Friday, May 28, 2010

two weeks notice.

so yesterday afternoon a call came that was going to bring to a close a long and sometimes painful chapter of our life here at the big red house. i've been waiting for this call for so long. and when it came it said i had to wait two weeks more.

sigh. fuck. sigh. i was sitting on the bleachers, once again, waiting for the duke's game to start. and you know that feeling you get when your heart sinks? when the sigh is so deep you might run out of air before it's over? the feeling of being so trapped in your own moment? when you actually say, out loud, "I CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE." emphasis on the "I CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE."

and then your husband turns to you and he says, "of course you can." and then he brings you a cheeseburger. because he knows that a cheeseburger is the only substance on earth that can right you and pull you from a spin.

okay, well, that's *my* life, but i'm sure you've had those moments.

and so i sat with this moment for a moment. i mean, what can you do if all you can do is nothing? when you have to dig deep and you don't know how much further you can dig? when you reached china so so long ago and the terra firma has run out? it's just you and your fucking worn to the nub shovel?

and i was sitting there, feeling very unkind. feeling like i did not want to choose grace about this. that i wanted to rage and cry and be as upset as i have a goddamned right to be. i have done this! i wanted to shout. i was done with this!

and then, because the universe has a giant crush on me, i thought about my friend stacy. she just popped into my head. and i thought about a moment i had with her so long ago. not the same as this moment. but similar enough. and it threw me a rope.

i was living on the border at the time. writing bad poetry, drinking too much, catching babies. and the moment in particular came at 3 am in the clinic. and it found me washing a bloody plastic sheet. and grumbling mightily about this fact. i was washing a bloody plastic sheet because it was the sheet that protected the mattress during birth. and on the border birth came with a lot of blood. always. and since i wasn't the primary midwife on the clean up was left to me and the other assistant(s).

so, i'm washing this bloody plastic sheet. and i'm complaining about it. because i'm tired. and because i am young. i mean i'm old enough to know what i'm doing is blessed, and sacred. and young enough to still complain about it.

and when you're the one left washing the bloody plastic sheet you often find that the sink isn't nearly deep enough, the water is never hot enough, and the sponge is never big enough. it's a loathsome task anytime of the day, monumental at 3 am. and it's tempting to cut corners. who would blame you? what if i only washed the part with the blood? and not the bottom where it never got dirty? and it's covered with another sheet anyway, it would still be clean, but quicker. it didn't need to be sterile. etc. etc. etc.

and then i hear my friend stacy pipe up. oh, now a word about my friend stacy. i love her. forever. she is awesome and beautiful. she's funny and snarky and intelligent. i've not tested the theory, but i have a sneaking suspicion the peace love community minded mama she is could hold her own in a barroom brawl. she has a place in my heart with a reserved table and an always freshly prepared drink. but at that time in my life? yeah, not so much. and i know the feeling was mutual. i don't know *exactly* why for her, but if i had to guess she probably noticed my giant propensity to be a total jackass. and i noticed she was a gemini. which was enough for me.

apparently i can only handle geminis if i sleep with them or marry them. i mean really, it was the only thing to bridge the ginormous fucking gap in understanding. (at the time, mind you. i'd like to think i've evolved. don't quote me on that.) and since i was pretty sure i wasn't going to do either one of those things with her that was that.

so back to 3am. and i hear stacy say, "you know, it doesn't matter how big or small or great or awful the job is, any job that needs to be done is worth doing well. even if you're tired. all work is important. all work is worth our best effort."

i just looked at her. probably hating her for saying that. because even then i knew she was right. and i will tell you what, that is something that has stuck with me all these years. and is a tool in my parenting arsenal that i count among my most treasured. i cannot count how many times i have said the same exact thing to my own grumbling children. any job that needs to be done is worth doing well. all work is worth our best effort.

all work. even the work of swinging at the end of the same rope you've been swinging on for what seems like forever. being patient is work. keeping your head up is work. having faith is work. it doesn't matter how long it takes because it takes as long as it does and you just have to do it. and why not do it with some amount of your best effort. with some grace. that's what stacy was telling me all those evenings ago. and that's what i remembered last night.

i can count so many things in my life that i didn't want to do, or to have happen. that i wished were different, less hard, less painful, less heartbreaking, less work. my first childhood, my first time, my first marriage, my first son's birth, the last minutes i spent with my friend jenny, the last conversation i ever had with my father. this last year. this last year. this last year. this last week. yesterday afternoon.

and i'm still here.

because you do it. you dig deep. and you hope like hell the sink is deep enough, the water hot enough, the sponge big enough. and sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. but in the end it doesn't really matter because that's just how it is. because this is your life.

and if you're lucky, if you're lucky like me you have the best family, the best friends, the most awesome support. if you're lucky like me you are impoverished only in what really comes to matter so very little, but the richest where it makes the most difference. and where it matters most.

so i think i got this. again. still. and hell, what's two more weeks when you're already the luckiest girl in the world?


Monday, May 10, 2010

i may have spoken too soon. quel surprise.

so as it turns out the tests i had made contact with some alien life form within my person.

they were vague and suspicious enough findings and descriptions of what was seen to necessitate further testing. and to make me think that someone's building an avatar like world inside of me.

i know this is all vague and weird, tell me about it! but the real story is long and boring and filled with medical jargon and this is already bordering on TMI and who really wants to hear about it in the first place, right? but i felt that since i started with the last post i had to update with the more current and correct information.

and that's all i know. which, as it turns out and per usual, is not a whole hell of a lot. LOL!

in other news i will share the following scene from this morning with you because life is just as humorous and charming as always around here.

me; hey, weird. i noticed you have a little bite mark on the same spot on the neck that i do?

