• 8yearsglobal

Just Passing (back) Through

Updated: Jan 28

So… When we first left to go to Thailand this past summer, Kaden’s best friend, Sierra, asked if he would be staying in town long enough to see her for her birthday and spend it with her. He promised her he would be with her for her birthday, tailing it with “that’s what best friends do.” After hearing him say that, we couldn’t not come back for it; which kind of sucked. We were already on our way to pick him up last week when Sierra’s mom texted that she was going to be having a birthday party/sleepover and wanted Kaden to be there.

Well, shit. I had been asking for a couple of weeks what the plan was for her birthday, and there hadn’t been a definitive plan. I figured we’d pick her up from school one of those days as we were passing back through and spend the entire rest of the day with her and take her to do something special. With that thought, I figured we’d have a couple of weeks to spend getting up to Washington and back. I was wrong. It was Saturday when I got the text, and her party was going to be on Saturday, 7 days from then. So, we kinda rushed our trip, which was fine. We still enjoyed our time spent with family and even took a day trip to Victoria, BC so Kaden could go to the Royal British Museum. He LOVED it.

We came back, spent two more days with family and headed home. Since Bronson’s back is pretty messed up still, we had to make lots of stops. We would drive the equivalent of 6 hours in 10 hours. We’d stop and get coffee, do homework, let the dog out and stretch our legs and get some fresh air. It took us 3 days to get home. We arrived on Friday, picked up some groceries and made our way to Sierra’s house.

When we got to Sierra’s house, Sierra rushed out of the front door and impatiently waited for us to finish parking Ambulicious. Once Ambulicious was parked and we set foot on the ground, Sierra came running up to us, jumping into my arms so excited to see us. Tears of joy nearly streaming down her face when she realized that Kaden kept his promise. She didn’t think he’d really be able to make it back. He gave her a big hug and said “that’s what best friends do. We keep our promises.” Heart broke just a little hearing this exchange.

Friday night was great. We spent time with Sierra and her mom and talked the night away. Saturday morning came quickly and with it, a small list of responsibilities when I realized our tenant had texted me to ask if we could come over and set up some of her electronics and I had to pick up the mail and take pictures of our piano to hopefully sell. We also had to wait for some guys that were coming to pick up our truck we were to sell to them (who at the last minute, said something had come up and they’d need to come on Monday… Yeah, yeah, likely story.) and my sister-in-law was flying in to Reno and had a 15-hour layover before her next scheduled flight. We diligently checked the boxes on that list and I went to pick my Sister-In-Law up from her hotel and bring her back to what was now, full blown child chaos as Sierra’s party had started. We chatted until the wee hours of the late evening before Bronson and I took her back to her hotel so she could be up flying by 6:30 am.

We returned to Ambulicious and the chaos of the party. I walked into the house and there were still tons of kids still awake and moving around, whispering loudly that they couldn’t find a place to sleep.

I walked out after checking on Kaden and found him fast asleep, returning to Ambulicious and retiring for the evening, knowing the next day was filled with visiting other friends.

We spent the entire Sunday visiting with Kaden’s other best friend, Dylan. They took the whole day and built tons of stuff out of Lego’s, while we caught up with his mom. Kaden asked me if I would get the game Fortnite for him to play. After doing some research, that was a big, fat NO. I don’t care that there’s no blood or gore. I care that you’re talking to random people online, most of whom you’ll never know and can’t trust, and the entire game is about survival from other online, real people playing the game with avatars. They’re still real people, with real voices. And the fact that you can’t respawn, that you have to restart from the beginning with a new avatar to try to be the last person standing, meaning you have to kill other people to win the game, I’m really not on board with teaching my kid that just because it’s cartoonish, that it’s okay to kill people. Call me crazy, but kids these days are too desensitized to violence anyway and somehow, the lines between fantasy and reality have become quite blurred. That’s just my personal take. Maybe when he’s older, but for an 11 year old?

I was so happy to be able to spend this time with our friends. We all have busy lives and it’s rare that we actually get to see each other outside of picking the kids up from school or dropping them off at school. Now that Kaden is homeschooled, it’s imperative that we keep him socialized. I’m finding that to be difficult. I just haven’t done enough research and am having a hard time finding information on families that are doing the same thing as ours, figuring out how to keep them in social activities and engaged with other kids. Going and playing is one thing, actually making long-lasting friendships, well that’s our next challenge.

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