Saturday, February 28, 2009

Three Days Later

First, of all, THANKS to everyone for your loving comments and offers of help. I have a sneaking feeling that I will need assistance (be it hot dish, booze or diversion) before this is over.

Today's chapter in this saga is an observation of my hypocrisy.

I have not managed to take the whole "I have cancer" thing on board very well. Not that I think it's a mistake, or a sick practical joke or something. It's just not a description that I can make stick, yet. I find myself thinking, "What the doctor really meant was that I have some pre-cancerous cells." (Fact check: that's not what he said. He did say "cancer".) "Or, "cancer" is WAY too big a word for this little problem. I only have a little cancer. One of my friends laughed when I expressed this notion to her and asked me if it were the same as being a little bit pregnant. I mean, does this make me sick? I don't feel sick. I feel fine. Is it fair for me to refer to myself in language that is supposed to describe a serious and desperate condition? I can even push the whole thing to the back of my mind much of the time.

But...I have to say that I was in Whole Foods today, and was drawn to their beauty products, as I always am. It all just SMELLS SO GOOD.

I was supposed to be concentrating on a treatment for Sara's plantar wart. We visited the pediatrician yesterday and showed it to her. I asked about having it removed and the doctor actually recommended an amino acid supplement called L-Methionine. She told me that, given a few months of regular doses, Sara's wart will shrink away. It works for all warts, if anyone out there suffers from warts...

I digress. I found myself returning several times to the aisle where the spa-like products are located. I was able to resist temptation only a few days ago, but this time, I could not leave without a jar of yummy, vanilla scented salt scrub. As I took it off the shelf, I thought to myself, "Hey! I need a little spoiling! I have cancer!" How's that for rewriting the story any way I want at any given moment? Pffft!


In other news, I searched the stacks at the local public library today for a kids' book on puberty for Sara. I have tried all along to just do the explaining myself, without help from a book. But it turns out that she's getting embarrassed; more so than me. At least I think that's what all the giggling is about. Yesterday, both she and Nate asked to look at my breast, so they could see the bruising (which it bright jaunty yellow at the moment) and steri-strip covered incision. We were sitting in the pediatrician's examining room, waiting for her to come in, so I thought, "Why not?" I pulled up my shirt and was rewarded with loud "Eeeeeewwwwww"s My dad has always said that it is important to dazzle our children.

But this morning, Sara was watching me dress, as she often does, and made disparaging comments about pubic hair. As in, "Mom, why do have hair on your butt?" My butt? I'd hardly call it my butt. This child lacks some useful terminology. At any rate, I replied that all grown ups do. "Even Dad?" "Yes, everyone." What about hair in your armpits?" I lifted my arm to show her. "I would, but I shave it off." "Am I going to get hair everywhere?" "When you're a grownup, you'll have body hair like everyone else." I asked her if she wanted me to get her a book at the library that would offer more details on the whole hair question, as well as periods, where babies come from, etc... She liked the idea, so when we got there I went straight to the children's librarian and asked her for help. We examined several before finally choosing this one.

When I gave it to Sara, though, she just glanced at it quickly and whisked it away to her room. I suspect she may be poring over it with a flashlight right now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stitched Nipple

As opposed to the Fuzzy Navel. I always ridicule the Fuzzy Navel as a wimpy, package-vacation sort of drink; but I would happily choose it over the Stitched Nipple. I'm sporting one now, courtesy of the surgical biopsy I had to have on Monday.

This is what I get for submitting to my first mammogram. They took one set of 'grams, then called me back for another set, stating a dissatisfaction with the entire left side of my left breast. Well, fine! Picky, picky. Calcifications, they said. Naturally, they wanted a core sample. And since the area is large (takes up half my breast), they wanted a big core sample.

