I show up at the day care today to pick up Sparkles at 6:05. Sparkles is in the courtyard with Ms. Janet, the head of the day care, which means Sparkles in the very last kid to get picked up. She is excited about something, she is talking about her friends, there is something going on in the gym around the corner…
It is Wednesday. I forgot today was the Teacher Appreciation Potluck in the gym. Not only is she the last kid to get picked up, but she has to wait with Ms. Janet in the courtyard while her friends eat cake and play games in the gym.
So I cry.
By this point, I had been crying off and on for about an hour.
Remember when I told you about my family’s five doctor appointments, four drug store visits and sixteen combined days of little-kid-home-from-day-care in just two weeks that made me call my Mom to fly in and help?
That was all over on Monday. Both girls back in day care, the first uninterrupted day at work in a long time, a house that is just starting to get clean again, a smile and a tender touch from Blue Eyes because we have made it to the other side, then on Monday night Buttercup gets sick again. Fever. Cough. Not sleeping well. Not eating well. I felt like my head was just getting above water, then someone hit me on the head with a baseball bat.
I try to stay calm. I try to go with the flow and just do what I can do. I had been hanging in there. Today was the third day. (As I edit this, I realize it has been just two days, but I can’t just make that edit because it really, really feels like three days.)
I had the afternoon shift with Buttercup and she was getting better. Her fever was gone and she wasn’t coughing, but she was crying off and on. She was agitated and couldn’t calm down. It is hard to hear your baby cry, she just wore me out. By the end of the afternoon, I started crying with her.
That is when we went to pick up Sparkles.
Ms. Janet offered to hold Buttercup for a few minutes while Sparkles and I went into the gym to tell her teachers ‘Thank You.’ Which is harder, I wondered, to not go into the gym at all or to go in for a few minutes?
I decided to go into the gym with Sparkles, which is why I can never be President of the United States.
Sometimes, when I get worn out, I get weepy and when I get weepy I don’t make good decisions. All our enemies would have to do is hang out at the day care and plan their attack for right after the girls have been sick, then who knows what I would decide when the urgent call came to my office.
Sparkles didn’t want to leave the gym so she starts crying. On the way home, we realize that Sparkles left her favorite stuffed animal at the day care, so she starts crying again. Then Buttercup starts crying. Then I start crying.
Blue Eyes gets home a few minutes after us to find all three of us crying in the living room.
Blue Eyes takes charge like a real live super hero. He tells the girls they are going to have super fun eating dinner together, but without me. I slip away to Austin Java Company. I have the Grilled Chicken Penne Pasta. I sit on the back patio and listen to the silence. I write. I breathe.
It is funny how what makes for a good time changes.
So, maybe God isn’t kidding me. Maybe he is reminding me that I’m married to a great guy. Maybe he is reminding me that I have a healthy family overall. Maybe he is saying it isn’t so bad to have a good cry with your kids now and then. Maybe he wants me to remember that Grilled Chicken Penne Pasta, because I want to have that again really soon.
Someone who works here just peeked out the back window. Oh, my, it is late. I imagine they want to go home.
I’m not all Pollyanna about tomorrow, but I’m not drowning either. We’ll all make it, no kidding.