Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

E is 6, and in first grade. Had I been keeping a blog lo these many (well, half-dozen) years, you all would have been treated to unbelievable numbers of E-stories. They are unbelievable. Or they are to her smitten, awed and oftentimes-terrified-by-her-precocity mother. (Of course, if you're an Augmom, and I'm pretty sure that almost everyone who reads this is, you already know this. But since, at least in my head, I'm writing 'for the masses'...)

Here's the latest one. We're walking home from school on Thursday, the day before Rosh Hashanah. E is asking me questions about Jewish holidays, as she is wont to do when one or another of them comes up. I was telling her that to Jewish people like us, Rosh Hashanah is not only a celebration of the new year, but is the birthday of the world. This led her to ask me how the world was made, and that led me to talk to her about the differences between the stories told in the bible and the stories told by scientists. After we pursued this some more--her reaction after she asked me who the first person was and I told her about Adam and then about humans descending from apes was "Are you kidding with me, Mom?"--I told her that deciding whether you believe the bible or believe scientists was something she was going to have to work out for herself, but that I had found a way in my own head to sort of believe in both, by seeing the bible as a series of stories that help us to understand the stories that science tells us by simplifying them.

E considered this for a few seconds, then said, "I think I know how I can figure this out. I'd make a chart with two circles. One would be religion, and the other would be science. And they would come together in the middle [she meant overlap] and that would be where you can believe in both. And then I could write all the things I believe that go in each place, and see where the most things are, and that would tell me what I believe in."

This thrilled me on so many levels, I can't even begin to tell you. For one, her ability to take in all the really difficult topics we'd talked about in less than ten minutes and really ask intelligent questions about them. For another, her natural bent towards scientific observation, which is of course my leaning, too. But most of all, it was just how serious she was about it, how much she wanted to figure it all out, how completely willing she is to delve into higher-order or higher-level thinking and do some hard philosophical brainwork.

I'm telling you. This child may not stand out in a classroom as anything but bright, but she's definitely beyond bright. She's scary-smart, in so many ways. I ache sometimes thinking about how much I could be doing for her that I'm not. And yes, I know that there are plenty of things I could be doing for her that I am...but there's so much more. She's so interested, and still so malleable, and the days are just slipping by, and I just have this vision of her hardening up the longer I just let her sit, like a clay model with the potential to be David, if only Michelangelo could find the time to do some sculpting instead of fixing dinner or cleaning the house or putting together folders for the PTA or...

[And yes, I know that David is made out of marble, not clay, but marble didn't work in that pretentious little rant there, so shut up.]

Thursday, September 25, 2003

I've been worried about me lately. (Self-absorbed much, TC?) In late April, early May, I had what I've had to admit was a little nervous breakdown, a mini mental collapse, as it were. I knew what was behind it--a story I will some day have to chronicle on this blog, if only for peace of mind--and nobody 'blamed' me for losing it. Still, lose it I did. It was the single scariest month or so of my life. I never want to go there again, if I have anything to say about it. So, despite my overwhelming reservations about psychotropic medications, I accepted them wholeheartedly--first ativan, which eerily erased an entire week from my mind, making it second only to the breakdown itself in things I want to forevermore avoid, and then zoloft, which, simply put, saved me.

Fast forward four or five months. Not only has my mental health been somewhat restored, but an apparent low-level depression has lifted, my libido has returned, and my emotionally debilitating PMS seems to have gone away as well. That was, until last week, when things started to spiral out of control again.

What's the trigger? Best I can tell, there is none this time. But I'm having full-blown panic attacks again, though only one every day or so for a little while as opposed to spending literally 24/7 in panic mode. And my temper is back, along with the sub-par parenting that accompanies it.

I was really, really worried on Tuesday, when I was in such a funk that I took a mental health day from work and still couldn't force myself to even take a shower. Then, Wednesday morning...my period. Aha. Now it begins to make sense again. Maybe not the panic attacks...but then again, maybe even they fit into the scheme of things now. Maybe having had the experience I had has changed my body chemistry so that stress automatically clicks on panic.

So the question is: what does this mean? Is the zoloft no longer working? How am I going to get a handle on this before it spirals out of control? How much of this is a sort of mental-health PTSD, a self-fulfilling prophecy where my fear of 'it' all happening again actually makes it happen? And why, oh why, did I let myself stop seeing a therapist, knowing I wasn't close to 'fixed?'