Well, OK. I was imagining a little bitty incision somewhere in the underwire region. When the surgeon told me that he makes the inch and a half incision at the edge of the nipple so the scar won't show, I cringed. My scalp crinkled, and I thought, "You're gonna cut me WHERE??? THERE??" Oh, ouchie. Think of the bad old days when I would have been offerd a leather strap to bite on. Or the slightly better old days when I would have been chloroformed. I love modern anesthetic. In a truly bizarre moment, I walked into the operating theater and greeted my capped and masked surgical team. So many people! And they're all here for MOI! Hi, guys! I climbed onto the table and extended my arm to the (attractive) anesthesiologist. He found a vein. I was about suggest removing my glasses, but then I woke up and it was all over.

Well, all over except the cancer.

I kept calling the doctor's office all afternoon, asking whether the results had arrived from the lab as promised today. First, "They aren't up from the lab, yet." Then, "They're on Dr. Naylor's desk. He'll call you today." Much joking at the office. What does it mean when he doesn't call you first? How long should you wait before you call him? That's what I get, letting him feel me up on the first date. Maybe he's just not that into me? By the time I got the call, I was standing in the grocery store parking lot with the kids. So the whole time he's telling me that I have cancer, the kids are climbing on the cart return and jumping off, then tugging on my coat. "Mom! Are you good? Are you fine?" It was, like, "So, if I decide to have the radia- Nate, be careful, please. Sorry. So as I was saying, if I decide to- just a second, OK, guys? Yes, we'll go into the store in a second." You get the idea. I have another appointment with him in a few days, to "talk about the options".

As we walked into the store, Sara asked, " you have cancer or not?" She rolls her eyes, as if the idea was just ludicrous.

I have cancer. Well, well. I guess I am on the spot, here.

"Well, yeah, I do" I say, picking up a shopping basket and pulling my list out of my purse like I always do. "But it's no big deal. He told me it's totally curable. I'm probably going to have to have some more stuff done to me, but then that'll be it."

This is the great thing about little kids and being in the supermarket. You can hardly break down and start bawling. The groceries must be bought and the kids mustn't worry. No choices, which should not be mistaken for courage.

They were reassured and forgot about it almost immediately. We were walking through the store and they were pestering me (again) for a donut (which they NEVER get, so why do they keep asking), and I am staying totally focused on the groceries. A little part of my brain is amazed that I am doing this. In the middle of canned fruit, I feel this strange flash.

I have cancer.

But I don't have a chance to process the whole "I have cancer" thing. I have to check out, drive home, get the mail, bring the trash can up from the curb, start supper. Oh, yeah. Gotta tell Si at some point. I suppose this will make him even grumpier. Now we don't just have The Knee as a permanent member of the family. We get to welcome The Boob, too. I thought I'd better practice telling someone, so I called my parents. Sorry, parents. "Hi, Dad! Its Kate! How's it going? How's your gout clearing up, you old codger? Me? Oh, I'm pretty good, but I do need to tell you some kind of bad news. I have breast cancer." Yeah, this does take practice. I'll try it out on Mom. She is (as always) unflappable and has been in this same exact position, herself: making the choice between keeping part of the breast and having radiation/chemo; or going with a mastectomy. Indeed, she was just what I needed: totally calm, telling me about how it felt, how long it took to recuperate, how the rehabilitation was. Mom is really brave. But.

"What about reconstruction? How long did you wait to have reconstruction?"
"Oh, about five years."
"WHAT? You waited five years?"
"Yeah. Well, it was expensive. But I got tired of my prosthesis. It was itchy."
"But what did Dad-"
"He got used to it" she said in a flat, final tone that indicated he was not at the top of her list of concerns.

WTF??!!?? Of course, this is the difference between me and Mom. She was post-menopausal when she found a lump. Being a cute, sexy chica was not high on her list.

I'm 41! I'm young. I flirt outrageously with everyone. I wear sexy lacy stuff. I wear two-piece swimsuits. I am vain and spend long minutes in front of the mirror, sucking in and admiring my abs. I still like to have sex with the lights on.

I have cancer.

That's just too crazy, putting those three words together about me! I must have had cancer last week, too. And the week before. But I was lifting weights and skiing and running for miles and bossing people around. I feel great! I'm too busy being healthy to have cancer.

