This is Eddie getting air during a race earlier this year. I believe it was taken by a professional or someone with a very good camera because capturing these guys is very hard on a point and shoot.
Eddie is competing in the collegiate national mountain bike races this weekend. This is his fourth straight nationals and the last one because he is graduating in December and will no longer be in the “collegiate” category. Like last year, the race is taking place at the Northstar Resort near Lake Tahoe. We had plans to go, and rented the same condominium as last year. I had mixed feelings because it is so scary to watch these races, but it is my last chance and we had a blast last year. However, it is not to be; Steve is going without me and I am bummed out.
In order for the two of us to go away together over night, about 100 things have to fall into place for Maggie. It is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. I started down my list ticking things off one by one. I have to arrange for extra nursing to cover the extra 8 hours a day that I generally do. This comes out of my pocket, but it is worth it occasionally. I also had to have some backup in place. My mom and sister agreed to pop in and visit with Maggie because she gets very confused and a bit mad when I am gone for too long. Last year when we did this Tim was home for the weekend and that’s how it was even possible at all.
I needed only one more piece of the puzzle to fall into place. If I could get Margie to take her old Saturday night shift then Lucy could fill in on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Denied. Not only was Margie not available on Saturday night, she could not work her regular Friday night shift either because she was going out of town with her family. That was a deal breaker, because Lucy would have been the backup. Now Lucy will work both Friday and Saturday night, but I do not have anyone to fill the extra shifts – so they are on me.
Getting a nurse to cover on the weekend is hard enough, but if I am not here, it has to be someone who is totally comfortable on his or her own. It cannot be someone new who is unfamiliar with all Maggie has needs and supplies. If I am not here to help and guide, a new person could not do it alone – and I would not be comfortable leaving.
Yes, Steve could stay and I could go, but he has more fun watching these scary races than I do. They come tearing straight down the mountain at breakneck speeds jumping over rocks and trees on the way. I stand on the hillside with my eyes closed. It is terrible when I constantly repeat to Eddie that one kid in a wheelchair is enough for me. He was hurt in a collision in last week’s double slalom event and considered pulling out of nationals because he is still recovering. But it’s nationals and it’s the last time; he registered and plans to give it a go this weekend.
Therefore, I wish Eddie well from the relative safety of home. I hope the race goes smoothly, that he does well, keeps all his teeth in his mouth and his bones attached to one another. Maggie and I will await word from our scout on the front lines.