Wednesday night, not unlike Christmas Eve, was the night before my baby's birthday. We dropped the kiddos by Granny and Papaw's and headed for Evansville. We joined our very good friends, Ryan and Angel for dinner at Logan's Steakhouse. A birthday eve celebration, if you will, since we would be leaving town the very next day on his real birthday. Thanks guys! We love ya.
Next we stopped at Wal-Mart in search of Abe something for his birthday. Again with our going out of town this would be our last chance to do any shopping without the kiddos along. It was now or never as we scowered the aisles. Well, Jason pushed my chair and my belly full, I sat back and relaxed, but still we scowered. It was hard shopping for him as we get him everything he wants usually as soon as he wants it. We're horrible spoiling parents. Kids just love us.
Once home I commence to wrapping and Jason commences to deciding packing for our trip would have to wait until tomorrow. I wasn't tired, but I guess I didn't walk around all of Wal-Mart front ways and back ways whilst pushing my overweight wife. Stop here. Turn here. No there. Wait! Can you back up? Allllright. Bedtime time then. G'night all.
Thursday morning EARLY at a little past 1 on one of my many trips to the bathroom I officially became the first to wish my baby a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He grunted a thanks and rolled over. Still early in the night he hadn't even made it a quarter of the way down the incline yet. Hehehe. An amuzing Spindler fun fact: I can tell what time it is by assessing how far down the bed Jason has slid.
Up and at 'um birthday boy! After all, birthday or not, it was still trash day. And I'd hoped we'd be up early enuff to straighten up a bit as I hate leaving the house in such disarray. Wish in one hand and shit in the other the saying goes. And see which one fills up faster. So there I sat all alone. The house nearing wreck status, packing needed done and did Jason let the dog out? I know he hadn't fed him. Poor Gooch.
Should I sit and try to rest up? Or should I wear myself out attempting to pack? Such a remedial task I used to take such pride in doing – I now feared would take me all morning, leave me exhausted, and even worse – scatterbrained, if left solely to me I'd undoubtedly leave something of crucial importance behind. What to do? What to do? It was only 2 nights . . .
So I try and relax. No good. Make a list of what we needed, perhaps? Started to but ultimately a waste of precious time. I spotted a basket of clean clothes and in Jason's small bout of optimism this morning, he had brought the large suitcase in to me. I matched the basket's contents the best I could and began two piles. Two outfits with socks and underwear for one boy and 1 ½ for the other.
As for me I'd grabbed all I thought I'd need on my way down. Smart girl, heh? Well, I'd forgotten my night times meds, BUT at least I realized I'd forgotten them. So far anyways. Jason's shirts were in the dining room awaiting hangers, but I wanted Jason to pick out his own stuff. Besides undies and socks which I'd also already thrown in with all my stuff. I was gettin' alot further along than I'd thought I would. Yay, me!
When Jason got home then expecting to see an empty suitcase, I could proudly tell him we only needed a few more things. We'd need a shirt for Abe and one extra outfit for each boy, just in case. We'd need my night time meds and all the DSs and chargers. That's not so bad for bein' immobile. There'd have to be at least one trip upstairs before our departure to turn up the thermostat and double check that everything was turned off. I wished I could've ran up there and been completely packed. Maybe, just maybe, he'd be surprised and proud anyways.
Scheduled for a meeting or meetings (not sure which) all morning long I wasn't about to call him at work, but just as I was about to worry about time, he called saying he'd be on his way shortly. He was going to go out to lunch with his Aunt Ann for his birthday. Starving, I asked where he'd be going. Chinese, heh? Nevermind. Tummy rumbling I proceeded to the bathroom to fetch the toiletries for packing. I must mention again here how wonderful my new pink walker is. The beneath the seat storage compartment – BRILLIANCE! And it got quite the work out that morning.
When Jason made it home he didn't say he was proud of me for all I'd accomplished, but his look of relief that he didn't have as much to do as he'd expected – wellll, that was worth all my blood sweat and tears. OK, I hadn't bled, broke a sweat, or cried, but I was growing desperate for rest and food. Not enuff to eat Chinese take out, but famished nonetheless.
One quick trip up. Zip 'er up. "Where's your shoes?" he asks. "You ready?" I still need to at least pee and brush my teeth. I thought I was the only one in the hurry as I was the only one at risk of missing her all time favorite show on television. "Wait for me Heidi," I thought to myself. I so hoped we'd make it in time for 'Project Runway.' Surely we would. Wanna stop at Mickey D's? Nah. Let's get the boys first in case they're hungry. And away we went . . .