There must be some mistake. They have mixed up my test results with someone else's.

So, eventually Si came home and I told him. The black raincloud that has been hovering over our house since last September when he hurt his knee crashed with thunder and began pi*ssing down rain. Oh, for Pete's sake. I told him that there was only one thing that I asked of him. No gloom. No brooding. I want to laugh and drink too much and screw like rabbits (after I get my boob out of this bandage). Then I want to have the stupid mastectomy, allow people to fuss over me for a day or two, then get back to lauging and drinking too much and screwing like rabbits again. I told him that I was planning on shaking this off like it's nothing. He said he know that; that I'm really tough. People say that about me sometmes. They have no clue that it's all b***s***. I guess we'll find out, won't we?

Whoops, 6:00! No more time to ponder. I dished up supper, poured wine, played some upbeat music, supervised showers and stories. Nate read his Star Wars book to me. While he was reading, I glanced down at my (petite, but shaply) set and thought, "In a couple of weeks you won't have a left breast down there." It made me feel dizzy.

Oh, yeah! Almost forgot. I have cancer.

What will it be like, having a body part cut off?
Will my insurance cover reconstruction?
Will I have to wait, going around with a flat chest that scares my children and disgusts my husband?
Or will I go to sleep and wake up with a new boob?

Is it awful that I'm so obsessed with my looks and sex life?
Shouldn't I be thinking of more weighty matters?
Like, will it hurt a lot?
Will I be cured, like the doctor says?
Or will they make further sinister discoveries? I tell you, I am not like SueSun. I won't be able to go through chemo and lose my hair and feel like h*ll all the time without being a huge ungrateful brat.
Geeze. How will I tell my friends?
My staff?
(Gasp!)My students? They will worry. About me. Unacceptable.
I have loads of contract work lined up for March and frankly, now I'll need it more than ever, to pay for all this. Will I be able to do it?

One thing I know for sure. There will be scope for humor. Are we ready for lots of boob humor?


Enough about this. I have stuff to do. PLUS, this is a red-letter day. I get to peel off my dressing from the biopsy and say hi to my left breast. Hello, and good-bye, baby.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Angle of Repose

The latest on "The Knee" is a failure to progress. Si has been working his a** off, doing all the exercises (he must spend about three hours a day torturing himself), but he has not reached the desired 120 degrees of flexion. He's stuck at 105 degrees.

Unable to console myself with profanity, as is my usual habit, I will resort to writing an avant-garde one-act play.

The Surgeon is God, Episode XXIII

Cast of Characters:

Simon, hapless victim of the Industrial Healthcare Machine
Dr. Happy Cutter, surgeon. Heavy Austrian accent which makes him sound like a mad scientist
John Birkenstock, down-to-earth physical therapist
The Chorus, Four Blue Cross Blue Shield executives in long robes with hoods pulled up to conceal their faces

Scene One

Setting: The well-appointed offices of Dr. Cutter. Brass fixtures, leather upholstery, autographed posters of skiing celebrities ("Doc! You rule! Thx 4 the new knee!").

Dr. Cutter: Vell, Simon, I'm sorry to tell you zis, but eet looks as zough you haf been a bad boy. You know vat ve call zis, don't you? Failure to progress. Und you know who fails to progress, don't you? Zee lazy slobs who don't do zeir serapy, zat's who. [OK, enough of writing the Austrian accent. You get it, so you can just imagine it from here on out.]

Simon: But doctor! I promise! I've been good! I have been doing all my exercises. Don't forget, I had compartment syn-

Dr. Cutter: (putting his fingers in his ears) LALALALALA!! I can't HEAR you!!! Get over it. It was just a little bruising. Now, you currently have 105 degrees of flexion in your knee. I'm going to give you TEN MORE DAYS to get 120 degrees, and if you don't...

Simon: If I don't, what??

Dr. Cutter: We will have to go ahead with a... (scary fanfare) MANIPULATION.