Like I said, I'm worried about me. I wonder what I'm going to do about it.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I like to think that I'm self-aware. I could list for you dozens of faults, annoying habits, destructive impulses, whatever. I'm a HUGE procrastinator. I'm way too impatient with my kids. I'm moody, and only able to successfully hide it about half the time. Sometimes stuff comes out of my mouth that's just plain insulting, even if I didn't mean it to be. I gossip. I'm catty. I'm critical, especially of people I love. I'm disorganized. I give unsolicited advice, stick my nose where it isn't wanted, often get carried away and try to take over a conversation. Really, it's a wonder people like me. ;-)

But just the other day, while I was ruminating (read: obsessing) over a particularly bad social interaction, the kind that just makes you cringe every time you think about it, my train of thought suddenly jumped the tracks entirely, and I started obessing instead over the fact that none of us really knows what other people think of us. I mean, the thing that makes your friends roll their eyes at each other behind your back--instead of the things over which they roll their eyes at each other in front of you. The things you constantly do or say that make your husband want to jump out of his skin. The traits that your kids are one day going to spend hours on the phone grousing about.

I know these things must exist, because I know what they are for people around me. I have a friend who makes constant plans and promises and almost never makes good on them. When he does, wow. But more often? Nothing. But there's no way to address that, no reasonable way to say "you need to stop having all these dreams and ideas and getting all excited about them if you're not going to follow through." Besides, it's part of who he is.

Baroy tells interminably long stories, usually ones he's told before, and he gets into long political debates where he so overstates his position that it's...well...embarrassing. (I can hear a few of you chuckling even as I type...) But you just don't tell your husband not to be the way he is, because it embarrasses you. It's just not right.

I think you get the point. Anyway, the more I started thinking about that, the more I started wondering which of the things I do cross the line from being personality quirks to real annoyances to the people around me. It's sort of dispiriting to think that I could spend the rest of my life trying to work on things I perceive as big issues for me, only to be completely oblivious to the one or ones that drive my friends and family nuts. And since most of these sorts of things are integral parts of the person's personality, would it really do me any good to know? Could I, would I change them?

Still, now that I've started wondering about it, it's completely spiralled into obsession.

(Hey! Maybe it's my obsessive compulsive personality that drives everyone crazy! Yeah, that's the ticket! I'll just change that, and then I'll be perfect...)

Friday, September 19, 2003

There are things I am passionate about. Usually, I know what those things are. But sometimes, the passion surprises me anyway.

The other night, I'm talking to the mom of one of E's friends, a woman I really like. She's seven months along with her second child. I ask her where she's delivering, and she gives me the name of a local hospital, the same one I delivered E at. And suddenly, there I am, in her face, doing just the sort of thing I need to write a rant about other moms doing to me--shoving their issues into my parenting. And yet. And yet. And yet I can't stop myself.

I tried to do it gently. I told her, "This is really a hot-button issue with me. I know the hospital probably told you that it doesn't have a level IV NICU, but I need to tell you about E's birth, so that you understand what that means."

I don't know if anyone is reading this who doesn't know what happened when E was born--I actually don't even know if anyone is reading this at all--so let me briefly fill you in. E was delivered via c-section after a fairly long labor during which really thick meconium was detected in my waters when they were broken, during which I stayed at 6 cm for more than six hours, during which I developed a fever, during which her heartrate began doing the typical decel thing. (I'll never forget my ob coming to me and holding my hand and saying, "If it were any one of these things, I'd give it more time. But with all four of these signs together, I really think this is the best thing to do.") An hour later, in a room full of people (including a few neonatologists), out came my green-tinged baby. "It's a poopy girl!" someone exclaimed. They started suctioning her, then bagging her. Her crying sounded weird, though--like a kitten mewing--and they decided she needed the support of a NICU. Which would have been fine, had the hospital HAD a NICU. It didn't. And so, 45 minutes after her birth, my baby was taken by ambulance from the hospital where I was recovering, to one just a few miles away. It was easily the worst experience of my life. Just 36 horrific hours later, I insisted on being discharged so that I could go hold my baby for the first time. As we left the hospital, where I had gotten some of the most compassionate and solid care I've ever experienced in my life, I turned to Baroy and said, "I'll never have another baby there again."

So I explained this to E's friend's mom, as gently as I could. I told her that there was nothing to indicate that E's birth would 'go bad.' I told her that I couldn't live with myself if I didn't make sure she knew what the 'consequences' are of having a baby in that sort of hospital. I told her that if I were her, I'd try and find out if the baby could be delivered at another local hospital where there IS a NICU.

