Just Some Seriousness That Has Weighed Heavy On My Heart Tonight

Today.

Where do I even begin?

Maybe I should begin at 10:00 Tuesday night, which would help with explaining why today happened the way it did, because at 10:00 that night, Thing 2 woke up with snot.  And when I say the word snot, I mean the poor little man couldn’t breathe and decided to cough and sputter and gag and threaten to unleash the puke because of it all.

Of course, he’d gone to bed at 8:00, perfectly healthy and completely exhausted, because Hubs and I took him to the big city park and pushed him in a germ-infested baby swing that was once blue, but had turned black with all the gunk.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept telling myself that the gunk on the swing was a bad idea, but then Hubs summed it up and said, “We’re building up his immune system and making a man outta him.”   We all know how important it is to make a man out of a four-month-old baby.  And then we fed him ice cream, even though pediatricians everywhere frown on that type of parental behavior.

So when he woke up at 10:00 with all the snot happening, I figured that a swing germ had just gone on ahead and manifested itself at the center of Thing 2’s immune system; obviously swing germs are quick moving.

And then we were awake until 3:00 AM, because Thing 2 couldn’t breathe when he laid flat, and the only way he was comfortable was if Mama Girl held him upright on her shoulder while we rocked in the rocking chair.

While he coughed in my face.

I can’t even remember the last time that I stayed COMPLETELY AWAKE until 3 AM, but I’m sure it involved college, Trish and Deb, outrageous, gut-busting laughter, eleventy-hundred quotes from Steel Magnolias, and a Zima with a hard Jolly Rancher candy shoved down inside of it.  Tuesday night convinced me that college was a long time ago, and after you sip your evening Metamucil cocktail, it becomes nearly impossible to keep your eyes open these days.

And then last night, Thing 2 decided that the snot was pretty much gone and YES!  He could just go on ahead and sleep quietly… until 11:30 when he said, “Um, hello.”  And when he greets you like that, it pretty much means, “Get out the toys!  Turn on the lights!  Crank up the Silly Songs With Larry on the iPod!  And do we  have any sweet potatoes leftover in that stainless steel fridge we have?”

And so it was that today, I was tired.

Tired. 

Tired enough to voice a couple of complaints to Hubs that went like this:

“Good grief!  I am exhausted!”

This morning, my parents stopped by and Mam said, “I am taking the boys so that you can lay down and rest.”  And that’s all fine and dandy, but I am not really a layer-downer-and-rester sort of person.  I’m what you might call a non-napper, because?  When you nap?  You’re not productive, and my OCD does love to be somewhat productive during the daylight hours.  So I told Mam and Pa that I was fine, and that I’d just finish up the laundry and maybe vacuum a floor or six, and that’s when my dear mom simply said, “You need to rest.  And your dad and I are going to steal these boys and take them out for lunch, and we will do fun things with them.”

By noon, I was childless.

So I spent an hour online looking for a new gray rug for my kitchen, which I would like to spend $15 on.  Apparently the rug that I want, though, is hand-knit by bearded dwarfs in the heart of a magical kingdom, using the silky hair from a nearly-extinct hamster that only lives in the Orient, because of LOADS OF AMERICAN DOLLARS.

For one gray rug, of the smallish nature.

But I love the one I found, and I began plotting that if I used this gift card and put this bit of saved-up birthday money in, and then if we ate nothing but Ramen noodles this week, I could have the gray rug express-shipped to me, and it could be on my kitchen floor by next Tuesday.

And then I sighed and decided that I’d think about it.  So I didn’t order it.  And then I decided that DO YOU KNOW WHAT?  I MIGHT JUST LAY DOWN FOR THIRTY MINUTES, BEFORE I LOAD THE BREAKFAST DISHES INTO THE DISHWASHER, BECAUSE GOODNESS!  I AM A BIT TIRED.