Simon: A manipulation? What's that?

Dr. Cutter: (Gleefully rolling his hands and trying not to cackle) That's where we put you to sleep and then we FORCE the knee to flex, cracking the scar tissue in the process.

Simon: Couldn't that cause internal bleeding again?

Dr. Cutter: Lighten up, will you? You're so paranoid.

Enter Chorus:

(Chanting) Coverage denied. Coverage denied. We're not paying anything unless you submit form AR584-3. All coverage denied.

Scene Two

Setting: The peaceful, healing environment of John Birkenstock's physical therapy practice. TV is on, tuned to "The Fishing Channel". Autographed posters of skiing celebrities ("Dude! You rule! Thx 4 the new knee!")

John B.: A manipulation? Dude, that is so uncivilized. That is totally ignoring the Zen of healing.

Simon: But Dr. Cutter says that, if I don't get the flexion in ten days, and then decide not to have the manipulation, he's done with me and won't be responsible for the results any more. I really don't want to walk like Quasimodo forever.

John B.: Well, we've got ten days. I think you should come in every two days and we'll work on getting the results the natural way. Here, get up on the table and lie on your stomach.

Simon: (Obeying) What is the natural way?

John BBold.: That's where I climb up on the table with you, sit on your foot and force it back until you kick your butt. Like THIS!


John B.: See? That was great!

Simon: I think I peed my pants.

John B.: Did you feel the scar tissue cracking?

Simon: Uh, no.

John B.: Don't worry. You will. Let's do it again.


Enter Chorus

(Chanting) Coverage denied. Coverage denied. Six days in the hospital is $52,000. Coverage denied.

Chorus approaches Simon as he lies alone in a single spotlight, pressing an ice bag to his knee.

Simon: But wait a minute! Why is my coverage denied? I thought you guys were health insurers.

Chorus: Where is AR584-3? Give us AR584-3. Coverage denied.

Simon: I filled it out and sent it in last month.

Chorus: Liar! If you had sent it, we would have it. Coverage denied! One-day outpatient hospital stay: $8,000. Coverage denied. Where did you send it? Coverage denied.

Simon: You're asking me? I sent it to the address printed on the pre-addressed, stamped envelope you sent me.

Chorus: Lost! Oh, dear. Coverage denied. Too bad, so sad. Coverage denied.

Scene Three

The final scene is played out in the light of a single spotlight. It is a silent, ten-minute tableau of Dr. Cutter and John Birkenstock, their hands wrapped around each other's throats, eyes bugging out of their heads, in an eternal battle of wills.

Simon rises from the stage, opens the ice bag and uses a handful of ice to make himself a rum and Coke.

The End

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Well, that wasn't so bad...

Omitting the cuss words from my blog was easy! I went to "edit posts" and did a search for the word "s***". All the entries containing the contraband word came up, and I went crazy with the asterisk button. Same thing with "f***", "d**n" and "b***ard". Then I got bored. I hope that makes my blog G-rated enough to pass muster.

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that I made a big stink, and the State Office of Education is going to loosen restictions on our Internet access at the office. This means I can return to late night blogging and can read blogs during lunch break again!

The bad news is that I will still be blocked from blogs with suspect content. Whatever that means. I suspect that the first thing it means is that I'm going to have to troll through my own blog and TAKE OUT ALL THE BAD WORDS!!!

That'll teach me, G*d*a*m*t. How demeaning.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Boy Crazy