Would we make it in time? A better question - - - Would we make it at all? Just past Vincennes I spot what I think may be a funnel cloud. I glance at the speedometer and determine we are going enuff above the speed limit to just get up and go past this eery cyclonic formation. Should that truly be what I think it is. "Please God," I prayed right then and there, "please keep my family safe!" Then I try focusing on scenery out the right side of the truck. There must be something alot less fascinating to look to the east. I closed my eyes tight this time and prayed my prayer again adding to it this time that my tension not be prematurely revealed to any other of the trucks fragile occupants.
Where we slowing down? SHIT! Jason had spotted it too. Trying not to alert the kiddos he motioned to the phenomenon nonchalant like with his left hand as if he were merely adjusting the visor. Ha! I'm waaay ahead of you here sweet thang. I'd already prayed twice about it. And as my jaws were beginning to ache I must have prayed each silent prayer with my teeth intensely grinding one another. If I didn't stop the gritting shenanigans a head cake would arrive in no time. Just breathe. In. Out. Repeat.
As calm and cool as he'd pretended to be, I could see past his cherades. He'd already inadvertantly slowed the vehicle. He hadn't braked, but just forgot to keep on the gas pedal as he'd been busy gawking at the, ummm, cloud let's call it. Just a cloud 'til proven guilty in a court of law. Or in this case a court of meteorologists. Either way I was growing nauseous. But stopping was the last thing I wanted to do. Sure other cars were doing it, but just because your friends jump off a bridge doesn't mean you have to do it too! I never was one to succumb to peer pressure.
"But I wanna take a picture," Jason whined. "So take one," I told him. "Hit the gas and I'll steer," I offered, "but, I want out of here NOW!" And that's when the peanut gallery became aware of the precarious situation we'd tried so diligently to keep secret. "What's that, Dad?" "Mom. You see that?" I answered calm enuff to kick Meryl Streep's acting ass, "Yeh, I see it sweet pea." Then I glance over to Jason working on his photography skills and continue my politician like answer. "I sure do see it, but I don't wanna for too much awful longer." And changed the subject. (Maybe I should run for some sort of office. Whatcha think?)
Jason did get a picture and sent it out to some of the guys he works with. One of which actually survived a tornado. Thank you, Wes for responding to his picture because he gave me the daunting task of responding to your post. He told me what to say and I was to type it in. I don't know how many times he had to re-tell me what to type. And it wasn't even that long of a response, but I apparently took my sweet time typing as we'd almost made it to Terre Haute by the time I finished. But what a truly welcome distraction that had been. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Jason and Wes. And last but not least God for answering my prayers.
Just under an hour from Terre Haute we arrived at our destination. INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA. We call it Indy. Abel carried the games. Asa pulled the suitcase. And Jason pushed the Angela. And I claimed my bed before he'd set the brakes on the wheelchair. As I searched for the Lifetime channel Jason ordered pizza and the boys began begging to swim. I would have ceremoniously kissed the floor had we not been in a hotel room and had it not been a near impossibility for me to do unassisted. I was sooo happy to have made it safe and sound. Praise God!
After a delicious pizza we kicked back a tic to enjoy more begging. Then trunks on, the men folk headed down the hall to the pool. I wanted to go but feared I'd over do and miss out on the big pool festivities planned for Friday and Saturday. And although I'd been unable to find Lifetime as of yet, perhaps I'd overlooked them amidst all the begging and pizza ordering. What kind of cruel world was this? Was I trapped in a world void of 'Project Runway?' Maybe if I went thru the channels again I'd be able to spot Heidi or Tim or Nina or nooooooo . . . say it isn't so. Guess I'd be missin' my show.
I was dozing off upon their triumphant return. Night time meds, prayers, good nights and lights out. Except for the bathroom of course cause I figured I be there at least a time or two before it was all said and done. There was just enuff space between the wall and the bed though that I'd need to be able to take an entire step unassisted more than likely resulting in needed help from my precious birthday boy. "Get up sucka! I need help. Whattya think this is? Your birthday?" Hehehehe.
Bright and early Friday morning Jason brings us all waffles and bananas. Yummy. I was thinkin' about left over pizza, but this was much, much better. Breakfast – yummy! Mmmmm! Then we watched tooners, packed and I may or may not have allowed for a little bit of jumping on the beds. Highly, highly supervised I assure you. We were on the first floor afterall. It was hard to pass up on such an opportunity as that. Good times. I only wish I could have been a more active participant. Maybe next time.
