Matt’s mom (Carole) and I have been tracking Matt’s progress on the SPOT tracker all week. The boys and I drive from MA to NH and arrive at my sister’s place around dinner time on Wed (11/5). It is a bit chaotic with the four kids, the babies and bedtime so it’s late when I finally check my phone. There is a text from Carole – all it says is ‘call me.’ When I call she says that the SPOT tracker stopped working for a number of hours and she didn’t know where the boat was. She was out to dinner when her cell rang from an unidentified Boston caller. It turns out it was the Coast Guard saying that the head of the rally had lost track of Matt and did she know where he was or had he been in contact with her. The answer was ‘no’ to both of those questions but she kept her cool. She gave them all the boat info and tracking numbers and they called him on the satellite phone. He was fine and just needed to reboot the SPOT tracker. I was glad I had missed the drama until it was resolved.
The night doula we had in OH with Joshua for 3 months came up to NH and will be with my sister through January. She has the downstairs suite so my sister is very apologetic that the boys and I are sleeping with her 7-year-old in her room. The three of them on the floor and me in the bed. I assure her that the bedroom has more square footage than the whole boat and that we are fine. I return to my role as helper. Because I’m doing somewhat mindless work (changing diapers, comforting fretful babies, doing dishes, making meals, running errands, doing bedtime routines), I occupy my mind wondering how much money someone would have to pay me to simultaneously care for two infants and two young children. I finally decide on a minimum of $10K a day. On Saturday, because I can tell she needs rest, I tell my sister I’ll take the four kids to the lake house for the weekend.
It’s a 70-minute drive and I have no idea where I’m going so Google Maps is navigating. The phone rings. An unidentified caller. I never answer those calls but something tells me to pick this one up. It’s Matt excitedly saying he can see land (i.e., Bermuda). He’s on speaker and the boys and I are all talking at once we are so thrilled to hear his voice. Google Maps is saying something important about an exit and Matt keeps saying he can’t hear me.
I have four kids in the van (two of whom belong to someone else) so I am eyeing traffic as I click to take him off speaker phone. In horror, I realize that I just ended his satellite call. The boys fall silent. “You hung up on him?” one of them asks. Later, I keep checking his progress. It looks like he lands in Bermuda some time on Saturday (11/9) night.
We get to the lake house and the kids play outside during the day and then we build fairy houses. The 3-year-old sleeps in my room. After being woken up by him at 11 pm, midnight, 1 am and 4 am, I decide I’d need to up my daily fee to $50K. It’s the hardest job in the world. My sister shares that she left the house last week with her 3-year-old and the babies and made two quick stops. Add in feedings, burping, changing diapers, etc. and she arrived home seven hours later (again, at least $50K/day). We are celebrated one day a year for this job? I’m starting to think Mother’s Day is a government-created holiday so that women don’t march on Washington demanding payment for ensuring the survival of humanity. Ladies, who’s with me?