the desire to achieve

september 2019
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Zeke Traver (36 years), Morgan Russo-Traver (35 years), Lewis Traver (13 years), Cicely Russo-Traver (5 years), Vivienne Russo-Traver (5 years)

narrated by: Morgan

My Mom announced to me two years ago that she intends to retire when she turns sixty-seven. Her intention was for me to get my resume in order so I could be taken seriously when I apply. I’ve never been as focused in my career before, always knowing that my Mom was in it for the long haul. Now though, I know I need to get in before someone like Dr. Dwyer gets the position, because he’s only a few years my senior, and it’s not likely I would ever get the chance to be Chief of Staff again. This is it for me, my only chance to obtain my dream.

I’m logging late hours at my office, just to keep my paperwork a hundred percent complete. I’ve had to take on writing articles for medical journals, and propose research proposals.

Zeke is supportive of me, and now that he is on first shift, it means that he can run the house in the evenings. He brings the kids to visit with me on break if we both have the time to make it work. My Mom usually comes down to say a quick hello. She’s barely able to reign in her contempt towards Zeke, something I had hoped would have gotten better over the years.

I think the girls’ are more interested in the cafeteria desserts though then in telling me about their day.

It is nice to catch up with Zeke though, sometimes it feels like we never see each other. I think he’s done a better job of taking over the main parent role then I did when I had it. Even though I do obstetrics and pediatrics, teenagers aren’t easy for me to relate with; I’m afraid I have too much of my Dad’s militant personality in me.

Even though me and my Mom do not have a traditional relationship, she does look out for me when she can. She shared some private information that Dr. Dwyer pushed forward with a surgery when he should have called in myself to take over for him. He’s facing a malpractice lawsuit now for making mistakes during the procedure.

It’s great news for my prospect of being Chief, I’m certain of it. Mom chided me for my excitement though, telling me that there are two more years before she retires and this could be old news by then. She reinforced that I need to keep focused, and not become lazy now in the final stretch.

She also mentioned that I have had complaints that I need to work on my bedside manner, and be more cheerful with patients. This isn’t news to me, my Mom is not exactly a ray of sunshine, and it didn’t stop her from being Chief.

I know she has a point though, but its difficult for me to become emotionally involved with patients. I did a six-week ultrasound for Grace Andersen to check on the baby’s progress.

She was overwhelmingly glad that she had not miscarried this baby like in the past. And I can appreciate that, but when she went in to hug me, I couldn’t stop the reflex to back away.

I’m not sure how to change this feature, or if it’s really necessary to try and change before applying to Chief. It seems like this is a feature that would be good for making decisions, like it has suited my Mom well all these years.

Both of my girls are growing up quickly, when I come home they usually have friends over, and are dancing to pop music in the living room.

I’m beyond focused with my career though, that I have a difficult time shutting my mind down when I am home. Vivienne is constantly bouncing off walls, giggling uncontrollably, and telling Cicely secrets which causes more giggling, that I sometimes can’t wait to send them to bed. I hate to feel that way, but Vivienne just has too much energy for me.

Even sending them to bed results in more messes, and then shouting from me. I hate to be grouchy at home, or spend all my time reprimanding them.

Especially if I am working on research proposals when they are getting into their mischief. It’s impossible to concentrate.

My Dad has also retired from the military, and is now officially a veteran. The word seems old to me, and it surprises me to think of my Dad in that way. He’s been working in the military since he turned eighteen, and I feel lost to imagine him just sitting at home; I can only imagine how he feels.

We invited them over, and Zeke’s family for a little celebration for him. Mom seemed to be in high spirits, that she was even pleasant with Zeke; he didn’t seem to know how to take that.

When I felt misty over his retirement he chided me that he was looking forward to being done with all the politics. He also warned that we may be seeing more of him at our house than in the past, especially with Mom working for another two years yet.

Both of my parents have really livened up to being grandparents though, they were never this fun with me when I was growing up. The girls are very into dancing around and belting out tunes, and my parents are more than willing to learn the dance moves from them.

Zeke’s parents are also wonderful with them, though Kenzie and Tyler still have Dean at home, so they aren’t as full-fledged in their grandparent role as my parents are.

Lorelei is focused on her wedding which isn’t until next October, a whole thirteen months away. She wants the girls to be flower girls, and for myself to be one of the bridesmaids, with Zeke and Lewis as groomsmen. It’s really going to be a large sum financially, not to mention time consuming.

I don’t think Zeke’s family gets what goes into my position, especially now with my focus on the Chief spot. I don’t have time to help plan Lorelei’s wedding, or really the desire to help plan it. I will, out of obligation be in the wedding, but partially feel that it’s a pity invite. Perhaps she didn’t want my entire family to be in her wedding, and only me as a guest.

