I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to come back to this site after this weekend. It’s been like that a few times before– I get tired, I get busy, I dread uploading a thousand pictures, I think maybe it’s been long enough that I’ve been at this– and then this trip threw guilt into to the works. I had heard about the earthquake in China, but only immediately after it happened. The death toll at that time was terrible but not as crippling as it is now. It isn’t easy to deal with tragedy in any form, but I think it’s a human thing to try to be Okay with certain numbers: you tell yourself, God, nineteen people dead in a car accident, that’s horrible, and then you try to comfort yourself with, Well, it could have been worse, XYZ could have happened. But this IS the worst. There is never a best case scenario, obviously, but when you get stories of parents sifting through wreckage for three days looking for their only child’s lifeless body, you really think how really, of all the things that matter in the world, your blog isn’t one of them, and you feel ashamed. I read about mothers who shielded infants with their own bodies, and how is there anything I could say about the love for a child that compares to that? How inane does my entire Memorial Day outing seem compared to what tens of thousands of people are suffering?
So here is my entry, a long time coming, probably not very funny and more the bare bones because I can’t get interested in my own life at the moment–
Split the weekend between parents’ homes. Extremely nice to have available babysitters again. Saw ‘Indiana Jones’ at nearly-midnight with Dave and Becky– I fell asleep near the end, curled up in the cold theater. Had alien dreams. Elias and I go on motorcycle rides with my dad. Watch movies with Sharman. Sharman has the nicest deck I’ve ever seen, and she encourages me to relax on the daybed outside with cookies and a book. Heavenly. Rock climb with my father. We both make it to the top of every single wall– the first time I’ve ever been able to do it at that facility, and I even manage to beat my dad by about two hand-holds, which is monumental; seeing as my father is basically Chuck Norris. Ikea with Becky Jo. She uses my check card to buy snacks, and I get all giddy thinking she’ll TOTALLY trick the Ikea employees and they’ll TOTALLY think she’s Rebecca. Except: she is Rebecca. I forgot.
Michelle is working at Ikea. She takes a break, and we all sit around drinking soda and laughing about one random topic after another (Jason in a string bikini bottom came up, in fact). We spend so much time in the bistro that there are only ten minutes left till the store closes by the time we hit the showroom. Dave and Jason play Dead or Alive and eat Subway. Everyone is happy. On the way home, Becky and I trade ghost stories. She has the scariest ones. I won’t even write them down because they’ll haunt you like they did me (no pun intended).
Eat lots of food. LOTS. Get tan. Jason teases me that I could walk into a room with a light on and come out a shade darker. Go to Charlie’s for a BBQ on the way home; get to see his new home and new daughter. They’ve been in the process of adopting a little girl from China for a year and a half, and she’s here. This is baby number five. They are, literally, two of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve ever met. It’s hard to sum up how wonderful the McElvys are, but here’s a good example: they have a Wii, and every time a friend comes over, the friend creates a character– a Mii. There are 99 Miis on their system. That’s what it caps at.
Around here, since we’ve been home, I’ve just been slowly cleaning and working on my novel and reading the news. We’ve gone to the pool. Addie managed to pee next to the chaise loungers not three minutes after we left the bathroom, and after announcing it (hey! mom! i DID IT!), she tried to clean it up with my coverup dress. I saw it happening in slow motion and just couldn’t get there in time. Jason thought the story was hilarious. We tend to laugh at the other’s misfortune.
The other thing Addie did– or does, all the time– is scrunch her face up and intone, WOT? after you tell her something. “You want some cereal?” I’ll ask, and she’ll fake-frown: WOT? CEWEAL? WOT? IN A BOWL? This is different from her actual Confused What, which she draws out like a long punchline– Whaaaaa? Her WOT more resembles a grunting Irish man. I sort of love it.
Elias has been on his best behavior ever lately and checks in with me each day to see how his progress as Perfect Kid is going. “Am I being patient today?” he asks, seriously. “Did I be nice to Addie? Do you want me to clean up?” This is half him just being wonderful, and half him hoping it will result in a trip to McDonald’s. He adores cheap trinket toys. This week, I bought Cracker Jacks, which has been a Godsend. A prize in every box and he gets junk food out of it. (It makes me happy when our pantry is full of snacks. That’s the least Mom thing about me. I shop like a fourteen-year-old. I’ve been better about working in fruits and vegetables, but if we’re splurging on groceries, I always go for Zebra Cakes and chips and Kool-Aid squeeze bottles.)
Jason is having a long week at work. I don’t know many details. I just know it’s long and stressful. In other work news, Chris should be coming down next week for a few job interviews. He ended up calling this morning asking about Jason’s recruiter, and Jason’s recruiter sent us an email this morning asking if we knew any help desk guys. It rarely works out in real life like that– someone needs a job, someone has a job, perfect timing– so I’m crossing my fingers that everything works out.
I need to cheer up a little. I fell asleep tonight with Elias wrapped in my arms, my face pressed into the bones of his thin shoulder, smelling his skin, trapped between feeling so insanely thankful for his presence and our children and our family, and terrified that life is so fragile. This depressing weather doesn’t help.