I know I scared her, probably made her uncomfortable. She may even have been annoyed that I was dumping this on her at this time. I felt badly about it. And yet. There was no other choice. I'd hate myself if I found myself visiting her like my friends visited me, sobbing during my first 'breastfeeding' experience with an industrial-grade pump.

But now, my job is done. And the truth is, if someone had told me what I told her before I had E, I would probably have ignored them--or tried to--assuming that the chances were one in a thousand of such a thing happening to me. Except it did. And it is the one thing about E's birth that I would do over, if I had it to do over again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Can money buy happiness?

There's an article in the university newpaper this week about a study done here that 'proves' money can't buy happiness. The woman who wrote it, a colleague of mine on our other campus, led her article with these statements: "The Beatles said it. Benjamin Franklin said it. Even your mother said it -- money can't buy happiness."

Well, first of all, the Beatles said "can't buy me love," not can't buy me happiness. (And I, for one, would say that love most definitely does not always equal happiness.) But what I really have to take issue with is the mother statement. My mother most assuredly DID say that money can buy happiness. Heck, it was almost her mantra. "It's just as easy to love a rich man as it is to love a poor one," she used to tell me all the time. Gotta love mom. (And I do, really.)

My boss's mother was even more direct about it: "I married for love, so the least you can do is marry for money," she would say.

And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I have to say I agree, at least in principle, with both of them. Sure, money might not BUY happiness, but it sure is a heck of a lot easier to BE happy when your checks are made of paper rather than rubber, when the balance in your checking account is black rather than red, when your ability to go grocery shopping doesn't depend on the date and whether or not your paycheck has gone through yet.

Money also opens up possibilities that might not otherwise exist. As the sole wage earner in our family, it was, until recently, a huge waste of my time to pine after the idea of being a stay-at-home mom or even working part-time/freelance out of my home. It's still not a reality, but it's no longer a mere pipe dream. And what made the difference? Money.

Am I happier since Baroy started working? Yes. I am. A lot happier. Why? Stupid little things, for one: Buying a huge $3 artichoke at the farmer's market, just because I have a craving for one. Treating myself--treating MYSELF! Did you hear that?--to an iced coffee once a week or so. Renewing our membership to the local arboretum so that we can spend afternoons and weekends savoring its delectable quiet and riotous color every now and again. Not having a screaming fight with Baroy over the extra $5 of water that got used yesterday when he left the sprinkler on in the way back of the yard for over four hours. (Whoops! We both felt bad about the waste of water, of course, but at least it wasn't a near-catastrophe financially. And man does my basil look perky today.)

And there are larger, though more subtle, ways in which money is bringing happiness 'round here as well. The reduction in stress level--both mine and Baroy's--is beyond palpable. I don't spend as much time resenting him; before, he had the lifestyle I wanted, and it made me angry, and I directed most of that anger at him. (And to make it worse, I had the lifestyle he wanted, and he resented me for that as well.) His self-confidence has skyrocketed; sure, he's still constantly leery about all of this disappearing on him, but at least he knows now that he can achieve in his field. Having his confidence in his own abilities seconded by others has been a powerful tonic. I couldn't be happier for him.

And so we get along better, in general. And we're having sex again, folks! More than once a month! We rock! Not only that, but I actually WANT to be having sex more often than we manage to. This is huge for me. HUGE. I haven't had a real, working libido since before E was born. It could be the zoloft, sure, but it could also be the other changes 'round here. Since they started at around the same time, it's hard to tell. Still, having a few extra dollars lying around has not hurt. At all.

So, maybe money can't buy happiness. But it sure does make me smile.

Monday, September 15, 2003

I wonder which chromosome the gene for Jewish Guilt is on? I wonder what its inheritance pattern is? I'm pretty sure it's autosomal dominant...or at least it is in my family.

Last night, were were at our friends' house for dinner--there were three couples, six kids. Near the end of the evening, the three older kids, all of them six, went into the host-kid's bedroom to play. Some 'incident' occurred in which N was pretty much kicked out of the room and had the door shut in his face, leading to much 2.5-year-old indignation and angst. Baroy, who had seen the incident but not the perpetrator, just sort of let it go, and took N home (we'd come in separate cars at different times). I, however, just couldn't let it go. A little later, as I drove home with E, I asked her who had shut the door in N's face. She hemmed and hawed a bit, and finally I interrupted and said, "You know, it doesn't really matter. N is your brother, and you have to learn to stand up for him when your friends do something mean to him."

