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This has been a ridiculously busy week, in a seriously busy month.

25 year old's apartment has been bought, her new landlord requires a new (pricier) lease. Her employer has a wage and hiring freeze. This leads to frequent calls home to mom to discuss economic issues, and economic desperation. 25 year old thinks it may be a case of "not waving, drowning!"

21 year old needs nagging from afar to get Federal Promissory Note electronically signed, or the necessary loans will not be there next year when they need to be. Did I mention that he is really, really good at passive aggression, and isn't to0 firm on the concept of unbendable deadline?

7 year old has a school play, and is starting home-schooling for piano. Her former piano teacher just could not handle her ADHD. I don't play the piano, but I've sat in on 3 kids worth of piano lessons, so between my husband (who can play) my dad (who studied piano at Juilliard) and what I have seen, I think we can get by until she is entering fifth grade, and maybe then her sister's teacher will be able to deal with her. Piano somehow just sucks time out of a day like a vacuum sealer removes air from a bag.

That leaves the 14 year old. She's in a play. Plenty of driving to rehearsals. She's getting ready for a trip abroad scheduled to leave out of Montreal at 5:00 p.m. on 4/16 (which by now is today!). I've been running around all week making sure her stuff is washed and ready to pack, her debit card works so she can get cash, she has a starter amount of Euros, Canadian dollars for the airport...etc....etc....etc.

Last night she needed help to learn what she had somehow missed in class about the affect of plate tectonics on volcanism worldwide. She didn't quite get how volcanoes differed depending on whether they occurred on a boundary where plates separated, or where they were merging, and how a "hot spot" volcano differed from both. I explained.

Now she is getting a lesson in volcanoes in divergent plate zones, specifically Iceland. Flights from Montreal to Paris are currently canceled, and as of now, we have spent hours getting her packed and measured and weighed for the trip, and we still don't know when/if she will be able to fly. We got her travel insurance, but most insurance will not pay for Acts of God, and I'm pretty sure volcanic eruption qualifies as one of those.

I realize that thousands of travelers are affected by this, and it is just an act of nature, and unpredictable and unavoidable, but if this trip gets canceled, this will mean that with 3 kids (so far) scheduled to take 5 school trips abroad (so far), 2 would have been canceled for explosive reasons. My eldest was going to see Egypt (and I was delightedly planning to chaperone) in the February following 9/11. It was understandable that the other parents nixed that one.

So, hands up if you would like a courtesy warning before any of my children plans a school trip!

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
beanpot
Apr. 16th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
The flight cancellations really are amazing. I think the last time it was this widespread was 9/11.

Fingers crossed she gets to go!
thothmes
Apr. 16th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
In the past hour I've received 3 separate phone calls (including one from my kid) to let me know that they have been advised to head up to Montreal and try to get the next available flight.

So now I sit back, hope all goes well, and use my best Jack-with-his-fingers-in-his-ears skills to avoid thinking about stray ash particles. I'm also hoping that none of my f-listers from Canada will get to see her being interviewed by the CBC for a Traveler's Nightmare story, because she's been camped at the airport for several days!
ziparumpazoo
Apr. 16th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
I wanted to have a good stiff drink on your behalf this morning upon reading this. I really hope the 14 yo does get to go, even if it is a bit delayed.

I promise not to whine and from now on appreciate how easy I have it just trying to wrangle the 6yo back to the table after supper to go over his homework.

I hope they will all give you a break tomorrow, at least!
thothmes
Apr. 16th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, go ahead and whine, it'll make you feel so much better!

Seriously, when you are in the trenches, and it's been a long day, and the 6yo is tired and grumpy and obstructive, it can be just as hazzardous to your mental health as my week has been. I think the trick is to be sure to wring every second of enjoyment out of the good moments, and to do what is necessary to pamper yourself in the bad ones, and keep moving forward.

Over the last hour I've received 3 separate phone calls to tell me that my daughter's group has been advised by their travel agent that they should proceed to Montreal, and try to be on the next flight out, so they have gotten on their busses and left. I just hope it goes smoothly, and that they don't end up, frazzled and grumpy, being interviewed by the CBC for a Traveler's Nightmare story.
ziparumpazoo
Apr. 16th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
That's good news, at least. Though I hope that if they have a significant delay, maybe their chaperons can make the most of it and take them sightseeing in Montreal. At the very least, it'll be a trip to tell stories about. :)
ansostuff
Apr. 16th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, that sounds positively exhausting! I really hope your 14 year old is able to fly and that everything goes well with the loans and apartment for you other kids.
not_a_zatarc
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's intense. Hope things chill for you and your kids soon! :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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