I had a really hard time thinking of a topic for this week. I’ve covered my latest tragedies lately and I am happy to report that no new ones surfaced. But I’m so used to writing about them that a good week leaves me at a loss. Until Thursday. Best day ever.
Thursday started out normally. Staff meeting at 7 a.m., missed my turn to talk because I was mopping pee off the pack and play. Rose had JUST peed before she asked to go into the pack and play, naked. I thought “What’s the harm?” Anyway, my meeting ended; the babysitter picked Rose up; I worked for several hours and enjoyed her nap when she got home.
I read for a while; then I heard the mailbox clink. Our mailboxes are mounted on the houses so I hear it when we get the mail. Thinking that the package I expected couldn’t possibly be here yet, I fished out the mail and I couldn’t believe it. It was there: the stack of bonds my mom had bought for me back in the seventies. I knew they were coming, but I thought Veterans’ Day Wednesday would have slowed them. I had discussed the bonds with my father, who told me how much he thought they were worth. It wasn’t much, but I thought the money might have bought that new living room set we needed.
I opened the envelope and signed on to the Treasury Department website. The first bond was worth almost five times its face value. I punched in the second one. Same thing. There were sixteen bonds. Now we could buy the man cave couch too and a new bed and new fireplaces and paint the house! Great day.
After I’d finished looking up the bonds and was coasting on the news, my cell phone rang. I rushed to answer it because I didn’t want it to wake Rose. Our friend Eric greeted me. He said he’d lost his job but good news; he’d taken a job in Seattle. He and his wife, Lee, would move here from Maryland over Thanksgiving weekend. I tried not to get excited, though, because we have heard this before. Last time he said they were coming and he called me last minute to say he’d decided to keep the East Coast job, so I was careful not to get too excited.
But I am. Last time we were so psyched about them coming, we were making plans and talking about Rose growing up with them and getting the house ready for them to stay with us and it all came crashing down, right before we went on vacation. I cried for days. So now I don’t want to be excited, but they assured me they WOULD move this time.
But I can’t shake the urge to protect myself. I have load-bearing emotional walls. To tear them down, I have to replace them with something to hold me up. Growing up, my parents suspected and feared people but did not trust them. I trust people now but I did not survive my home unscathed. I am very picky about whom I trust and it takes me a long time to trust at all.
I’ve gotten so used to bad things happening lately that I can’t trust the good stuff. But I’ve decided it’s time to take a page from my favorite poet, the renowned master of the rhyme, Dr. Seuss. In “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” he tells us that some days we’ll fly high on life, on other days, we’ll be mired in the lows. Dr. Seuss taught me that “Life’s a Great Balancing Act,” so I guess I can look at the best day ever as a way to balance all the recent struggles, and maybe I can accept that I deserve it.