I've been having a bit of a time of it here, on a scale previously unimagined. Yesterday was one of
those days that defies description in under 100,000 words. I posted on Facebook, "Kinda feeling like I'm in the midst of a war zone. How many things can explode in one day?"
My friend Karen, who also has five kids, replied, "I've found that there is no limit to the number of things that can explode in a day. I will pray that there is a silver lining in your mushroom cloud."
This is why I occasionally use Facebook: people make me laugh. I like to laugh.
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I started writing a post yesterday about making genuine progress on handling successive and even concurrent crises with less aggravation and more grace. Tonight I said to Andrew, drily, "It seems I still have more to learn about humility!"
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At the end of the very long day, Big Guy said, "Mom, since I'm in an honest mood, there's something else I need to tell you." I nodded. "Today after I had my upset in school I thought I wanted to kill myself."
It is a measure of my day that I replied, "So what did you do with that thought?"
Big Guy looked puzzled. I elaborated, "What did you do after you had the thought?"
He replied, "Oh. I let it pass."
I said, "Good! That's exactly what you need to do with thoughts like that: if you have'em, let'em move on! Congratulations!"
He looked startled, but pleased.
* * * * *
At bedtime, my phone rang. It was a friend, calling on behalf of someone she knew who needed to know the preferred pediatric psych emergency rooms. I gave her the 5-minute rundown, and encouraged her to give my name and number to her friend. Note to the world: If you are ever in the position of even thinking you might need to take a child to the psych ER, you are absolutely going to call me.
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Little Guy awoke with a leg cramp at 1:30 a.m. Somewhere deep down I was sympathetic, but frankly that part of me wasn't awake. I've always told my kids that I am not a good mother after 9 p.m., because it's true. (Once, when Dancer was little and I snarled at her, she wailed, "But Mommy, it's only 8:58!") I muttered to my son to go get a hot water bottle.
A while later I heard talking in the living room. I staggered out and found Snuggler bending over Little Guy, rubbing his calf. "I'm helping him," she said.
"Why are you awake?" I asked, thinking only of school this morning, and the impossibility of getting her up at 7 a.m.
"I have stomach cramps," she replied. I shooed her back to the sofa, where she'd nestled up under a mountain of blankets, and settled Little Guy in my bed with the hot water bottle. Then I came out to tuck Snuggler in tight, hoping against hope that she'd get some sleep. She's had gruesome dreams every night for weeks, and distinctly dislikes the dark now.
By the time I returned to my room, Little Guy was asleep. In my bed. I lay down on the sleeping bag he'd set up on the floor (he's had trouble with sleep, too). It was pretty cozy, though the hardwood was a challenge.
Just as I was drifting off, I heard Snuggler get up. Groan. I went out and persuaded her to climb in with me. I listened for her breath to settle into a pattern before allowing myself to go back to sleep. But just as I was drifting off, Snuggler got up. She headed back to sleep on the sofa. I vaguely hoped that would work for her, and fell asleep.