The Dress and the Straightening Iron

Monday, bloody Monday.  At least, I believe, at the end of my life, I will be able to lie on my deathbed and think, "Well...that was...explosive."

That's kind of how it feels, anyway.  Explosive.  Bombs going off around me all night and day, and I am just scrambling to deactivate and disengage.

Monday started with a crisis in my own household.  I was left de-escalating my own child via text, while trying to drive to a school.  (Don't worry, homies.  I only texted at stoplights and stop signs.  I am a law-abider-ish.) And then my school hit me back-to-back-to-back with students all day long, and that is AWESOME, but intense.  And then I had a short moment to stop home for a salad before I had to rush to Synergy, and it was a needy day, and I peopled, A LOT.  And then I rushed to Eden's choir concert, and you guys!...I sat still for her for, like, 2 whole hours!  And it was probably only because I was so wiped out from the day that I was able to do it.

So..since we'd had to drive separately anyway, I put the burden of finding Waldo in the crowd on my husband and totally intended to bolt out before, literally, EVERYONE, and head straight to my beloved bed.  But...I ran into an old friend with a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking story to share.  So, I absorbed a little of that trauma, and  guess who was the VERY LAST one out of the parking lot.  Yours, truly.  💖 8am to 9pm on, and I WAS TOAST!

It's all good, though, people.  It's all good.  I expected a full day at a school the next day.  I still hadn't packed, and I had to drive to St. Charles for a one-nighter.'s all good.  I got this.

Fortunately for me, I showed up at my school, and they were crazy chaotic and needed to release me early. for me!  I got packed and bolted to beat the traffic rush.

I don't care how many times I do it.  Leaving is NEVER easy.  I'd like to think I am better at it than I used to be.  I have learned to re-direct, rather than dwell on the pain of separation.  I've had lots of practice by now, with letting go...forever or for temporary.  But, still, even still...I tear up as I pull away, even temporarily.  Evan was sad, too.  But we have devised a strategy to motivate him for these quarterly trips I make around the state.  When Mama is gone over-night, daddy let's the boys have our bed.  (Isn't he amazingly sweet, for real?!  I would never be so self-sacrificing, and I can admit that.)  And as Evan said as I left, "That's a happy memory!"

I had my own motivations for leaving, as well, which included a lovely evening to myself in a lovely hotel room with a lovely view.  Don't dwell in the illusion that I am terribly fun and exciting, though. 😉 I knit.  I read.  I was asleep by 9:30.  That is reality, folks.  Intensely, boring reality.

I did manage to come away from the trip with a few entertaining tidbits.  Like, the humorous elevator ride.  You guys!  I am 40 years old, and still so completely and utterly clueless.  I walked into the elevator, and I was wearing this dress, and I joined three men I did not know.  So, immediately awkward. Everyone stiffened and darted their eyes as I, rather uncomfortably, situated myself.  (One bold soul accidentally made eye contact and gave me a quick head-nod before looking away.) And I was gracelessly carrying my straightening iron, so I tried to break the silence by alluding to why I had not packed it, "Don't touch the iron.  It's hot."  And I was NOT trying to be provocative.  I am really just that awkward and oblivious. I never realize the indecency of my words until it is just too late, and they have already set the trap.  Fortunately, I'm sure they were nice guys, and I'm hoping, maybe, they didn't notice, 'cause they just quickly agreed, "Yes, ma'am!" And, so, I bolted out of the elevator, with the most genuine smile I could muster, pretended I didn't notice my personal faux pas, and never once looked back.  (And now no one even knows...except you, and me...and Matt, of course (I keep nothing from Matt)...and he just laughed because, with 20 years experience of all that is me, he realizes my nescience is genuine.  I really am just a magnet to these situations. 🤷

Anyway...I came home from the work trip relatively unscathed, and pretty much in one piece.  (And I know within the depths of my heart, I really have the good Lord to thank for that, guys...sometimes, I am such a train wreck.  Ok.  Ok.  ALWAYS, I am always such a train wreck.)  So, I know you will be really surprised, that the first thing I did when I got home was get into my pj's and get straight in my bed.  (Do you think I have a maladaptive affinity?  I mean, I will seriously get in my pj's and get in my bed if I have a rare 30 minute break in the day.)

But don't worry, homies.  I have plenty to sever the tie of separation anxiety between me and my bed....all too frequently...there are so many things which seek to sever the tie between me and my bed!  Checking my bank account, for example, first thing the next morning (thanks to such modern technology as the smart phone).  And I thought I would take a quick, simple peek at the balance.  I should have known better! It ended up with me rushing to the bank, back and forth, all day, trying to remove a little "elf's" unauthorized purchases on my card.  Merry Christmas!

Fortunately I have a really good bank, and they had me reimbursed by the end of the day.  AND...I am getting a new, personalized card with my kids' pic on it!  So...bonus!  And, after all...I really feel as though there isn't enough crisis on my hands right now.  I needed one more thing, don't you think?  😉

Ah well, it all works out.  In the end, it all works out.  I'm managing to find time in all of this chaos to order and wrap my own presents, to pay bills and balance the budget, to make corn casseroles, to attend family parties, and to hold EVERY SINGLE baby I see! And...YOU GUYS!...I am just pert near ready to pass out! 😴  Of course...I got this, 'cause...competence runs in my blood.  So, carry on, my friends.  Carry on!  I'm not going anywhere.  I am a faithful friend.

Faithful.  Responsible.  Obedient.  And speaking of obedience...the boys are bouncing off the walls.  As if I don't have enough stress right now, this whole Christmas excitement just escalates their energy, while it drains my own.  And the darkness!  I am seriously ready for bed at 6:00 every night.  So...the other night I was on my own, and I'd done both jobs, and I was just wiped out.  And the boys were on, like, 10.  No, 20...on a scale of 10.  And I used the age old, "If you don't obey me, I won't get you any Christmas presents."  And, of course, sweet Evan took pause, "You aren't getting us Christmas presents?"  And here is where I fail at the whole parenting thing, because I seriously can not tell a lie.  So I said in my very honest, sincere adult tone, " be really honest, I'm going to get you Christmas presents no matter what, but I REALLY need you to obey me right now."  Fortunately for me, my honesty worked.  Evan is just the type of kid who will acquiesce to a sincere request.

The week concluded with some difficult closures, a huge heartbreaking disappointment (that one will be a tough recovery,  but again, I got this!), and 11 hours of catch up sleep Friday night (for REAL).
As always, my heart is continually broken, but it is also continually mended (and like the theft this week, I usually find I am better off having gone through the struggle).  So, I'm gonna keep hanging in there, as per usual, and ride these waves, focusing on all the little things that make me grateful for this existence.  This week, it was this beautiful sight - large flocks of birds danced along the side of the highway as I drove home.  And the sky was so beautifully blue, and the sun was so happy and bright, and the must have been some sort of migration, but it was overwhelming, and it was such a lovely sight, and I breathed it in and counted it all as joy...and danced my way happily home into the sunset.

Where I met my other gratitudes, and Evan told me, "You are so deep in my heart.  You are at the VERY bottom of my heart."  And he held his hands into a heart shape and said, "This is the point of my heart, and that is where you are."

And I sighed and said, "Oh, thank you son.  That is so sweet!  You do know that your real heart isn't shaped like that, right?"

And so ensued a 30 minute biology lesson, 'cause, well...that's just the very honest, very literal, me, very nerdy. 😉 😂

Happy Christmas, Homies!