Sick kids. Last-minute Christmas panic. More sick kids. Angry, grouchy people everywhere. Now I’m starting to feel sick. Everybody wants something from me. Full moon coinciding with another especially wicked and unholy round of PMS. Sheepdog is sleeping with one eye open, just in case.
But I refuse to let it bring me down. I am going to enjoy the crap out of this Christmas season, dammit, no matter what it takes. There ARE good things happening all around me. Sometimes I just have to look extra hard in order to find them.
Kid E finally caught a version of whatever ick it was that landed Kid D in the emergency room last week for IV fluids and some anti-nausea medicine. Fortunately, he didn’t have it nearly as bad, but he was home from school and laying on the couch this week, wrenching my plans to get stuff done during the countdown to Christmas. And, since he is a kid-in-training, who follows and copies almost everything his older brother does down to the last dangerous couch flip, he, too, asked to have a walkie-talkie by his side so he could call me whenever he “needed” something during his convalescence.
I set him up for success… he was tucked in and his pillow was fluffed, with fluids, toys, and all of his electronics within reach. Plus, I had queued up Star Wars V in the Blu-ray. I was crossing my fingers that he didn’t feel the need to use the dreaded walkie talkie.
Star Wars is a fairly recent obsession for Kid E, although he has dabbled a bit in the past. The original trilogy comes on TV every year during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so I always record it. As a result, the kids have seen IV, V, and VI at least a time or two. Eventually, I just bought the DVDs. Back in 1977, Star Wars IV was the very first movie I ever saw in the theater (just a seven-year-old me and my seven-year-old date, Kevin Mc), and I immediately fell in love (with the movie, not the boy). We played Star Wars for hours upon hours. I am fan for life. Of Star Wars. I haven’t seen Kevin Mc since my wedding to Sheepdog in 1993. I wonder what he’s doing now.
Anyway… Sheepdog shares my love of the franchise, but being much more cerebral than I, he tends to lean more toward analyzing the movies rather than re-enacting the scenes with toys. Here’s the gist of Sheepdog’s thoughts on Star Wars… Anakin Skywalker’s choice to join the Emperor/ Darth Sidious and the rest of the bad guys as Darth Vader the Sith Lord is a metaphor for the struggles that an alcoholic faces on a daily basis. Yoda even warned him, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” It is a very compelling theory and I’m sure he would talk about it in depth with anyone who is interested. Me? I really like the toys.
Fortunately for me, my kids really like the toys too. Especially Kid E.
So, sick Kid E is all set and I ask one last time (sure it is) if he needs anything before I go do stuff. He shakes his head and gets to the movie watching.
I settled into my chores and was on a roll in no time. I couldn’t run errands, but I could tackle the things that were waiting for me around the house, and there was quite a lengthy list. But I was finally getting stuff done. I was on fire!
Then it started. Blip, went the walkie talkie.
I took a deep breath and responded on the handheld unit, even though he was in the very next room and I could hear him yelling at me through the open door.
“I’m here, honey.”
“Mom! They are in the swamp, Mom! R2-D2 went missing for a while, but Luke found him and they are in the swamp now, Mom!”
OK. So, he doesn’t need anything, but I am still going to get a play-by-play of the movie. Whether I like it or not.
“Did you hear me?” he yelled from the other room. His hand had fallen off the button before he was done
annoying me talking. I took another deep breath.
“10-4. I did hear you, sweet boy. Thank you for telling me what was happening
on a movie I have seen no less than one hundred times.”
Static. Blip. His sweaty hand must have slipped again, because whatever diatribe he had next came from the next room, not through the walkie talkie. Ugh. I got up to go talk to him face to face. He was still explaining something when I sat down next to him.
“You know, you have to hold down that button the whole time you are speaking, not just when you start.” I said to my little, sick boy, who I noticed was buried under his blanket on the couch, surrounded by toys and all of his gear. And this time I really looked at him… his face was pale and he had circles under his eyes. His color was off, too. He was trying so hard to get better, mostly because he knew how much stuff I had to get done before next Wednesday. I had certainly said it enough times.
I told him I’d be right back. I went into my office and turned off my computer. I put away my files and turned off the lights. I was done for the day. Nothing else was important.
I went back into the living room and I climbed under the blanket with my little, sick boy and we cuddled as we watched the rest of the movie.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…