I don't have a middle name.
My first name is worry.
From the moment I sluice out of bed each morning until I pour myself right back in at night, I am a full glass of anxiety.
The whole season leading up to this day just adds to the confusion. Consumerism. Praxises. Pressure.
I move through it like a clockwork mouse – quickly and in circles. So many thoughts. So many directions. Same old things: MOM! Did you send our Santa letters? … HON! Did you get my text? … MOM! When is Grandma coming? … HON! Did you get to the Post Office?
So, I wasn't really terribly surprised when a scratchy throat on Sunday evening turned into a raging fever and crippling body aches by Monday morning. I just grumbled: DAMN YOU, FLU SHOT (that I never got) how could you forsake me?
Only to have the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine reply, “How many times did you go to Target in December? Speak to my plunger, you lilly-livered sap, I KNOW you saw my sign.”
Oh yes. It was laughing at me as I just lay there on the couch in a miserable, radiating heap. “You'll just have to sweat me out.”
My husband took over, bless his atheist soul, and unlike most Hollywood plots would have it he directed the choo-choo station traffic with better precision than I ever seem to manage. I didn't even have to get out of bed to give “kisses goodnight.”
He juggled all the balls I threw his way with grace, but by Friday I was crazed:
I. Am. Going. To. Die. My kids will be motherless. (And they won't even miss me.) Their dad will be a widow. (Until he decides which of my friends to date.)
You can't really blame me. Fevers each day. Feverish dreams each night. But blame you shall: “Get thee to a doctor and muster some little pink soldiers to knock down this invading army of microbes, you twit.”
Or was that my husband?
Physician, who had previously advised “Heal thyself,” was now piping: “Here's Z-Pak to-save-the-day.”
Of course, with the first dose I felt better immediately and just in time to witness (if not fully participate in) the amazing three-ring-spectacular that would be a “Craftacular Birthday Party” to mark the start of Ittybit's Year 8.
Three weeks' planning and about 65 tons of glitter went into the extravaganza to which her entire Second Grade class (which if you add for sound and excitement factors equates to approximately 3,004 children) and their siblings (another 5,000) would be invited.
Did I mention it would be at our house?
Should have. Sorry.
Sure the doctor told me to “REST!” but I was feeling better just one day with the Z-Troops. I could go up the stairs. I could go down the stairs. Up. Down. Down. Down. I'm gonna sit down. For a while. Am I having trouble breathing? Do I feel light headed?
I settled the question by answering the 11th hour Phone Call of Concern: “You know, SO-AND-SO nearly DIED when they were recovering from pneumonia? Be VERY careful.”
I'm picturing it all over again.
I. Am. Going. To. Die. My kids will be motherless. (Only this time a birthday will be ruined forever.) Their dad will be a widow. (And he's met many new, potentially single mommies at the party I missed while I went to the ER.)
But I do feel light-headed. I AM having trouble breathing. I need to go get checked out, so a friend takes me.
When the nurse hooks me into the vital statistic pole, it's painfully obvious to me that everything is under control except my anxiety.
I'm lucky it's a slow day at the ER because we're home for the opening of presents.
I'm also lucky to have a husband who is so good in a crisis. I'm even pretty sure he would have been able to talk me out of mine if he hadn't been juggling 8,004 little crafters with only a handful of very lovely assistants.
Merry Christmas to all, and may all your crises be small.