So at 1:00, I laid down on the boy’s ultra-comfortable mattress on his bed.  Even though Hubs and I have a Sleep By Number bed that we spent more dollars on than what my first car cost, I don’t love it.  I love the boy’s mattress, and I am constantly looking for an excuse to kick him out of his bed, so that Mama Bear can sleep there.  Since he wasn’t home this afternoon, I marched straight to his bedroom and laid down.

At 1:00.

And at precisely 4:32, I woke up.

I was disoriented.  I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was.  I couldn’t remember where I had left Thing 2.  And I suddenly realized that I had slept through half of the boy’s piano lesson, which Mam and Pa knew nothing about, because I was fully going to take him to lessons at 4:15 myself.

I blacked out and lost an entire afternoon.  I complained about all the UNPRODUCTIVENESS, until I rationalized things and said, “You needed some rest.”

And then I tried to make a cup of coffee with the Keurig, but we were out of half and half, and everyone knows that a cup of coffee that isn’t diluted down with half and half isn’t worth drinking.

No one was home for me to complain to.

And then, later this evening, a friend sent me a link to an article, and she simply said, “This will put some stuff in perspective; I’m having a hard time dealing with it.”

I read the article online this evening, people.  I don’t personally know the blogger who wrote it, but I have read her stuff once or twice before.  I’ve read her book, too.  This is simply a link that was emailed to me.  But it smacked me across the face so hard that I ended up crying at my computer, because I have spent so much time complaining about first world problems. 

Like a lack of sleep.

And that I didn’t get the dishes done this afternoon.

And that I hate the bed that I have that cost four figures.

And that we were out of half and half, for crying out loud.

I have been thinking about this article all evening long… turning it over and over in my head, and it’s so true.  But for the grace of God, WE could have been born in another country, into horrible poverty where we dig through garbage cans for a meal.  Instead of wearing Ralph Lauren polos and Abercrombie T-shirts and Gymboree shorts that we thought nothing about ordering for our boys, they could be dirty and naked, with nothing to wear and no shoes for their precious feet.  My heart aches for the poverty, and my mind cannot grasp how bad it truly is, because I live in a sheltered bubble called UPPER-MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA.

You can read this blogger’s article by clicking RIGHT HERE.

It’s a hard article to read, because it hurts your heart.

And yes… Hubs and I do sponsor a child through Compassion International.  He’s a little eight year old named Anthony who lives in Ecuador.  He’s darling.  He writes us letters; we write to him.  Through our monthly contribution, which seems pathetically small now, he is able to attend school and receive food.

And tonight I desperately want to go get him.  I want to go get Anthony, and I want to bring him to our house, and I want to show him a life beyond poverty, where we have toilets (in the plural!) that flush and clean water.  I want to show him how we have so much water, we can run through sprinklers and waste it on our yards so that we have green grass.  I want to show him a grocery store loaded with more food than we can possibly consume in Small Town.  I want to read him a book, and pretend that he understands English enough to know what I’m reading out loud.  I want to cook him a pot roast and potatoes and carrots and give him seconds.  And thirds.  And fourths, if he’s still hungry.

And then I’ll try to rationalize why I am griping about a gray rug that costs too much, and the fact that GOODNESS!  I’M TIRED, BECAUSE THE BABY DOESN’T SLEEP, and HOLY SMOKES!  WHO USED ALL THE HALF AND HALF?  AND HOW CAN I HAVE COFFEE WITHOUT HALF AND HALF?  And I know we spent oodles of dollars on this mattress, but I DON’T LOVE IT.

Y’all have a good night tonight, people.  And have a good weekend, too.  I’m going to embrace Thing 2 tonight when he’s up.  I’m going to hold him in my air conditioned house, and rock him.  I’m going to breathe in his clean smell of baby shampoo and baby lotion,  and remember to talk to Jesus then and tell Him THAT I AM THANKFUL FOR SO MUCH TODAY THAT I DIDN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT YESTERDAY.

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