PAPA!; yep. so you're probably thinking what i'm thinking about what's causing it.

me; vampires.

PAPA!; uh, fleas.

me; oh. yeah. that too.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010


so my last horoscope suggested that the week ahead was going to be filled with AMAZING GREAT LUCK! like it was basically saying get ready girl and hang on tight because you are going to be blown.away.

so naturally i was thinking i'd win the lottery!!! or get a hold of a bad clam and lose 20 pounds in a weekend!!!

you know, the good kind of luck. the LUCKY kind of luck.

but the thing about luck is that sometimes it's about what *doesn't* happen. but that's not what you're thinking when you're imagining instant wealth and bathing suit season.

and that's where my girlie parts come in.

you know whenever anyone is all up in your grill and you hear 'uh oh,' that that's not good. not during happy fun time with your partner and especially not when you're at your girlie doctor for a check up.

but last week, you know DURING MY INCREDIBLE LUCK WEEK that's exactly what happened. i got the 'uh oh' from my doctor. and i was sent for tests and was told my doctor would with the results. and she gave me a 'chin up!' before i left.

all of which, in my mind, did not bode well.

so i went to the test. and any time a pretty lady in a dimly lit room with soft colors and nice music is inserting something that hums and seems to be designed with ergonomics in mind into the squishier bits of your person and you're not drunk and you didn't pay cash up front for it then you know you're in trouble. that this clearly isn't a 'dear penthouse forum' moment but a dear god don't let me die moment.

so then i waited for the doctor to call. on wednesday. then thursday. i called the office thursday afternoon. nothing. except the doctor will call you! then i waited friday. i called late friday morning. the DOCTOR WILL CALL YOU! then came the weekend. do you know how hard it is to wait ON A WEEKEND for this kind of news?

by sunday i was sure i was done for and making deals with the devil.

then fate stepped in.

and on sunday night wingman woke me up in the middle of the night with doubled over stomach pains. whimpering, clammy, the whole nine yards. i had him lie flat. palpated his tummy. and right below and to the right of his belly button it was taut and painful.

the appendix.

so i had him stay in bed while i went down stairs to prepare to go to the hospital should we need to. worrying. and when i went back up he was fast asleep. so i let him sleep while i spent the rest of the night wide awake listening for him. worrying. hoping it wasn't the appendix. figuring it was. because we have a family history you see.

when the duke was three months his father came down with a bad stomachache that lasted for days. it wasn't the appendix because he didn't have pain on the right side. but we didn't know what it was.

by the time he finally got to the doctor he was sent to the hospital. and it WAS the appendix! and it had burst. but see his appendix was 'retrocicle' and in the WRONG spot. so there was no way to really know. and he is pretty stoic about pain. but now it had burst and was sitting near and/on his organs just being all infected. much like the present oil spill. not only do you have the problem at hand, now everything around it is affected.

and as a result he had to have a surgery that, worst case scenario, could a) kill him, or b) necessitate removal of parts of several organs or whole organs depending on the extent of the damage.

i was told to prepare for the worst case scenario.i had to a sign a paper that said i understood all this. i was 25 years old. with a three month old. it was not a good week.

long story short, he lived. and the infection had created its own bubble, and it was shielded from the other organs. and he was ultimately okay.

but i read this kind of thing runs in families. the appendicitis thing. so naturally when i have those 3 am signs and symptoms right in front of me i go right to worry. the next morning wingman slept later than usual and had some appetite, but not much. the pain never went away and the pain never got worse. he had no fever. he said he felt 'okay' but he just seemed off. i kept asking did you go to the bathroom, did you eat something weird, yes he went to the bathroom, no he didn't eat anything weird, we ruled out everything. and i worried. do i take him in? because it would have to be the hospital because he has no private pediatrician right now. (long story) and you don't go to the hospital for appendicitis if he's not presenting with symptoms for appendicitis. because they think you're a freak. they think you're one of those moms.

and i did that with the duke. i was one of those moms. 5 years ago. at three in the morning. same thing. but the pain was so bad. and i was so worried. his father lucked out. would my children?

and OF COURSE it was constipation with the duke. and i didn't care that i was one of those moms because he was okay! but, i'm a little concerned about making the same mistake. twice. at the same hospital, with another child. you know, lest they have some sort of 'list' i get put on. the moms who are freaks list. because the first time it's a whew! and the second time it's the list.

later that morning i went to the mailbox, full of worry, and when i came back wingman was hopping about saying he had just 'been to the bathroom' and his pain was GONE. he looked absolutely fine. back to his old self.

OF COURSE he was.

so i called my doctor. and couldn't get through. so i just said fuck it. what if there was something wrong with me? sure, that would suck. but not as bad as there being something wrong with my kid. and whatever it was, if there was something wrong with me, well it would just be what it was. i simply could not worry any more.

then tuesday morning came and i didn't hear from my doctor. and i didn't worry so much as wondered. and, you know, thought it fortuitous that i *just* did my annual update of the play list for my wake a few days before. because i'm just that kind of 'non worrier.'

then i went to baseball and when i came home there was a letter. from my doctor.

Dear Sillymortalmama,

Your test was normal. Please come back in a year.



and it was dated last friday. which meant she knew five days prior and i didn't. five days of unnecessary worry and countless years off of my life with the stress.

which just goes to show you two things; a) it doesn't help to worry, and b) i need a new doctor.

besides, i had a boyfriend who right after we dated found his true romantic calling with OTHER MEN and HE navigated around my girlie parts with MORE EXPERTISE and KNOWLEDGE than this doctor did. good lord it's like she missed that course in school. or never saw a freakin' chart.

so, the good news is wingman is fine. and i *am* going to die, just not for another 40-50 years or so.

well then.

i guess i did have an incredibly lucky week. just like my horoscope said i would.