Nathan turned seven this past week, and I told him that he could have a party. This is only fair, as Sara got one last year. The kids' birthdays are just five days apart, so we rotate who gets a kid party. The other kid gets a mom-dad-sibling party. So Nate asked for a Star Wars sleepover, and I told him he could invite four boys. Simon asked me what I had been smoking, but I was confident.
After all, Sara has had two sleepover birthdays: when she turned seven and again on her ninth birthday. They were both great. I worried about potential girl-drama, but there was hardly any. Boys, I figured, would be easy. No drama at all - just put the breakables away.
Well, it wasn't that simple. Maybe boys develop social skills more slowly? The first boy to arrive was K., Nate's bestest friend. in fact, he arrived an hour and a half ahead of schedule - his mom wanted to go to a party and "hoped I wouldn't mind taking him a little early"... He and Nate were playing happily in the fort I made with blankets and the pool table, but then the other boys showed up.
Within 10 minutes, K. was sobbing alone in a darkened room. Once the other boys showed up, Nate wasn't paying enough attention to him, he said. I pointed out to him that Nate was the host and needed to play with everyone. I encouraged him to go and join the other boys, which he sort of did, by stomping into the room where they all were, chewing out Nate and telling him they weren't friends anymore, which then made Nate cry.
Hmmm... I thought. It's going to be a long night.
Dinner was a good distraction. So was cake.

I like the notion of Darth Vader sort of popping out of the cake, like a stripper. This cake reminded me of my favorite home-decorated cake, which was for Sara's seventh birthday. She wanted a My Little Pony cake, and I found tiny plastic Pretty Ponies at a discount store. But they were highly flammable, and when I lit the candles, the ponies burst into flame and died in fearful, contorted agony. Luckily, Sara thought it was funny.

As we were about to light the candles, I noticed that one little boy, S., was missing. A quick search found him in Nate's room, alone, playing with toys. "S., it's time for cake. Are you going to come and sing 'Happy Birthday?" "Nah." "Is everything all right?" "Yeah. I don't really like cake. And I like Nate's toys. I want to play here. Call me, though, when it's time for presents." I realized that his kid was drama-free. He just wanted an uninterrupted run at the toys without having to share anything. I shrugged and went to light the candles.

And that's how the night went. They drove each other nuts the whole time. Nate opened his presents, and the boys pounced on them. Within half an hour, they had built both the Bionicles and one of the Lego spaceships. Nate didn't seem to mind, but I finally insisted that they not build the other Lego spaceship, so Nate would have it to build another time.

One kid or another was always mad / sad / boycotting the other boys. At first, I worried about it; but after a while I reached saturation level and just let them work it out. I figured as long as it wasn't always the same boy who was upset, and the trauma was evenly spread among them, good enough. Finally 9:30 rolled around. (God, had it only been three hours? Twelve hours to go...) I managed to wrangle everyone into pajamas and sleeping bags, then put on Star Wars III. I figured, "Oh, they're worn out from running around and screaming. They will get all droopy-eyed here in a few minutes." No, they spent most of the movie bugging the hell out of each other by making noise and then telling each other to shut up. I finally had to decree that each boy had to stay on his own sleeping bag, to keep them from killing each other.

It was almost midnight when the movie ended. Lights out. Go to sleep. ""SHHHHHH!" "BE QUIET!" "NO, YOU BE QUIET!!" "OK, ON THE COUNT OF THREE, BE QUIET! One, two, three." "Eep." "QUIET!" This is standard slumber party - I remember doing it myself; I left them to it and went to get ready for bed. I was standing naked in my bedroom when I heard little feet running down the hall and it didn't sound like one of my kids. I barely managed to snatch my pajamas to my bosom when K. appeared in front on me, hands on hips, enraged. "They're saying bad words out there!" I went to the living room. "Guys. Cut it with the bad words." Back to my room. I had just got toothpaste on the brush when Sara called out, "Mom! Nate's crying! Mom!" Back I went. Nate was subbing that no one was being friends, and that he has lost K.'s friendship forever. Oh, for Pete's sake. Sounds like K. was working his special magic again. I said, "All right. I'm just going to stand here until you settle down." And I stood there in the dark, like a cigar-store Indian with my arms crossed. A couple of times, K. started to say something. I just tapped his pillow with my foot and said, "Don't start." Eventually Nate's sobs faded into snoring and everyone went to sleep.

