He texts me at 1:00 am saying his tonsils are so swollen he can’t see down his throat, is having trouble breathing and can’t swallow.
I tell him to take a cab, and I’ll meet him at VGH.
By the time I get there, find parking (parallel, on the street), find emerg (at the back of the hospital, underground), find him (in the treatment area waiting room, drooling); he greets me with, "I'm thirsty. Can you go get me some orange and purple vitamin water?" I look around for a vending machine at the hospital and find a couple in various waiting room/lounges. All they sell is Diet Coke.
So I go out to my truck, which is parked in the last available spot, perfectly located across from the entrance. I don't want to move it. What if I never find another spot? Where will I park? Down on Broadway? I ask an Asian couple, out for a romantic stroll at 1:45 am, where the nearest 7-11 is. For about 10 seconds I seriously consider walking the 4 blocks, so as to keep my prime spot.
Decided it was dumb for a middle aged woman to be walking the back streets of Vancouver by herself at 2 am. So I drove.
Got his drinks. Found another spot to parallel park in, and sat with him for another hour.
“I LEFT A CANDLE BURNING!” he sits up on his gurney, panicked. “OK. Give me your keys. I’ll go to your place and put it out.” He pats himself down. “Where are my keys?” “I don’t know…”
He thinks he may have left them in the taxi.
I drive over to his place, (he and a housemate live on the top floor of a house. Two women live below.) It’s 3 am, and I don’t want to wake anyone so I’m in super stealth mode.
The main floor door is unlocked so I let myself in. I walk up the stairs and come to a landing that has three locked doors. I send him a pic/text and ask “Which one?”
I try it. It’s locked.
He tells me to use a credit card.
I slide my credit card down the door frame like it’s a giant card reader but nothing happens. The door doesn’t swing open. So Clint explains, via text how to break into a house, using a credit card to click the locking mechanism.
It works. Either he is a good explainer or I have another untapped talent.
I tip toe in, blow out the candle, turn off the million lights he’s left on, and drive back to sit with him til 4 when they swab his throat and send him home.
This child has been keeping me up at nights for 28 years.
I got home at 4:45 am.
It's his birthday.
Facebook reminded me that I've been mentioning it, over and over again, every year on April 21:
2015: Happy Birthday, Clint. I know you're 28, but seriously? In my heart? You're, still, like, 18 ... I am in awe of your talent to capture things on film and love the magic you create with video. I am proud of your accomplishments, thrilled that you've been able to see so many different countries in our stunning world and am respectful of your desire to learn and know about a whole assortment of totally random crap. I am fatigued by your unending need to argue but trust that God made you that way for a reason. smile emoticonI'm excited for the doors of opportunity that God is opening for you this year. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. Praying for you daily and love you a whole bunch. xo
2014: You're 27 today.
I know, right.
Happy Birthday, child. Love you. Proud of you. Thrilled that God chose me to be your mom.
I'm in awe of your gifts and maybe a little bit jealous of your talent. But mostly I'm thankful for you. You are just awesome.
Birthday dinner with Clint at the Keg -
Clint: Mom? Are you depressed?
Clint: YOUR FRIDGE IS FRICKIN GROSS. When's the last time you cleaned it? Seriously. Are you OK?
2013: Twenty six years ago, a dark haired, brown-eyed, seven pound stranger looked into my eyes and grunted at me as if to say, "OK. I'm here. Now what? And lady? It better not be boring." My life has never been the same. Happy Birthday, Clint. I love you
2012:Twenty five years ago, my first left-handed, brown-eyed, Nintendo-loving boy was born. I have loved him every day since. Happy Birthday Clint. I am proud of you.
Thanks, Hilda Neumann Klassen, for bringing the turkey(s), thanks, Jule Koop, for bringing the buns, thanks, Valerie Kuebler Wegenast, for bringing broccoli and chocolate, thanks, Daryl Koop, for mashing the taters. Thanks, Danica Stapleton, for giving Drew a haircut. Thanks,Amanda Koop, for driving the kids home.
The roofers are just getting to the roof over the dining room. They saved it til last. They'll be hammering, thumping and dropping bundles on it just as we sit down to eat Turkey.
Turkey + Hockey + Family = Tonight
2011: Happy Birthday Clint. Love you.
2010: thanks Kelly Swanson and Rachelle Morgan and Denise Ellis for helping her stuff 2600 envelopes today. And happy birthday, Clint. And thank Exterminator Guy for removing the fat rat from my attic this morning.
2009: became a mom 22 years ago today. Happy Birthday, Clint.
2008: is the mother of a 21 year old. I am the mother of an adult? Happy Birthday, Clint.
Happy Birthday Kiddo. The guy with the largest set of tonsils ever.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Best employer ever. I only worked half a day on Monday because Kinsmen Lodge were honouring/remembering all their residents who passed away last month that afternooon. Dad was one of six. Jule, mom and I attended...
After singing Amazing Grace, accompanied by a piano that played itself, Lori, the Chaplin, told us a little bit about each resident who had passed (maybe 5 sentences), along with a poem that she had chosen. Except for my dad. No poem. She had three pages of notes on his life story. In my defense, she asked. So I sent her The Eulogy: Long Version. (I can see now that most people submitted date of birth, date of marriage, number of children and grandchildren, and favorite activities.) As is usual for me, I used all the words. And then a few more. Truly, there will be no words left on this earth for my granddaughter. Her granny will have used them all up.
2. Best employer ever. I took Tuesday morning off because I was not awake.(see story above) I had spent the typical sleeping hours at the 7 - 11 and breaking into houses.
3. Sandwiched inbetween those two events (Memorial service and All Nighter In Emerg) was Book Club. I was hosted. And led.
Hoping the next 24 hours will be less eventful.