I was going to say a day of fun, and maybe I still should...it was fun...especially for the kids. For me though, it was a distraction and a very welcomed one. Della called late this morning and asked if we wanted to go with her and we'd take the kids to Chuck E Cheese. Hardly any of my kids have ever been there, Tom's brothers were visiting so I wouldn't be leaving him home alone (it also allowed them to visit uninterrupted) and I had the money so we decided...SURE!
Liz, Carrie and Eileen had been the only ones to go to school and I'd already decided to yank them out early but they didn't know that. Almost on cue, as soon as I agreed to Della's trip, Liz texted Michelle asking if I'd pick her up from school. It seems she spent most of the school day in the guidance office. Michelle let her know I'd be there soon. I called all three schools and asked for the 3 girls to be released. I also picked up one of Della's boys while I was there so he could hang out with Luke and Jake.
There were 20 of us. I'm sure we were quite the spectacle coming in. But oh well, we spent a good chunk of cash with 3 pizzas, 12 sodas and about 400 tokens. The older kids took the little ones to play and ride on the machines while Della and I sat and talked. It was hilarious when all my big kids and their friends came walking into the place. It was one of the stops on Val's birthday day on the town. I think they might have been just as excited and had just as much fun as the little ones. I swear sometimes they never grow up. We were there for over 2.5hrs! By the time we were ready to leave I was ready for a nap. I couldn't imagine how exhausted I'd have been if I'd had to chase the kids around myself! I realized we picked a good time to go there. By the time we were leaving it was getting busy there.
We've been trying to make a difficult decision for the last few days. Do we keep Shelly Roo (Billy's dog) or do we allow Tom's cousin, who was Billy's bestfriend, take her. Tom's aunt is a place that Shelly Roo loved to visit. We were worried that she'd be looking for Billy here, his scent was everywhere. She's also 13yo and very skittish. She they found her she was living under a trailer, catching and eating snakes to survive. When she was living at Tom's parents house she'd run and hide whenever anyone came over. She slowly got comfortable around my kids while she lived here. Still, she didn't like a lot of commotion and noise...which our house is full of. She'd been doing really well this weekend and we thought...maybe we could keep her. All the kids wanted to keep her and I think Tom really wanted to also....she was a connection to his parents and Billy.
This morning our decision was kind of made for us. I got up from the computer desk and went into the kitchen to make coffee. Sean was the only other one up and was playing in the livingroom. While at the stove I heard Shelly growl and Sean start crying. I don't know exactly what happened but I'm pretty sure Sean was bugging her. Unfortunately it ended with Sean sitting on the floor crying with a small scratch across his nose, I'm assuming she scratched him. She wasn't happy here, and we couldn't "trust" her with the kids. We called Scott and he came and picked her up. It was like I was giving away a prized possession. The only consolation is that I know he loves her almost as much as Billy did and he'll take really good care of her.
One of the things that kind of bugged me this weekend is that I haven't paid a ton of attention toward the kids. Friday night I was concentrating on Tommy and his brothers and sisters. Granted I knew that they had each other and there were friends helping them too. Still even when Sean woke up and I had to go in the house, I still wasn't THERE for them. Saturday we got them out of the house and spent most of the day and evening at Bobby's house. I keep telling myself it was ok. It was really beneficial for them to be with their cousins...talking, remembering, and playing. Oh well, I can't beat myself up about it. I have to remember that you can be there and help someone in a lot of ways.
Tomorrow we're having an informal get together at a local restaurant. I'm hoping that it can really help the kids process this and bring some closure. I know it's only the beginning of the process but it's a step. The girls have really enjoyed making posters for Uncle Billy. There's one certain picture I HAVE to find or there will be some pretty upset girls. I hope I can find it, it's one of my favorite pictures of him. It epitomizes his nature, humor and how he was with the kids. He's sitting in our kitchen, hat on backwards with Val sitting on his lap and she's in a paper bag! They've always called it the paper bag princess picture. I also want to find the picture of Carrie hugging the snot out of him when he was visiting her in Boston during her bone marrow transplant.
I need to do laundry and search for that picture. Some sleep might be nice too...It's going to be a long day tomorrow.