Monday, February 17, 2014

Bitter Gratitude

I've been pretty bitter lately. 

I am tired of trying to be grateful. 

For the little things.  Like my kids' health.  Or a roof over our heads. 

Have you SEEN Andrew's smile lately? 

That was the day that started it all, 3 weeks ago Sunday. 

When Damon texted that Andrew had been in an accident and they were at the hospital but he was fine, I did not think, oh so great that he is fine.  I thought, fucking shit, what the fuck are you going to throw at me now?

When I briefly forgot that he had texted that Andrew was fine and I thought, oh my god, I might lose this kid, just for a moment, I was not sad and hopeful and repentant, I was angry and defiant.

It was the first prayer I have said in over four years. 

And it went something like this:  God damn fucking shit.  I swear to fucking God, I hate you,  If you do this shit to me, if you take away that child, I am going to fucking hate you for the rest of my life, you fucking goddamn fucking arrogant shitty fucker of a fuck fuck God.


I am beginning to see why He might not be listening to me!

I was not grateful that Andrew was fine, that he didn't have lasting brain damage, and all those other things that you always are supposed to say when a kid gets hurt fairly badly.  I was pissed he lost his permanent molar and was incapacitated for a week, the second week of high school, missing try outs and sign ons to new clubs,  What a royal pain in the ass, God, thanks.

I'm pretty tired of being grateful for a car I never liked.  I didn't WANT those effin electric doors that open on their own.  I hate them.  I am tired of trying to appreciate the home that is too small, too boxy and too, too, NOT MY HOME.  I am tired of being grateful for things I have worked really effin hard for.  I am tired of working so hard and getting no help.

I am tired of trying to show gratitude I don't feel.

So that I really surprised myself last Thursday morning at the first, no MAYBE second, thought I had when I got rear ended by that ute on the way home from school dropoff.

The first though was, no kidding.  I mean, lay it on me.  What else ya got?

But the really close second was, oh thank god I left Ian at home with Ryan this morning.

Was that really gratitude?!

I was also grateful for something else I can't recall.  No, not that Ryan wasn't hurt when her horse reared up and lashed out at her when she asked her to back up while I wasn't home.  No, not that Andrew won't need orthodontics for a few years yet after all.

OH yeah.  That Queensland has just instituted a new dental health plan that provides $1000 for dental health every two years to eligible kids.  And Andrew's dental work will come up to $1200.  (For initial work.  Temporarily,  But see, I am still grateful for small things.)

Two things I have been truly grateful for without forcing it or faking it. 

Then just tonight I had another.  Ian has been vomiting since last night.  (No, I DO NOT make this shit up.  I don't have to!)  He passed out just as I was about to start the 5:45 Monday night dance route.  This route begins at 2:30 when I pick up the twins from school in Kurwongbah and drive them to dance at 4:00 in Narangba. 

I HAD SEVEN MINUTES TO SIT STILL AND DO NOTHING because the dance instructor, and friend, and now saviour, is able to pick Andrew up at school with her boys.  WHAT AN AMAZING GIFT!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.  It saves be about half an hour in the car on an afternoon that continues as follows:

4:00-5:30 - boys all dance while Ian and I play outside.  Except today where I run back home (only ten minutes one way and not one minute shorter because THERE ARE SPEED TRAPS IN NARANGBA) since I have left Ian with Ryan since 2:30 because he is sick.

Oh.  I am pretty grateful they haven't sent me a ticket for going 64 kilometres in a 60 four weeks ago too.  That's two and a half miles over the speed limit but the light went off.  In thanks, I have slowed down those 4 kms.  Showing that those exorbitant penalties really do work. 

AND I am grateful the computer didn't just lose all my work when it shut down. 

5:30.  Pick up twins and drop them off at home.  Ask them to strip, shower, dress and read on their own before turning on TV.  Oh...and can they watch Ian who has fallen asleep on the coach  Because...

5:45.  Drive Ryan to bellydance in Petrie .  Get her there half an hour early with her sketchpad, water and mobile phone because there is no way to get her there at 6:45 when her class starts and be back in Narangba at

6:30 to pick up Andrew from dance.  (He has an hour extra because he is on The Crew!)

6:35.  Receive phone call from Aidan saying that Ian has just thrown up.  Am actually fairly grateful I am only ten minutes away (and Aidan and Matthew knew how to contact me in an emergency) and drive home ready to clean up puke.

Only to find - and this is  beautiful - that AIDAN AND MATTHEW MANAGED TO HAVE IAN VOMIT INTO A BUCKET!!!

This is not only gratitude.  This is love. 

I am not grateful that Damon leaves work at 7:15 to pick up Ryan from dance at 8:00.  He works six days a week.  I am not grateful that he has a job.  Let's not even go there.  I am not grateful to be here - I am HAPPY to be here.  I am not grateful for my old, faded clothes, for the crappy food or that we have a credit card they keep raising the limits on.  Or two crappy cars.  And healthy kids.

Fuck that.

But I am grateful that my two 7 year olds know how to have the 2 year old vomit into a bucket.  That they were all showered and in their pajamas when I came home and had read aloud to each other for ten minutes as requested.  That Andrew can watch Ian.  That Ryan bathed with him earlier today when he was so hot and miserable.  That the boys can set the table and get themselves tacos.

This is stuff that I have done. 

I am tired of being grateful for shit I deserve better than.

I have done all this with help from no one, while shit fell apart all around me and each year just got worse and worse.

So bring it on.

The vomit bucket is ready. 

And the kids know how to use it.

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