Can you believe we were ready to go when Jason arrived? We were. It was a birthday miracle. And in the words of Country Music Legend Willie Nelson, we were, "on the road again." We head south a bit and Jason asks, "You got them directions?" Well I had some directions, but prolly not 'them' directions, and more important had he lost his mind leaving the navigation responsibilities to little 'o me? Asa or Abel would be far more qualified than myself. Just sayin' . . . south is a safe bet for a while.
One old school full service gas station later we arrive in French Lick. Up, up, up the winding hill we go and we are there! Yippee! Big Splash Indoor Water Park. It is soooo incredibly awesome there. Look out once I'm liberated we may just be year-round pass holders. We make it to our room. A captain's quarters with a king bed and bunk beds. Gorgeous. Wonder if they have the Lifetime channel? Too little too late. Curse you Indy! (as I shake my fist to the north) Maybe I can watch it online later. Not even close to settled in the boys emerge from the bathroom in their trunks.
Fine. Let's tackle this MonSter. Fetch me my suit. And away we go. Again, luckily, and thanks to gracious planning by my dear husband, our room was on the same floor as the pool entrance and just a few rooms down from it very near the elevators. 1 – 2 – 3 and we were there. Yikes! The retractable roof was retracted. The ceiling fans weren't fanning. And the heat that rushed at us as we opened the doors was very much like the wave of hot air that overcomes you as you open a hot oven. Ouch. One small breath in and I was spent. The little bit of energy I'd fought to conserve for this outing had been zapped from me in an instant.
I think I heard somewhere that the heat index had reached 110 degrees that day. Friday the 13th to be exact. Although I am in no way superstitious where this particular date is concerned, I do believe had I been made to stay in that heat any longer than I did I may have very well suffered the same fate as countless other helpless damsels in distress had on that date. Jason and the boys had not been as physically as overwhelmed as I was, but I could tell Jason knew full well what it had meant for me. He rolled me over to a shady spot and sat next to me.
I did not want to hinder the boys' last hoorah of summer. Not no way. Not no how. So what if I didn't leave my wheelchair? I'd sit there and smile for as long as I could. Now if I could just convince the husband I'd be OK alone. One of us ought to be playin' with the kiddos – not baby sittin' the Mama. And before too much longer he was off. Had it been my witty use of the English language that persuaded him? Shear boredom perhaps? Nope. It was our watching the eldest converse with our youngest whilst gesturing towards the "big boy slides" as we've come to call 'em. Had Abe nodded his head yes? Was he following Asa off the plank?
Before I could even suggest to him that perhaps it would be a good idea for their Daddy to follow, he'd made it half the distance from me to them and was gaining. Go Jason, go! He's such an awesome Daddy. But we've covered that, right? As hard as it was on me I remained seated. Watching. Waiting. Listening intently attempting to recognize familiar shreaks of terror. Anxiety grows. Time passes. Temperature rises. Vision blurs. This may just be too much for 'ol Mom's ticker. C'mon already!
And here comes Jason. He looked a little pale. Where were the boys? Was everything okay? Finally he got close enuff I could see his gorgeous grin. Then close enuff to hear him I eagerly await the news. Silence. He was gonna make me ask how it'd went. Before I could swallow the nerves that had risen in my throat he swooped in behind my chair and bent down to release the brakes. "What are you doing?" I managed to get out. Still no response. Had I lost my hearing now too?
I do my best Linda Blair impression and attempt to turn and face him. Maybe if my hearing had left the building I'd be able to read his lips. This time I raise my voice even higher and demand, "Are the boys ok?" "Sure are," he replies. And then he explains he was taking me over to where the slides empty out so I can see them on their next trip. Awesome! Once in place then with brakes back on I ask how it had all gone down. I assumed well as they were already in line again, but 'o crip sure would like some details.
He explained he'd stayed out of sight best he could and that the boys trekked the crazy steep stairs all on their own. He said when they'd made it to the bottom he was a bit worried as Asa came flying off the raft and Abel had a look of terror on hi face. But upon their return to dry land he bombarded Abe with questions about what he'd thought and he reported he loved it. Yay! Asa would have a slide buddy now, well, besides his Daddy who was less than thrilled with climbing those stairs over and over and over again.
So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. The line didn't appear that long. And Jason had rushed me over to the slides exit worried he wouldn't even make it in time. What was the hold up? I hope everything was ok. Nerves were back. Had they ever left? Jason was right here. What did I have to be nervous about. Note to self: consider lookin' in to anxiety meds once you're settled in back home. Okay? Okay. Here they come! Here they come! And . . . a raft for two with only Asa on it!
