During my precious weekend of alone time I kept myself amused in various ways—such as cheering for female superheroes at the theater (while eating popcorn) and exploring…exotic new locales (yeah, yeah, that might be overstating “Winston-Salem, NC”, but do me a favor and just go with it…). Husband and sons, meanwhile, relaxed, romped on the beach, reportedly helped their parents/grandparents out with household chores, and eventually returned to me...although not quite in the same healthy state I’d last seen them. Or, as Husband ruefully (and dramatically) proclaimed upon entering the house, “Sorry, I apparently broke the children!”
Um…oh-kaaay…what’s up with THAT? I was already somewhat alarmed, especially since I’d gotten this text from Derek earlier in the day:
“We’re just headed back now. We had to stop by urgent care to remove a (see right) from Riley’s foot. Then we ate a[t] Dairy Queen cuz their blizzards are upside-down thick. We’ll be back in 6 hours.”
Now, I admit I reached for my reading glasses, just sure to be sure of what I was seeing. But it appeared that my beloved child was trying to tell me that Riley’d had…a…cute…pink…octopus extracted from his foot?
I do know my teenager, and his tendency to…shall we say “embellish”? Nah, let’s be honest: “outright make stuff up for entertainment value” is more accurate. So I decided to ignore the DQ reference for now, and address the larger issue, as I replied with motherly skepticism, “Is any of that actually true (besides the time you left)?”
He responded, “All of it.” I was not terribly...reassured…by this response, but figured that the best thing to do would just be to wait until they arrived, and get the true story (from someone ELSE, preferably).
However, when Riley came limping into the kitchen later that evening, I began to suspect that there was at least a grain of truth to the tale. It turns out that one day when they’d been jumping around in the waves on Hunting Island—and Riley confessed here that he’d also been attempting to whack his older brother with his boogie board, for reasons known only to him—Riley landed on a sharp shell fragment. What he didn’t realize at the time was that a tiny piece broke off and lodged itself in the ball of his foot, near his toes.
Then over the next several days it began to bother him, until they finally opted to have it taken care of at an Urgent Care facility on the way home, rather than waiting and allowing it to continue to worsen (as Derek had more or less faithfully related…well, without the OCTOPUS, that is. He claimed it was the best he could do, since he couldn’t find a seashell emoji—uh-huh, suuuure…)
As an added bit of…excitement?...the doctor prescribed an antibiotic and strongly encouraged Husband to fill it. Why the medicine, for a minuscule cut on Riley’s foot? Just because the presence of something called Vibrio has recently been detected in the ocean water near the beach where they had been so lightheartedly playing. What’s that, you might wonder? Eh, nothing much to worry about….only a FLESH EATING BACTERIA. Can I just say, “Yikes, y’all—I’m in full agreement: bring on the preventative germ-killing super-drugs!”
Sheesh, I suppose it’s no wonder they felt the need to try and cancel out the negative start to their homeward-bound journey by indulging in some burgers and milkshakes at the aforementioned greasy spoon joint. Aaaannnd, about that…a couple of hours afterward, Derek’s stomach (which is typically cast-iron-reliable) rejected the meal he’d so graciously…inflicted upon it…resulting in an…ahem… “unfortunate incident” in Blenheim, South Carolina (in a restroom, thankfully, NOT Husband’s car).
When they shared this with me, all I could think of was, “Blenheim? It even SOUNDS like barfing!” To which Husband gleefully exclaimed, “Yes, that’s awesome! Derek, you don’t feel like you’re going to Blenheim again, do you?” (And just like that, it became a part of Team WestEnders’ family lexicon. Feel free to use it as well…it’s just too good not to…)
Whew, I’m kinda glad I missed this jolly little getaway, to tell you the truth! But I’m happy to follow up with the addendum that all is now well. Derek’s tummy evidently was hunky-dory after the removal of whatever had offended it so strongly. In fact, the next day he felt completely normal and passed the test of being able to work a shift at Subway (which of course involves preparing food—so if he hadn’t been fully recovered, that would have quickly posed a problem). Riley continues to apply ointment to his foot and cover the spot with a bandage for protection…but he insisted he was hale and hearty enough to attend soccer camp Monday through Friday evenings, this week. One night down, and he says it didn’t hurt whilst running around on a field and kicking a ball.
And there you have it: a thrilling vacation…that has all of us wishing for another one, just to finish decompressing! So, as we tackle the current chores and To Dos, just keep repeating…fruity drinks and tropical paradise are NEXT week…