I got sick midway through and the cough is finally clearing up. My nose is raw from blowing snot out of it for weeks but I am just about done. I didn’t go to one festive holiday party. Not one.
Deren and I weren’t getting along. Mostly due to other stresses in our lives and we were not being properly supportive of each other. It happens, having a successful marriage can be hard work.
The girls were having their own issues whether it was hating school, prepping for the Nutcracker, depression…being a teenager is hard work.
I know of three kids in our community who died in December. One of them was a childhood pal of Brigid’s who suffered with bipolar disorder and killed herself. Shea was 16. Another boy, a 6th grader, died a couple of blocks from my house when, during a wind storm, a tree came down on the car he and his mom were driving in. My heart broke for those families and it knocked the stuffing out of me for a bit. I just wanted to wrap my girls in bubble wrap and not let them out of my sight.
Through all of that, I was forging full steam ahead to make sure everyone had a Merry Christmas, goddammit!
The stove finally bought the farm New Year’s Eve and we still don’t have one. We do have a new one in the kitchen but it doesn’t work and Sears isn’t returning my phone calls. I love that. Never buy anything from Sears ever, no wonder they are in such an awful financial position, their customer service consists of “that’s your problem”.
whine about tell you all of that, to tell you this.
This past Friday I was one of the drivers to the girls’ Confirmation retreat. Friday evening everyone met up at St. Thomas More to load up kids and food and sleeping bags and head to Mt. Angel where the retreat was being held.
When I walked into the parish hall where everyone was gathering, I noticed a girl standing against the wall holding a baby doll. The group is composed of high school students. This girl had on Mickey Mouse ears and was holding a doll. I smiled at her and then waited for my carpool assignment. The coordinator told me that Mary was coming in our car. Mary with the mouse ears. I don’t think she has Down’s Syndrome but she has “special needs” of some sort. Her speech is garbled but she is very talkative.
We packed Mary’s stuff in the car with Annie and Brigid’s gear and hit the road for one of the most delightful drives I have ever had. Mary’s picked her Confirmation name. It’s Brian. I think. She loves Disneyland but I’m not for sure on what her favorite ride is. She has a brother named Brian, maybe. She crowed like Gob in Arrested Development
Not long after we set out, Mary reached over and tapped Brigid on the shoulder and said, “You’re it!”
How fabulous is that?! For the next hour, the four of us would randomly tap someone and say, “You’re it!” I could only tap Annie because she was in the front seat and I was driving, so safety first.
Mary is never going to live what most of us would call a “normal” life but she reminded me of the simple pleasures. How much fun to tap someone on the shoulder, “You’re It!”
Life isn’t so bad when you’re It.