."digestive repercussions"...the next logical step would be to (are you ready for this?) "heal my gut's microbiome" so that it returns to a state of more efficiently and effectively filtering out toxins that cause inflammation in the first place. Well...that sounds reasonable to me--and it involves nothing more complicated than taking a couple of kick-butt probiotic-type compounds, so I'm on board.
As for the boys, Derek is facing down the end of his lazy, hazy Summer days already, as he attended his school's soccer mini-camp (held in conjunction with UNC) this past week (half-day Wednesday and Friday, full-day Thursday). This event acts as a tune-up for official tryouts, which begin tomorrow...at 7:30 a.m....with another session at 6:30 p.m. So to be clear: he's going to be getting up even earlier than he has to during the academic year...voluntarily...weeks before he has to report for, you know "classes and stuff".
Last August the whole process turned out to be pretty darn torturous (although Derek, in his typical roll-with-it fashion, doesn't remember it that way, so maybe it was just his nervous mother...yeah, that sounds about right...). You see, the coaches had such a large and deep pool of talent to choose from that they didn't form the teams...for THREE WEEKS. Derek reports that this year their plan is to make all the necessary cuts by the end of the first week, then just spend the rest of the time placing players on JV or Varsity. Here's hoping they stick to the agenda...
And, Riley--we went back to the orthopedist, who took yet another set of x-rays, examined the photos, and told us that as far as she's concerned, he's good to go. "Do you want to get rid of the boot?" she asked Riley, who responded in his typical low-key manner, "Yeah, sure!" (I don't know if she could see me off to the side, frantically nodding my head in fervent agreement...) So now he's okayed to walk everywhere--inside and outside the house--in just his own footwear. Even more exciting, she gave him a "return to running" interval program so he can begin rebuilding some of the cardio fitness he's lost during his period of forced-sedentary...ism. So far this weekend he's taken twice-daily jaunts around the block, to get used to actually striding in shoes again. So far...so good...
To close out our July, what better activity could we possibly dream up than...Back to School Shopping? Whoo...hoo? Seriously, I asked the kids what they needed to get ready for the impending term and they gave me this:
Derek: "Um...nothing. (Loooong pause...) Wait, I need a polo shirt!"
Riley: "Uh...I can't think of anything."
Me: "Well, you grew a bunch this year, so probably some of your shorts need to be replaced, right?"
Riley: "Oh, yeah! I need shorts with deeper pockets, to hold my phone!"
Alrighty, then, you heard it here, folks. This should be the quickest, easiest trip in history! But then... Husband heard the chatter that we were heading to Kohl's...and, well...he doesn't get out much...and he instantly got all excited about coming with us. Siiighhhhh. Now it's a Family Outing, and suddenly becomes much more of a complex endeavor...fraught with PERIL, I tell ya. (However, I couldn't argue that he needed to purchase new shorts, as I'd flagged him on vacation for wearing a pair that was--I'm not kidding--actually shredding in the....gluteal....area. MEN!)
So, of we went, to storm the castle...um, "department store". I accompanied Derek first, since I suspected that, left to his own devices, he'd just grab the first shirt he spotted in an acceptable color, regardless of cost, quality, or what have you, and be done with it. But oooooh nooooo--under my strict supervision, he tried on at least 5 different ones, so he could make an informed, intelligent choice.
With that accomplished, we rejoined Husband, who'd successfully assisted Riley in selecting 3 pairs of athletic-type shorts. Derek gave them a quick glance and commented, "Hey, I have those." Riley immediately asked, "Do you mind if I buy the same ones?" To which Derek scoffed, "Nah, I don't care." In fact, how little does it bother Derek? He failed to notice that he was in fact actually wearing them at that very moment. When his...lack of attention to clothing detail....was pointed out to him, he retorted, "If I just went to all the giveaway days at baseball games when they were handing out tee shirts, I wouldn't even need to shop!" (BOYS!)
Well, that had all gone quite smoothly and easily, and I thought we were finished...but Husband had not yet even attempted to find his own pants. So we stood around waiting for him to make his selections, and the inevitable happened...Derek abruptly exclaimed, "I'm STARVING!" Followed up by the predictable, "Are we building food into this trip?" Ay yi yi. The toddler days of carrying snacks and sippy cups with us everywhere we go are long behind us...but now I sometimes forget (How? I don't know...) that we have to arrange excursions around the eating schedule of teenage boys...which somehow is even more daunting.
At least they don't throw tantrums when they get hungry (nope...that would be more like ME)...and after a quick stop at Staples (aka Nerd Heaven for Team WestEnders) our Back to School purchasing is complete. (Brushes hands together briskly, with great satisfaction...) But hold on just a minute...I'd better go and double-check that the pantry and fridge are stocked for Derek's upcoming twice-a-day workouts...and sooooo it continues...August, here we cooooommmmeeeee!!!!