A moment of silence from the behind me. Then, "It was me, mommy. I was the one who shut the door on N. Daddy said it was time for him to go, and we wanted to play and..."

"Well, that's even worse then," I said. "You're the only one he has who he can count on to defend him when someone is hurting him, and if you're the one who's hurting him..."

I let it drop after that, and we were mostly silent the rest of the 5-minute drive home. As we pulled up to the driveway, E said, "Do you think N is still awake? I want to go and tell him I'm sorry."

Awwwww. And the fact that she still wanted to apologize, even after we found her much-labored-over art project--a poster for when she's star of the week at school--had been, um, 'enhanced' by her brother with a brown marker ("I look like I have a crazy moustache, Mom," she wailed correctly), well, that just says wonders about the power of guilt.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

My grandmother died thirteen years ago. Not today, I don't think, but in September of that year. This is the story I always think about at this time of year:

My mother calls my grandmother one day when she knows my aunt is visiting. "Where's Barbara?" she asks my grandma.

"Oh, she went to the funeral parlor for me."

My mother, understandably, is confused by this. When my aunt returns a little later, it turns out that she had gone to the pharmacy.

Hearing this story sends a shiver down my spine. I just know something is wrong. I urge my mom to make sure my grandma sees a doctor. Not long after, we have the diagnosis: gliobalstoma. A nasty, incurable, inoperable brain tumor. Another shiver--this is what my grandfather had died of, more than thirty years ago, a good seven years before I was born, when my mother and aunt were just teenagers.

My grandmother, in typical cranky-old-lady mode (it is, frankly, what she was, though I loved her more than anything), has a moment of clarity before such things are gone forever: "If I'd known this was what I'd die of, I'd have never quit smoking."

A few months pass. We decline varoius treatments on her behalf. I spend a lot of time at the hospital on the weekends, trying to find my grandma inside a woman riddled with strange behaviors and nonsensical language. The day I found her sitting on her hospital bed, compulsively tearing out all the pages of her TV Guide and putting them into piles using a logic only she knew about, was the day I mourned her death. The day I came in and saw all the cards around her bed, and noticed that underneath each and every one of the signatures was a 'copied' version of the signature, done in pencil, by my grandma, was the day my heart broke for her.

One day, after she'd been moved to a hospice and no longer knew any of us by name or face, my aunt called. "I went to the funeral parlor today," she said, and every hair on my body stood up in protest of the eeriness, the echo, in that statement. My grandmother's prophecy had come true.

Having made the appropriate arrangements for my grandmother's funeral, my aunt told my grandma that it was OK for her to go now. She died in her sleep that night.

Friday, September 12, 2003

I'm having one of those weird days, where I'm finding it hard to find myself. I know why that is...I'm writing a column for the head of our cancer center, to be put into the next issue of our cancer center magazine. And I'm writing it as a letter...i.e., in his voice. So, basically, I'm currently channeling a 50-something-year-old, tall, South African cancer researcher. No wonder it's hard to be 39-year-old, short, transplanted New Yawker me right now!

When I do this sort of writing--at various times, I've had to write speeches and letters 'as' the dean of the medical school, or 'as' a renowned ophthalmologist, or even 'as' the president of the university--I really do try not to sound quite so much like me. Me loves alliteration and colorful words, and me eschews jargon. But the head of a cancer center? Not so much on the alliteration, and definitely way big on the jargon. Still, I wonder if he's going to read it and get all annoyed because I've used some phrase or logic that is counter to everything he believes in. (Paranoid, much?) It's my first time writing for/as him, so I'd like it to be well-received.

Monday starts my new schedule, with very early arrival times at the office, but three days a week when I'm out of here either just before or just after lunch. We'll see how it works. Lately I've been wanting to stay up late at night, but that's just not going to fly when I have to start leaving the house at 7 or so in order to drive to work, get N settled in at daycare, and trek on over to my office. There used to be a direct line from my parking lot to the building I work in, but now they're building yet another hospital building in between the two, cutting me off. So the walk is now a healthy one...and I enjoy it. But it requires an extra ten minutes or so, which I need to consider when I plan out my morning...and when I choose my shoes.

