Yesterday morning I lost my mind, again. I had cramps and a headache and the kids were sick and needing stuff and the dogs needed walking and Carey was out filming and the kitchen was completely and utterly trashed and I couldn’t find a freaking coffee cup because every single one of them was in the living room because the kids have been guzzling medicinal tea in a FRESH CUP EVERY TIME.
After screaming and slamming a bunch of cabinet doors unproductively (they always pop open again when you slam them. It’s infuriating and oddly satisfying at the same time), I retreated to my room to bury myself in Facebook because DISTRACTION. Less than five minutes in, Everett walked in the bedroom door holding a six-inch-long strand of bloody mucus.
Bloody mucus. In a strand. That he had pulled out of the back of his throat and was now standing in my bedroom door holding out to me. There was a splash of blood on his chest from where it had swung against him as he pulled it out.
So, I tried to call my mom because I wasn’t sure if this was the sort of thing one rushed to urgent care for or not, and there was no way I was taking a chance on another $500+ bill if my son wasn’t actively dying (crappy insurance, $10,000 deductible, yada yada). Mom didn’t pick up.
So I called Keli, and she talked me down (well, she said, “Go to the doctor,” and I said, “It’ll cost $500” and she said, “He’s probably fine,” which is more or less why we are friends). Then I whined about my day, and she told me a bunch of spiritual stuff, like how I could focus on my gratitude that I have children to make tea for, and that they are here and safe, instead of focusing on how inconvenient it all is. She said I could make cleaning the house into a prayer, and I said, “That sounds really lovely,” and she said, “Yeah,” and I said, “It also sounds like bull crap” and she said “It is.”
And that’s also why we’re friends.
Everett didn’t die. At 8:30pm, he went to bed, exhausted from a long day of having a fever and making bloody mucus. And then at 8:55pm I remembered that our town was having fireworks at 9:15, and I woke Everett up and he started to cry when I told him because he thought he was going to miss it, but I told him we could still go if he wanted to, and he jumped out of bed and put on a shirt and we went. When we got there, he lay down on the sidewalk with his head on my laid-out vest, and watched the fireworks with a box of tissues clutched against his chest.
And they were beautiful.
Does the story have a moral? Well, maybe it’s this. Sometimes life is crappy, and sometimes your country is falling apart, and sometimes it’s worth putting on a shirt and grabbing your tissues and going to see the goshdarn fireworks anyway.
Happy 4th of July (ish), y’all.