Life has been rough lately. I mean really rough. I feel like we’ve been living in a bunker of sickness while outside is the Hotocalypse. The kids all got sick on vacation which included vomiting and fevers and coughing and CONSTANT waking in the night. Then I got sick as soon as we got back. And that damn cough lasted for three weeks. Meanwhile, the little wakers were not adjusting back to our regular routine. And then, just as I was improving, all three got croup at the same time. And now I’m sick again. Insanity. And when you have three waking 2 or 3 times a night…you are being woken about every 15 minutes. Well, it feels that way. And that sleep deprivation starts to make my brain melt. I mean that. I literally feel a physical sensation that there is a sinkhole in the middle of my brain. It’s like the power keeps surging off. This leaves me an emotional mess. TOTAL MESS. I cry often. I call my mom about 30 times a day. I call Marco and beg him to come home. I do not handle it well. I could NEVER be a Navy Seal. I could NEVER be President of the United States. I could NEVER undergo torture – I would give away secrets in about 20 seconds. Although, they might release me just to avoid the annoyance of having me around crying all the time.
But after hearing myself complain constantly for several weeks, I started trying to focus on things around me that truly make me smile. And I’ve found many.
I love Silver Spring. I love our YMCA. I love normal people in regular bathing suits. I mean moms who hop out of the pool quickly to retrieve their rogue toddler and have their swim bottoms sag as they scurry. I love being with the wide array of mankind that comes to the YMCA. I love all the intercultural families (I love being one of them). I love Maya’s swim class and that she’s a really hard worker by nature. She really practices at things. I think that is about one of the greatest qualities a person can have. She works on her letters and coloring carefully in the lines. She practices her swimming. I also love the downtown Silver Spring fountain and watching all the parents try to not get wet while attempting to encourage their kids to soak themselves. We all end up dripping. But it feels great, and there are so many laughs.
I love when Zoe wakes up cheerfully. This doesn’t happen that often, so I really, really appreciate it when she does. This morning she woke up, tossed her pacifier at me, shouted “Cama! Cama!” and sprinted toward the dining room laughing. It caught me off guard with joy. I love that she’s feeling better. She has the hardest time being sick. But when she’s happy, she radiates joy to everyone. I really love that. And I love that Elliot stays pretty even most of the time. It's a great balance I could never have imagined.
I love afternoons spent in our semi-cool living room. We have an old AC window unit that only cools one room and yet still costs a fortune to run. Most of the time we are completely content with the summer temperatures and just use fans. However, when the heat climbs over 95, we turn it on and hunker down in the cool room. We build forts and do “shows” and attempt games of Duck Duck Goose. Marco plays guitar and we sing and march and dance. Everyone mostly remains in their skivvies. I love these times. This weekend we spent hours and hours together, wrestling and laughing and comforting the wounded and giving wedgies and flying everyone up on our legs. I felt completely terrible and just let them pile on me and “tickle” me and read me books. I really, really love my family. I need these times, to carry them with me in my pocket as a reminder when the bottom is completely falling out.
And speaking of the bottom falling out, I even found things I love then. I love the intimacy that comes from five people in one bed, constantly waking. I hate watching my kids struggle to breathe. And I wanted to cry from fatigue, but I would just look at Marco sometimes and smile. We’re in this together, sweat, snot, vomit and all. I love the island of absurdity we’re on together.
And you know what else I love? I love, love, love Marco’s family. I love that I can have 13 people in my home when my kids are sick and not be stressed. I love that at 2 am when Zoe has vomited all over my bed and everyone wakes up and is crying that Marco’s cousins came swooping in to hold babies and wash faces and change sheets. I love that they helped with everything. I love that when they left it was as if they had never been there. They cleaned and put everything back together. I love that they did magnet therapy on Maya and made her feel comforted and healed and loved. I freaking love these people. I want to be with them all the time.
And there are all these little silly things that I love. I love the gorgeous china that I inherited from my grandma. I so look forward to actually using it one day. I love my green depression glass in my kitchen window that glows in the sunlight. I love my backyard. I love picking tomatoes from the garden. I love the sound system in our kitchen that enables me to music and change the mood in an instant. I love hulu. I love Facebook. I love that I have the greatest neighbors in the world. I love that we have a park at the end of the street. I love that when you think you can't take the heat any longer it rains. I love that eventually we get well. I love that my husband loves me and supports me and treats me gently even when I am a brat and complain constantly. I love that he makes all these little sacrifices without even a word of complaint or comparison. I love that man. I love our house. I love that we're in a really metropolitan area that can still feel like a small town. I love that I can walk to Trader Joe’s and CVS and several restaurants and the YMCA.
Did I mention that I love the YMCA?