I really would not have been offended, in the least.

Zeke made a request that I try to come home sooner, and finish paperwork at home instead, and it’s made me less efficient. It has however, helped me realize what was happening in the household, things that Zeke had failed to mention. And that simply was that Lewis is dating Caitlyn.

She comes over in the evening, and they hang out in the backyard, or he disappears to her house for hours on end. I personally don’t believe that eighth graders should be dating, let alone kissing.

I’ve seen them outside with his arms on her, and even kissing a few times. And the way that Caitlyn looks at Lewis makes me very uncomfortable.

Zeke doesn’t think it’s a big deal, and that I am over reacting. He also believes that I should stop spying on them in the backyard, and that nothing is going to happen out there.

However he is not the doctor in the family, and he fails to realize that Julia Millett was a freshman, just one grade level higher, when she got pregnant.

I felt that I had to put a stop to their canoodling on the ground, and that there had to be guidelines if they are going to be allowed to see each other.

With Caitlyn’s Mom being out of the picture these days, I also felt that I needed to have a talk with Caitlyn about respect, and moving slowly in relationships.

She was uncomfortable as soon as she realized where it was headed. But I felt responsible to speak to her about being safe, and having the right to say no, and even that I felt that she and Lewis were too young to even consider that path.

I tried to be kind but also clinical, in hopes that it wouldn’t be too scaring for her.

By the time we got to the end of it though, she told me that she appreciated me talking with her. She doesn’t feel comfortable talking with her Dad about these girl things, and that I shouldn’t worry, she isn’t planning on doing any of that with Lewis right now.

When working with teenagers, I know to accept what they say with a grain of salt, they tend to lie, and so while I hope that she is not intending to go farther in her relationship, I wouldn’t be shocked if I found out she did.

And it was that latter thought, that had me force Zeke into talking with his son about it all. I would have done it myself, but we tend to butt heads lately. He’s very sensitive when I reprimand him, and thinks that I’m unfair to him, so I try to pick my battles.

Lewis responded similiarly to Caitlyn, but much more vocal. Zeke did say though that he was able to get him to calm down enough to listen. He feels confident that Lewis is going to choose to wait, for now at least.

Zeke also insisted that I go out for a ladies night, something that hasn’t been done in years. Leah and myself have an on again, off again sort of relationship. She’s all the way out in Millwood, and our paths don’t cross often other than when she had her stillbirth, and when Julia had Nolan.

Hazel isn’t particularly close with her these days ether. Leah kept telling stories of Nolan, and how much he adores snuggling. Hazel wasn’t in a great mood, and seemed impatient with the stories.

It wasn’t until we were seated that Leah talked with less glee, and more realism. Her and Grant are concerned over Julia, since they took over the care of Nolan, they had hoped she would be diligent with her studies, preparing for college. It hasn’t exactly been that way, and now that she has her license, she’s been going off without coming home after school.

She says that Hadley is thriving in college though, and that is one thing that she had never expected. Hazel and myself tried to comfort her that Julia would come around, and that having a baby so young, even without caring for one, was still a huge deal.

I was happy to go home, and have the small issues to deal with, like Vivienne not getting her homework done. She is a C student, when none of my children should have less than an A. They are brilliant girls, just lack focus.

Vivienne can be downright sassy, and then stare at me with these blank, innocent eyes. But I’d rather have this, then a teenager that is pregnant. And I’m very happy that me and Zeke discussed safety with Lewis and Caitlyn.

At the end of the month was our six year wedding anniversary. We both took the day off work, and just spent it in our sleepwear, drinking coffee at the table.

Things haven’t always gone as I had expected, especially with Zeke’s work shifts constantly changing, and the extra work load of trying for Chief, but I am happy that I married him. And I hope that someday we can take the time, and get our finances in order that we can finally renovate our house. It’s been on the list since we bought it, and we have barely done anything other than tear down some wallpaper.

We are both glad that we stopped with the twins. But I think we will miss this sweet stage of our little kindergartners when they are teens, and Lewis is off in college.


Notes: Dr. Marcus Dwyer got a chance card, where I had him finish the surgery, as I thought he would do being in the running for Chief. And it ended with a malpractice suit, which may or may not effect his chance of being Chief. Morgan can have the slot if she can get herself promoted up to that point, but Marcus is older, and higher in the medical field than her, so she does really have to work hard. And that requires that she keep rolling those wants for skills. I’m also making her write articles to go along with it, so she is pressed for free time.

