The “In-N-Out” tradition. I can’t remember exactly when it started…these past months have been a blur of ER visits, admissions, nurses office pickups or missed days all together with so few “normal” days mixed in that I can’t even refer to them as normal anymore. I can’t remember the last time she went a full day without saying “I don’t feel good.” Like at all. I scrolled back through my feed to see if that would give me a clue. There was a post from November 20th…I’d said it was our 3rd weekend in a row in the ER so…the In-N-Out tradition must have started somewhere around October?

For every ER visit our next step went one of two ways…ambulance ride to UCSF or car ride to In-N-Out. When they ended in the latter Riley would squeal with delight and inform the poor chap removing her IV that she was heading for a burger…on at least two occasions she never even touched the burger…which we both knew would be the case but there was still a sense of reward that came with sitting in the drive thru and then gripping that white bag walking back through the doors of home. We needed our fast food trophy even if it meant we’d crawl into bed leaving it to display on the counter.

There was one night we barely made it before closing…She squealed from the backseat ”Mommy!!! The line is still SO long even in the middle of the night.” It was about 1:20am…prime time for the drunken college crowd to crave an animal style feast. It took forever. We didn’t care. When we got back to the apartment I realized I didn’t have my key fab to get into or up the elevators from the basement garage. We took the stairs to the street and up to the main lobby fingers crossed that the security guard would be behind the desk to grant entrance to us exhausted residents. I schlepped up the stairs carrying Riley and our beloved white paper bag. As I got to the door I realized how disheveled we looked. Oh and we STUNK. The fries masked the vomit stench (but only a little.) Riley had thrown up on both her clothes and backup clothes so her panty clad body was wrapped-ish in my sweatshirt leaving me in a t-shirt. As I knocked the security guard looked up with total confusion. He opened the door for us and I shuffled inside pulling the sweatshirt over her exposed shoulders. Don’t mind us. Nothing to see here. Sorry about the smell. Can you let us up to our floor? It was charming.

In-N-Out is always the prize. Avoided admission. Prize. Discharge. Prize. Knocking an MRI outta the park. Prize. Letting Mom get through a mound of editing while home from school with headache. Today’s Prize. I love it and all but I’m also pretty ready for a hiatus or maybe a commission…is “burger brand ambassador” a thing…if so…I got a girl.

riley in n out burger-4637riley in n out burger-4633


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