See what I mean about not being me? I'm talking about shoes. What's that about?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

For the record, I'm well aware of what day it is today. In addition to the horrors that the entire world shared, I have my own story about today. Today was the day that Baroy (as I'll be calling my DH here) and E were standing at Kennedy airport, waiting to come home to N and I after a quick visit back east. E had just, just turned 4 years old. They didn't leave New York until four days later, on the very first flight out of Kennedy after the attacks. A newspaper reporter was on the plane with them, and quoted Baroy and told a story about the way they had to close-search E in the newspaper article she subsequently wrote. Today was the day a man I used to work with died in the WTC. Today was the day another man, whose sister is on a mailing list with me, also died there. Today was the day my brother-in-law, an NYPD officer based downtown, began a long, long stint at the morgue in NYC, one that changed him profoundly. And there's more and more and more.

I'm well aware of what day it is today. I just don't feel the need to commemorate it, to talk about it. And I definitely don't feel the need to watch hours upon hours of television coverage about it. Someday, maybe. Maybe I'll need to do something to feel a connection to that day. But now, no. Now I feel a connection to that day every day, in ways I haven't even begun to explore. Now I don't need any help to feel the horror and the terror and the pain. Now I just need to let it sit for a while.

Just as I've always been told, I don't love either one of my kids more than the other, though I do love them differently. Still, it's taken me a long time to realize that even if you don't have a favorite, there's usually one child who is paramount in your mind and heart for a little while. Or perhaps I shouldn't say 'your.' Perhaps I shouldn't assume everyone is the way I am. But it's the case with me.

For a long time, probably almost since he was born, it was N. I loved E, I enjoyed spending time with E, I interacted and laughed and played and hung out with E, but I was consumed by N. Between the normal demands of infancy, his growth issues and my focus on them, and simply his personality, he captured and captivated me.

He is no less charming and scrumptious now--possibly even more so these days, with a healthy dose of two-ness going for him. He's funny and demanding and delightful and frustrating and I treasure him. But lately, lately...Lately E has been front and center again. I can't say why, exactly. Probably it's simply because the logistics of a six-year-old's life require a significant amount of input from at least one parent--and I'm the logistics parent in this family. So there's soccer and swimming and school and Brownies and playdates and sleepovers and decisions to be made about after-school care. With N? There's daycare. And as of next month, he's going five days a week, so there isn't even planning to be done for the days when he's not at daycare, outside of weekends, which are almost inevitably jammed full of stuff.

But there's more to it, too. I'm just so proud of E these days. She's really throwing herself into life, taking chances, challenging herself. I enjoy spending time with her, more often than not. I can have serious conversations with her, interesting conversations. Nowadays, when something funny happens in the house, I find myself seeking her out to tell her about it, like I would a friend. We spend a lot of one-on-one time together nowadays, much more than we have in the recent past. And with my schedule change, where I'll be home after school three days a week, we'll have even more of that sort of time. Despite the fact that it means seeing less of N (unless I want to wake him in mid-nap some days to bring him home with me on one of my three short days), I'm excited for this to happen.

And besides...let's face it...two-year-olds are hard. Fun. Adorable. But hard. Having more than one person to carry that load, to keep N happy and interested and safe and learning and engaged with life, is not a bad thing at all, to me. It gives me just a little more strength--and patience, which I have in only limited quantities--to deal with him the "right way," MY right way, when we are together. And because E will have had a good dose of me by then, I'll get that extra bit of time to just concentrate on him, to play only with him or read only to him or just snuggle with him, the way he still loves to. (God, I love those baby boy snuggles. I'm so glad he's a snugglebug. I'd miss him so much if I couldn't get a good dose of skin-to-skin time with him each day.)

Hmmm. Maybe I was wrong about one or the other being paramount in my heart. Maybe it's just that parenting more than one kid is a little like juggling, and one of the balls in always in the air, rather than in direct contact with the juggler. Still, that ball is only going to go so high, only going to go so far away. Sooner rather than later, it's going to come back down, and the juggler will scoop it up, steady it, and send it back up and on its way again.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I'm so on edge right now. It's funny, because overall things are better than they've been for years and years and years. But that gives me options. And I guess options make me edgy. Especially when those options aren't clear.

Clear? Did somebody say clear? I'm certainly not being clear.

Here we go. Clarity. Because G is working for the first time since we've met...you know, really working, as in making good money...I'm in a place where this going-into-work-four-days-a-week thing isn't about survival any more. My soul is seeing an open door, one leading to the life I've wanted to live since E was born, where I work at home, freelancing, and I'm there for the kids when they come home from school. (Even in my perfect world, I still send N to a preschool, for many reasons. So sue me.) And yet, that door is a bit of a mirage. G's work has no stability. He's week-to-week, day-to-day, job-to-job. Right now, it's unbelievable how much work he has, and how much money he's bringing in. We giggle a lot in our house these days when we talk about paying bills and such. Giggle. It's like a parallel universe from just six months ago. But we could be back on the other side of the looking glass at any time. Next week, next month. And then we're back to living on my salary, which doesn't cover our monthly nut, and so then we're back to depleting our savings, which we're just starting to get back to a comfort level (i.e., where we would be able to survive on just my salary for more than a year or two and still keep the house). So I can't quit, not yet.

