“Be loud let your colors show Try to keep the madness low…” -The Avett Brothers
Luke had four wisdom teeth pulled on Thursday afternoon. He was loopy from the anesthesia, which was pretty funny to witness. The nurses kept trying to shove gauze in his mouth, but he would not let them and kept giving them the finger and sticking his bloody tongue out at them. He would not stop taking pictures of himself with his phone until I said, “LUKE! If you do not let these nurses stop the bleeding then you cannot drive to see Haley this weekend.” That did it. He shut up, but kept doing charades and I kept giggling because his behavior was the complete opposite of his day to day self and then giggled harder because the nurses did not seem to think any of it was really funny.
Friday was a blur of a workday, followed by an hour long pediatrician appointment for William (annual check up) at which a toddler in the waiting room threw up, which made me feel empathetic and irritated simultaneously. Will has grown 4 1/2″ this year and also got four shots and a finger poke, including a tetanus shot, an hour prior to his volleyball game (ouch). Between picking him up from school, transporting him to the doctor, picking Lizzie up from practice, dropping Lizzie off at home, picking Luke up, and driving all the way to Germantown for a game, I did not have time to pee or eat or really breathe. In fact when I think about it, the only thing I ate between Wednesday and Saturday was a handful of Trader Joe’s crackers, some swiss cheese, two apples, and a bag of almonds. Oh, nope, I did make a kale smoothie for Luke and me the morning of surgery. That must be what got me through.
I missed part of the first match because I was out of gas (go figure) and knew that if I turned my car off and tried to get it back on again, it likely would not start, so Luke and I hightailed it to a gas station where I filled the tank and purchased $26 worth of soft foods for his weekend with Haley (tip: do not buy hot mac n’ cheese from a gas station). When I returned to the game, I saw the score was 23-23. The team ended up losing by one point (which, in volleyball is really two). Second game, same thing. This is the third week in a row that they have lost in close matches and I think between the tetanus shot and the fact that Luke was there to watch his game, William just broke down. I could see, from across the gym, tears falling down his face, shoulders shaking, while his coach talked to the team. I sent Luke over to deliver a Gatorade and when I asked Luke what the coach was saying he said, “He was asking, do you want to go out like warriors, like champions, or do you want to give in now?” They won the third match. I guess that was the answer to his question.
After the game Will and I drove Luke to Fond du Lac to meet Haley’s mom, who drove him the rest of the way to New London. He left us, with his puffy face and bleeding gums, to do two things: surprise Haley by officially asking her to homecoming, and then be there to cheer her on during her cross country meet. On the way there he said, “All I want to do is be with my girlfriend, watch movies, and rest.”
On the car ride home, William and I were both starving and we could not find a restaurant anywhere and each time we followed a highway sign to a place that advertised food, we could not find the damned restaurant. He started to get really crabby, filled still with vaccines and sweat and tears. He punched the seat and I turned on the radio. After fifteen minutes of driving he said, when her song came on, “Miley Cyrus is a whore.” I sighed and explained that he does not even know Miley Cyrus and that all artists take risks and sometimes those risks bomb and even though I am not a fan of her recent performances, I cannot imagine the pressure it must be like to be her and how it must feel when people like Madonna and Cher, who wish they could still swing naked on a ball in a music video, bash her. I said, “You can criticize her work, but the fact that a twelve year old boy who does not even know her, is in the middle of a dark freeway in the middle of fucking nowhere and thinks it is okay to slight her character by calling her a whore is just not okay and it is not nice.” Then we found a Taco Bell.
As a side note, when I was in college, one student did a performance for her final project. She took off her shirt, sat cross legged and naked on our professors desk, and played a looped tape which said, “Nice tits. Nice tits. Nice tits.” Ah, art school. Gotta love it. Still, if you have ever gone to art school you will know that every twenty year old girl goes through their sex and naked stage and that girl who did that performance (whose name I do not recall, but I can certainly imagine her tits) is well into her forties now and probably still thinks about that day and now thinks, “What the fuck was I thinking?” Miley will too. She is not a whore, just young.
Today has just been one big suck fest, most of it spent in the car. I feel like explaining it all to you would just be boring because 95% of it was spent in the car and the other 5% was spent screaming at my kids (I kind of lost it when I asked for help and got the eye roll).
Quinn and I did eat a nice dinner together at Noodles and then went to Target to stock up on Fall clothes for him. He fell in love with a pack of Spiderman socks and he carried them around the store for over an hour. When we got in the car I put his new robot pajamas on him and then opened the pack of socks. Even though they were labeled 3T, they would not have fit a six month old. He was so sad. We walked back in to return them and he exchanged them for pair of plain blue slippers.
I don’t know that any of this is interesting to you or why you would care about my kids or my life or that my weekends are spent driving four kids around and buying groceries. For a long time, my dad was encouraging me to write and I asked him why anyone would ever want to read it and he just said, “for the same reason anyone reads anything.” Martina says I need to get out of my head. Martina also told me, “there is not yet mastery of your thinking/feeling state. Your emotions are still “owning” you- making your body the master of your mind instead of vice versa- which is the place of Empowerment.” Martina is moving to Arizona in two years, which doesn’t give me a whole lot of time to figure this shit out.
I will say this, the reason that I am sitting here in the dark right now at 10:13 on a Saturday night, in my underwear and a ponytail, writing to no one in particular when I have a million other things that I should be doing is because of the same thing my dad wrote to William when he felt so emotional after match two. He posted this on Facebook:
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.”