Now the look of terror could be seen on Jason's face. Slow on the uptake I look at him bewildered as to why he looked horrified. Then I look to Asa who looks pissed. What was I missing? HOLY SHIT! Abe! We were all missing Abe. I can't speak. Upon this realization of this terrifying situation I try to cry out to Asa and ask where Abe was but found myself completely unable to speak. I tried swallowing to make room for words – couldn't do that either. Wonder if I could still even breathe?
I shift my focus again, this time to Jason, but he wasn't where I'd left him. He was stomping towards the end of the tubed slide whilst yelling at Asa. Was he gonna climb up that slide? Oh my, God! Could Abe be stuck in there? Oh my God, Jason. Then I remember looking at the cute little girl lifeguard looking at my 6'2" 265lb. Husband with concern in her eyes. Was she concerned with the son he was missing or with trying to figure out how she was gonna go about attempting to keep him from goin' in the out of that there tube 'o death.
Thank God first and foremost that everything was okay. And thank Asa second for coming out of his waterlogged state just in time to answer his father's desperate cries for an explanation. Finally I heard Asa yell back thru his continued barking, "He didn't come with me, Dad!" And with that Jason switched directions heading towards Asa to help him out of the pool and requisition a calmer, cooler, more in depth explanation of what had just happened. Still no Abe, and thus still no breathing coming from the girl in the wheelchair.
And then as I'm becoming light-headed and my head begins to tilt back my line of sight is redirected upwards towards . . . wait for it . . . a gift from heaven . . . wait for it . . . Abel Robert Spindler timidly making his way down the nearly never ending flights of steps. And swallow. And a breath. And then another. Was I wiping sweat or tears from my face? Thank you, thank you. Praise the Lord! There was my baby. Damn, that was scary. Funny thing was, as I was completely paralyzed and rendered unable to speak it was as if I had remained the calm cool collected one throughout this entire ordeal.
After our reunion with hugs, kisses and stern reprimands we moved over to the netting where the kiddos could climb ropes across the water, play basketball, or take a ride in the whirlpool. Once in place, brakes on, and feet out of the way of traffic I watched Abe on the ropes while the bigger boys went a time or two more on the "big boy slides." Then Asa hit the ropes, then we went back towards the entrance near the smaller slides. Way more me and Abel's speed!
Then my ever attentive wonderfully caring husband noticed quite possibly I just may have had enuff. I don't know what tipped him off as I was concentrating on swallowing and remaining quiet. Ah-ha! Perhaps it was te quiet that had alerted him as to my need for an air conditioned break. Or maybe a higher power had whispered to him. Whatever the reason, as soon as he offered a return to the room I leapt at it. Figuratively, of course.
"But wait," I said. I did not wanna rain on the boys' parade so to speak. I explained this to him although he already knew I hated to always be the reason for leaving, or missing, or whatever. And with that he threatened the boys with their lives that they were to stay together and stay on the small slides until he returned. They had to repeat the orders and say they understood. They had to promise and pinky swear. He said he'd be right back – and he would as our room wasn't but a few doors down.
I needed assistance to even make it in the bed. And before I even knew Jason was gone him and the boys had returned. Soaked and tired. And me? I must've been dry and exhausted as apparently I'd been snoozing since my return to the air. Relieved they'd returned I continued my nap as they ordered pizza. And as good as that pizza smelled, I considered continuing it even further. ZZZzzzzzzz . . .
We ate. Watched 'Total Drama World Tour' and fell asleep. Maybe we were ALL of us pretty tired. Good sleep. Sweet sleep. Gooooood stuff. And then an all too familiar sound of Jason's alarm. Morning came fast but prayers answered, I didn't seem to mind. Sure I was sore all over, but surprisingly well-rested all things considered, AND most important of all -- there was a huge breakfast buffet awaiting me downstairs in the galley. I loves me sum breakfast. Mmmmm.
Bellies way fuller than they should've been we headed back to the room to prep for day 2. Look out Big Splash - Big Mama may just make 'er in today! An overly deep, energetic voice says, "Stay tuned to find out. Will she or won't she? And if she does, will she make it back out?"
[Insert dramatic soap opera- like music here] Cut to dramatic close up of Big Mama's terrified sweaty face with eyebrow raised. Mouth slightly opened to convey confusion. Then she looks left and right almost frantic. Roll in text : TO BE CONTINUED. Fade to commercial.