Not to mention that G's work is all contract/freelance, so there's no health insurance, no 401K, no life insurance, no nothing. And my bennies? Unbelievable. Really. The best thing about this job is the benefits. And that's saying something, since I have a really great boss, and in general, when I'm not conflicted and angsty and all that, the work itself is interesting. I just know I couldn't live comfortably in my own skin without good health insurance. The way some people feel about daycare for their kids? That's how I feel about having children and going uninsured or underinsured. I just couldn't do it. And if I gave up my salary altogether, we'd have to do just that.

So, I have to stay. But I also have to address the angst. So I talked to my boss about expanding/changing my job responsibilities. And she was receptive, but nothing's really happened. And now I've got it in my head that I just *have* to switch around my hours, because I feel like I'm drowning, even just working 80 percent of the time. I hate not being there to pick E up after school except for Wednesdays, or to do homework with her, or to go to swim lessons or soccer practice or Brownies or...So I've come up with a schedule where I can be there when school gets out three days a week. Woohoo. Or half a woohoo. Because that schedule means potentially less time with N, who will have to go to daycare five days a week instead of three, since I will have to go into the office five sometimes-shorter days a week to make it work. Or, rather, for whom we will pay for daycare five days a week...truth is, we can always keep him out, or pick him up early. But will we? We'll see.

Sigh. Not clear. It's a complicated issue for me, and a very emotional one, but I'm having a hard time verbalizing it. Sorry 'bout that.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Two days at home. In a row. During the WEEK. Ahhhhh....Yep, that would explain my silence.

Well, that and the fact that during those two days, I was running my little PTA-board ass around the school so that I didn't have a second to myself to even consider posting. Wednesday I volunteered to do the setup for the teachers' lunch that we sponsor during their prep day, then to help with the setup and t-shirt sales at the kindergarten tea. (So cute! So hard to believe it was only a year ago we went to E's kindergarten tea! She seems so much more grown up now...) I was hauling paper plates and napkins and forks and spoons and cups and platters back and forth and back and forth and...you get the idea. Then yesterday was not only E's first day of first grade, but the PTA's 'howdy coffee,' where all the parents head after dropping off their kids, and where the PTA and the principal give little speeches and the parents sign up for volunteering, etc. Well, I was responsible for buying all the food and drinks and setting it up and selling t-shirts and putting out and then collecting the sign up sheets...not to mention that E was nervous about her first day, and we had to figure out what class she was in (she got a great teacher though...phew!), and I was rushing her around like crazy and we were almost late to her class...Poor kid. I really just about ruined her first day for her. My stress level was through the roof and I'm not good at hiding that.

But we survived. The big lesson of the day, though...Never put someone in charge of a howdy coffee who doesn't drink coffee. Because if you do, you're going to find yourself going up to her and saying things like, "Um, do you guys have any creamers or milk or something like that?" and her realizing that she hadn't even THOUGHT about getting that sort of stuff. (Luckily, the school cafeteria had cream and saved my sorry butt...)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

What is with all this angst? I'm so ridiculously, way-out-of-proportion-to-reality conflicted these days. Things are finally decent here. G's making money. And anyone who knows me knows who earthshatteringly monumental that is. Stalker Girl hasn't "been around" since April, that I know of. My boss wants to work with me to make my job better and more palatable. N is growing and gaining and learning and just edibly cute, though increasingly challenging. E is about to start first grade, and she swells my heart with pride much of the time. So, really...conflicted? What's that about?

Actually, I know what it's about. It's about seeing what I really want be ever-so-much closer, and yet not being able to reach out and touch it yet. It's about having more money come in than we've ever had, and yet not being able to reduce my hours, much less quit my job. It's about that grass being so much greener, everywhere I look...

Not to mention that E has chosen now, of all times, to begin crying every morning when I go to work, hoping that I'll stay home. Six years old, and this is the first time she's ever done this, just when I'm most vulnerable to it. And of course N is still not adjusted to his preschool room, and sobs when I leave HIM. So my days start with a nice, healthy dose of guilt and resentment.

Yeah. I know where the angst is coming from. I just don't know what to do about it.

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