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Monday, August 26, 2013

Moon

Driving in the car with Charlie with the sun roof open at night:

Charlie: Mama, Mama!  The Moon!  It's so big! It's following us!

Me: (Trying not to laugh)  OK,  Charlie.  I see it.

Charlie:  Don't worry, Mama.  It won't come in the window.  It can't get us.


I laugh at this exchange because I distinctly remember being very annoyed as a small child that the moon followed us everywhere.  I mean, seriously MOON, don't you have anything better to do than to follow me like some kind of deranged psychopathic stalker?  They make movies about people doing that kind of shit...what makes you so special that you can just get away with it and follow me and be all SHINY IN THE SKY?

I of course grew up and realized why the moon "follows you" (just last week...KIDDING!) and now can kind of chuckle at the sweet innocence of thinking that the satellite that orbits the earth had it out for me and was deliberately fucking with me by following me home.  (Looking back, it shows that my derangement runs real deep if I was thinking like that before Kindergarden...)  That was back before I grew up and realized that babies don't always get born; that people die or are killed, and not just strangers but people I know; that people get sick; that people aren't going to be what you hoped or imagined they would.

Before I had to explain to my children that a little boy that they have known all their lives got suddenly critically ill. That he is in the hospital. That he has cancer.  Just typing those words out makes me want to shake.

No parent should have to go through what his are right now.  No parent should have to tell their children that another child is ill, and critically so.

I feel helpless.  I have avoided blogging for a while because I tend to write out some pretty raw things.  Facing the idea that a child I have known since age 3 months, with the big grin and the deep belly laugh, who has questionable tastes in professional football teams but is spot on with college teams, that he has cancer...the ultimate betrayal of one's own body, IMHO...I couldn't do it.  It is still hard.  Writing out that he has a life-threatening illness...I don't want to admit it.  If I feel this way, I can only imagine how his parents feel.

So I participate in fundraisers for them.  Hell, I am helping to organize one.  I re-post updates and wheedle donations.  The community response has been fabulous.  I do what I can sitting here.

But I still wish that I could go  back to a time when the moon following me was upsetting.  When I never knew what it was like to have to explain adult things to a child.  When these kinds of things happened to someone else.

He is your child.  Your neighbor.  Your son.  Your best friend.  Just because he does not live with you, next to you, go to your school; it does not mean that he and his struggles impact you any less.  This disease has an impact on you; just because it is not directly does not make it any less of an impact.

The same moon that stalks me is the same moon that shines down on him where he is getting treated for his lymphoma in a hospital room.  The same moon that shines on you where ever you are right now.

Be cognizant of this.   People matter.  They all have their stories; their journeys.  Perhaps if we weren't so quick to judge, the world would be better.  After all, the moon is equally obsessed with each and every one of us.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Directions

For a variety of reasons that I still do not understand fully myself, my position at work has suddenly changed and I don't do exclusively emergencies anymore.  This is good and bad.  Good because I don't work solely with the acutely suicidal and/or homicidal and/or psychotic anymore. Bad because it involves me twice a week travelling to a different office.  This adds an additional half an hour to my commute, one way.

Those of you who know me in real life know that according to my sleep habits and patterns, I am an adolescent at heart.  If I could stay up until 2 or 3 AM and sleep till noon-ish, I would be super content.  I am not a morning person, to the point where Elizabeth used to tentatively approach me when she would younger and ask, "Mommy, have you had your coffee yet?"  I told Charles the first night I spent the night that I was not a morning person.  He just laughed the way he did the time I told him about my aversion to laundry.  The next morning he got out of bed to let his dog out, and I bit his head off:  "Why are you getting up?"  "To let the dog out."  "Oh...zzzzzz".

I mention the above because part of the reason I left my previous employer was due to the commute.  And also because it explains what I am about to reveal next.  It at least gives some kind of rationale for my actions.

I decided today to attempt to find a different way to this particular office.  I have to go through two small speed-traps towns and I was thinking that if I could find a back road to avoid this it might be quicker.

Now.  Let's just talk for a minute about what real-world talents I have.  I can open a screw top beer on a picnic table or counter edge.  I can tie shoes so they are less likely to come untied.   I can soften brown sugar once it has gone hard.

I cannot find my way out of a paper bag.  I have the navigational capabilities of a deaf drunk bat.  People like me are why GPS were invented.  To me, directions are similar to making gravy (another real world talent I lack.)  Why bother when I can open a can or make my older sister do it?  It is not like I do this that often.  Same with directions.  Why bother when I seldom go anyplace new and I can have a little nifty machine tell me in a pleasant female voice exactly what to do and when.

I have been to the city that this office is located in exactly four times.  Three were to the exact same place (my children's pediatrician's other office.).  I am not exactly familiar, is what I am trying to establish here.   Even typing this out, I am questioning what kind of logic made me think that it would be a good idea to try to find this alternative route with nothing but my iphone to lead me.  And since I still have not figured out the whole map app on my phone, it may as well have been paper directions.

I am that person who would drive around with the mapquest directions and accidentally hit the hobo on the side of the road as well as your dog too, all because I am trying to read and drive at the same time. I tend to multitask (five open...) and when you are going 55 MPH, eating yogurt is one thing but trying to read directions is another.  Figure in the GPS.  I am saving the hobo, and your little dog too. 

Saving hobos and dogs.  It's what your GPS can do for you.  Why am I not in advertising?