Next morning, they were in a slightly better frame of mind. I finally put my foot down with K., though. I heard him say to Nate, "I want that toy that S. has. I want to play with it. " Nate said, "Well, S. is playing with it right now." "You have to tell him he can't have it any more and give it to me, or I won't be your friend." Sure enough, Nate goes to S., and says, "Sorry, S.. K. says I have to give this to him or he won't be my friend." Uh-uh. I took the toy back from Nate and gave it back to S.. I said to K., "Another kid is playing with that, now. You can wait until he's finished. Go play with something else." "But I want to play with that." "Tough."

Nate told me later that I would have to be careful. "You'll get a reputation for being a scary mom." Suits me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Want to Caress My Thumbnail?

I had to go to the mall today. I haven't been in one in a couple of years; but Sara's 10th birthday is coming up, and I know she would love a pair of jeans from "Justice". That's where the cool girls get their clothes. I guess she's starting to notice this stuff. Great. This is the end of an era. The poor deprived child has made it through life up to this point totally delighted with second-hands, hand-me-downs, gifts and two pairs of pants that I bought at Target last year. So, she deserves a little treat.

But do I?

I was making my way back down the mall with my shopping when a man asked me, "Want some lotion?" It was one of those kiosks. My hands were kind of dry, so I said, "Yeah. Thanks." Dead Sea? Was that the brand? It felt and smelled sooooo goood. Adding to the trouble was the salesman, who was a very skilled flirt, and super hot. He caught at my hand and examined my (ragged, chewed down) nails. "Now. I'll show you what you need for your nails." "No, really. I don't bother much with my nails." "Why not?" "Uhhhhh.... I dunno. It's just not that important to me." "Well, it will be when you try this." He picks up a buffer and starts without further ado to rub it briskly over my thumbnail. I make a subtle attempt to withdraw my hand. No way. He is hard at buffing. "OK, now I turn the buffer over to the other side. This side contains seaweed, it stimulates circulation under the nail." I roll my eyes. He buffs a little more. "OK!" He lets my hand go and I look at my thumbnail. Holy s***. It's.... shiny. Smooth. It looks as though it has clear polish on it. I made the mistake of admiring it.
He went crazy. More lotion. Cuticle softener. A sea-salt rub. My God, that was incredible. My hands felt like a baby's butt. I found myself on the verge of abandoning my Dove and Vaseline values, drawn irresistibly toward a (gasp) SPA TREATMENT. He could see that his brand of hypnosis was working on me. If you have ever seen the scene from Jungle Book when Mowgli is entranced by Kha...

I snapped out of it in the nick of time. Something about the words, "sixty-nine ninety-five". I made a break for it, striding purposefully away, perspiration trickling down my back.
I'm all right, now, but I'm in thrall of my single buffed nail. I caress it with my other fingers. Rub it against my lower lip. Try to make it catch the light. I sat with Si this evening, gazing at it. "Do you think I ought to spoil myself more often?" "Absolutely. In these times of austerity, we need a little bright spot, even if it is just a thumbnail." I realized that he thought I felt I had spoiled myself by letting the sales guy buff the single nail.

Maybe I'll go get it manicured.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Those Wild, Crazy Americans

I have to share a story I read in the paper about a Consumer Reports telephone survey of 1,000 respondents. The conclusion of the survey is that Americans indulge in all sorts of risky behavior. I read further, expecting a discussion of extreme skiing; wandering off into the desert; driving motorcycles without helmets; stuff like that. Turns out (as if you didn't already know) that I am a bad girl.

Did you know that 75% of Americans put cotton swabs inside their ears?

Yep. I do that. So much safer than the cap of a ball-point pen.

40% confess to having eaten raw cookie dough.

And raw cake batter, which is even tastier.

50% of us have a carbon monoxide detector in the home.

Well, we had one in the old house, when we had a wood stove, but not now. My colleague Rebecca says that she decided to get a CO detector after she and her husband got a fondue set. I find myself imagining a fateful dinner party at Rebecca's house: a fondue set the size of a jacuzzi, with corpses littering the dining room.

And 61% of us don’t have a rubber mat in the shower.

