This morning I woke up after a rough night with the baby, tired and worn out. I got up and was doing my usual morning jobs of getting things ready when I realized what time it was and that my husband wasn't up yet. I went in to wake him. Twice. He groaned some whiny thing at me each time, he is sick and has been soldiering through for the past few days and I guess today was his day to have a pity party and drag himself out of bed with amazing slowness while I muttered angrily about his man cold.
Unfortunately, his pity party came without any prior warning, so I had to throw on some sunglasses to cover the make-up-free face I was sporting, dress the Beans, load up the car and get the Meatball to school. Of course only when I got in the car did I remember that yesterday I bought a smoothie at a drive through and the lid wasn't on properly, so it coated most of my front seat and gear shift in fruity yogurty sugary nasties. I had wiped it up yesterday, but clearly my seats and floor mats need cleaned. So when I got in he car to that lovely smell which had all night in a hot garage to ferment ... oh lovely.
And my gear shift sticks.
Got Meatball to school with no major incident. But, on the way home, the Beans exploded. How can a body so small hold so much vomit and launch it with the force of 20 grenades? So the front seat is day old smoothie, the back seat is carrot baby vomit. I suppose it is what I get for uttering the phrase "nothing could smell worse than this!" when I first got in the car. Touche, karma.
Long story made longer, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself this morning. A bit unappreciated, a bit screwed. A lot worn out.
After wiping up the kiddo and the car, I sat down to snuggle with the Beans, who by the way is feeling fabulous now that he'd emptied the full contents of his stomach, and was looking through my blog roll. I haven't read much in quite a few days so I had some catching up to do.
One of the people I read often is the esteemable and flat out awesome Mary Tyler Mom. I haven't been to her site in ages, and I thought to myself "this is just what I need."
Well, I got that right.
After reading about their heartbreaking initial steps of their current adoption journey I was reminded that this family has already been through hell, their daughter Donna's story is linked at the top of her blog. For September last year Mary Tyler Mom documented each of Donna's 31 months of cancer treatment. I had actually never read it. So I did.
Tears streaming, I wiped my face and snuggled that much harder with the beautiful boy who coated my car in carrot puke this morning. The grace and grit of the little girl in this story was more inspiring than anything else in this world, and in a close second is her amazing mother's grace and persistence in the telling. I can do it no justice, you would have to read the story yourself, if you are able.
It is so easy to get caught up in the moments of life, especially the bad ones. To feel that some cosmic being is having fun at our expense, and to whine about how when it rains it pours. I often joke that if it wasn't for bad luck I'd have none at all ... but good lord, I couldn't be more wrong.
When the Beans was born he was grey in some places, purple in others. He eventually developed a massive case of jaundice and when we finally brought him home he had weird vomiting episodes and breathing issues. My darling little baby was only two and a half weeks old the first time he stopped breathing. I cannot tell you how many times it happened after that, its not a tally I wanted to keep. His skin also turned completely raw in most places, he spent the first 8 months of his life with his hands bandaged so that he wouldn't cause himself more harm than his body already was. He tore out chunks of his hair if I wasn't fast enough in those moments where we let his little hands air out. Eventually he was diagnosed with a variety of things that contributed to the fun we'd been having -- GERD, MPI, chronic eczema (made worse by the MPI), and tracheomalacia. With diagnosis came ways to treat, it was a long and arduous road. But now at nearly 16 months old he is doing freaking awesome. We never needed surgery, he is off most of the medicine, and his trachea is righting itself with time, much faster than we had dared to hope. A great many of my stories here involve tales of the Beans being an exhausting ball of adorable energy, and he is.
But what could have been?
When you really stop and think about it, there is always someone who has it "worse" than you. This is because "worse" is a matter of perspective and what is hell on earth to one person is a manageable sentence to another. If the worst thing that happens to me today is that my car is coated in nasty smelling goo that I need to scrub out ... well, shit, I have had worse days. And right now, someone, somewhere, is having a much much worse day than me.
We do not, in our darkest moments, tend to have time for pity parties because we are too busy surviving.
So I am now very grateful for my pity party earlier. I was upset at my husband for being him, he's always like this when he is sick but fortunately that isn't often. I was frustrated at my kids for ... well, being kids. I was frustrated at myself and my situation for a million various, and all of them stupid and beyond my control things. I am grateful that I could be so dumb, so selfish. Because if things were really bad I wouldn't have the time for that crap.
It's called perspective ... and now I have it.