Vivienne and Cicely are goofballs, and Morgan is serious all the way through, she seems to be annoyed at their antics often, and the fact that they are two, means they are always into something.

Hazel was really hating everything Leah talked about at their dinner, she could barely contain her boredom, and lack of interest. Poor Leah, she could really use a good, close friend, and I can’t imagine it’s easy to talk about your teenagers son, and being a grandma at such a young age, especially when all your friend’s seem to have their lives in order.

Lastly, I love Cicely’s expression, she’s such a character when telling stories.

Thanks for reading! Sorry about such a long hiatus, did Nano again this year, and completed it, yay. It wasn’t as awesome of a year as last though, story fought, and time was constrained, but I should be having more free time now, and my new computer is in. I have yet to play my hood on this computer (I’d already played this household back in October) so hopefully when I go to load my game up and play, it all works nicely.

Thanks again!


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6 thoughts on “the desire to achieve

  1. A malpractice suit has got to count against Dr. Dwyer, right? Even if it comes to nothing, the powers that be might decide that where there’s smoke, there’s fire and that maybe there was something to the allegations anyway. It definitely seems like it would be a bigger deal than a kind of standoffish and cold doctor but who knows? I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Morgan!

    That must be tough for Morgan, to see Lewis and Caitlyn dating and not approve. Especially seeing Zeke is okay with it. Tricky line to tread there. I’m glad she spoke to Caitlyn though – she could use a positive influence in her life. Maybe Morgan is better with teens than she thinks she is?

    I also just have to say that Cicely and Vivienne are so adorable! And they’re so five, as well! I can think of a few girls at school who act just like they do!

    1. I think Morgan might be a little more yielding on the dating if he were perhaps 16, but with Julia’s pregnancy, and her being an OB/Pediatrics, she just knows the risks more than Zeke (and he was a product of teen pregnancy!), he just isn’t the type to get worked up. I do believe they will be on exactly the same page when it comes to Vivienne and Cicely dating, as in, not until you’re thirty young lady. πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to that!

      The girls are so their age, they were constantly up to shenanigans, like the Woodfolk home is actually. But it fits in the Woodfolk home more than then one, even Lewis is rather subdued. They kept pestering him to watch them do hand stands, while he was reading on doing homework.

      I think in real hospitals, malpractice suits likely happen to a lot of them, at least from what I hear. I’m not actually involved in it, but my old neighbor was one of the head people that dealt with it. Which is a great job, whatever that would be called, Insurance Corporate Hospital Person, the Board… whatev, because they get free medical and loads of money, and without the cost of insurance or medical bills… wow.

      Thanks for commenting Carla! πŸ™‚

  2. Ouch! A malpractice suit is not good. I hope Morgan can get there and get the big promotion! She’d definitely make a good Chief of Staff–her emotional detachment is actually really good for a job like that.

    Oh boy, it’s always fun to read things from a point of view like Morgan’s! She’s definitely not the life of the party and she doesn’t suffer fools easily. I loved her talking to Caitlyn. I can only imagine how awkward that was! She really doesn’t trust teenagers at all. At least she’s trying to do something productive about it, like ‘help them’ instead of banning them from being together completely.

    Cicely and Vivienne! It’s a long way off, but they are going to be the best teenagers. I fear they may give Morgan a few grey hairs. πŸ˜‰

    1. Hopefully she gets the spot, but it does seem like a lot of hard work, so who knows. I like that she’s confident enough to speak to her stepsons girlfriend about such topics.

      1. Starr, I hope she gets the spot too, and being Chief is definitely a lot of work. Gotta make her work for it! Morgan and her parents have never been one to mince words, though Morgan isn’t exactly just as confident to speak bluntly to her parents. She’s still a bit of a child when it comes to that particular relationship.

        Thanks for commenting Starr!

    2. I really hope that Morgan gets the promotion too, it’s been a long time goal of mine, since it’s her LTW, and her Mom’s was the same too. A family of doctors I thought would be awesome. Not sure if Cicely or Vivienne will want to continue with the tradition. I do have that hack on LTW about in the family business, or something, so police officer’s children are more likely to roll that LTW too.

      Morgan is not the life of a party, but she’ll save you if you choke on your cocktail shrimp! She’s much more to the point like her parents, and being a doctor, she thinks logically and clinically. So she would feel it was her obligation to share birth control information with Caitlyn. I am looking forward to Cicely and Vivienne being teens myself, and with my slow playing, it will be a long way off! I do believe Morgan will have some grey hairs for sure, and be missing her little girls when they are tearing up the town, and boy crazy.

      Thanks for commenting Mao! πŸ™‚

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