Shower mats remind me of a housemate I had once. He was trying to avoid some people who were looking for him (yes, this was a more exciting epoch in my life than the one I am currently experiencing), so he dyed his red hair "Rich Dark Brown". But the dye made his hair fall out. He would hoard it under the rubber shower mat. One day he took me into the bathroom to show me his hair collection and I really haven’t felt OK about shower mats since then.

This survey has done a lot for my feeling of suburban confinement. I AM edgy! If I stand on a street corner, licking the beaters from my hand-mixer, I could get a reputation. I have been wanting a reputation.

OK, time for true confessions. Please comment and share your responses to the following questions. Do you:

1. put Q-Tips in your ears?
2. eat raw cookie dough?
3. have a CO detector?
4. have a rubber mat in the shower?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Harassment Free Workplace

My school has about 50 employees, and only two are men. They both work in my department, so whenever the talk turns to sexual harassment, eyebrows start to waggle in my direction.

Who, me?

We were sitting in a staff meeting just tonight, talking about what might constitute sexual harassment, when one of the men walked in, went up to one of the women and said, “We’re all set! I’m just getting it enlarged. I’ll have it ready for you next week.”

He was talking about a photo, but I think I could be forgiven for blowing coffee out my nose.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Yet More Progress

I know Simon is getting better quickly, because I'm starting to feel annoyed about dumb little s*** that he does again. He doesn't call me when he is going to be late, which makes the yams soft and overcooked. Everywhere I turn in the kitchen, there he is; but is there a cocktail forthcoming? Noooooo! His crutches, too. They are blocking me at every turn.

OK, today I'm going to label a blog entry. All of my blog buddies do this, and so will I, after two years of blogging, just to prove to the world that I am a mindless lemming. If anyone can tell me what the point is, though, I'd love to know.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

'Bout Time

Life is actually returning to normal. Si still has a VERY long way to go, but he makes some sort of progress every day. Yesterday, I drove him over to the big church parking lot near our house, so he could demonstrate his driving abilities. Stop, go, stop, go, SLAM on the brake. Stop, go, SLAM on the break. I unstuck my cheek from the windshield. "That's great, honey!" If he can press down on the break hard enough to cause whiplash, he's good to go. So, today I let him drive up to Snowbird to pick up the kids from ski school. Avoiding icy patches, he carefully crutched to his office and sat down at his desk. That was that. "I'm going to work tomorrow."

His leg looks like s***, but less so than last week. He can shower himself, sitting on a plastic stool. His recovery has been seriously set back by his complications, but he is determined to get full movement back - he's spending about three hours a day doing various exercises.

And all this means....

That Simon can return to blog-livion. Move over, Tiny Tim, and let someone else have the attention around here.

Sara is writing her autobiography for a school project. This is a big project, with assigned chapters and sub-headings. Today, I recommended that she work on the page she is supposed to devote to her brother Nathan.


My parents say they gave me Nathan as a gift. [Ahhh...the gift of a sibling. Spared the misery of only childhood...] But sometimes I wonder... My brother was born on February 11, 2002. A few very interesting things about my brother are:

1. He likes to say very weird made-up words like "hubajubaloco".
2. He likes to pretend to do kung-fu, but really all he's doing is flailing his arms and legs.

About this time, Nathan found her and asked her to read what she was writing. She was more than happy to share. Nathan came stomping into the kitchen to tell me that Sara was just writing mean stuff.

I told Sara that she was going to have to give some thought to a more balanced portrayal of Nathan, causing her to burst into tears at the very thought of saying anything nice about her little brother.

I was reminded of that passage from the Kevin Henkes book "Julius, the Baby of the World". Lilly can't stand her baby brother; when her mother suggests she tell Julius a story, she says,

"Once upon a time, there was a baby. His name was Julius. Julius was really a germ. Julius was like dust under your bed. If he was a number, he would be zero. If he was a food, he would be a raisin. Zero is nothing. A raisin tastes like dirt. The end."