Monday, April 24, 2006

Let me get comfortable on this really high horse for a minute

I was all ready to sit down and write (bitch) about Chicky Baby's birthday-turned-birthweek (clusterfuck) when I heard about this story on the local news. A woman was killed when the car she was driving in was hit head-on when a drunk driver crossed the center line. She was 8 months pregnant. Her baby was delivered by C-section and took a few breaths before dying himself. The man, her fiance and father to the baby, who was driving the car that was hit, is fine... As fine as a man can be who lost the woman he loved and unborn son. And the drunk driver? He escaped injury as well.

If that doesn't put things into perspective, then I don't know what will.

Here I was, trying to find a way to spin a stressful week into a funny story, and a real life tragedy comes along, as they all too often do, and gives me a healthy reality slap upside the head. Who the heck am I to complain that my daughter has serious separation anxiety and that she hates everyone but me, when there are so many worse things that could befall us? She's healthy and normal and (mostly) happy. As long as Grandma or Grandpa, or anyone else but me or the Hubby, don't come within 10 feet of her she's a very cheerful little girl. As difficult as CB's separation anxiety can make things, I really like it when she buries her head in my shoulder when she's feeling shy and when she grabs on to me when she thinks I'm going to pass her off to someone. She needs me. I won't have that luxury forever. And she got a new nickname out her phobia... The Tick. As in, she clings to me like a tick. Yeah, it needs work.

And so what if my living room looks like a Toys-R-Us blew up in it or that Chicky Baby now has enough clothes to start her own Gymboree? Was I really going to complain about that?! We have wonderfully generous friends and family who lavished her with gifts... Not because they had to, or because they were invited to her birthday party, or because they have so much disposable income (because, oh boy, they don't), but because they wanted to. Of course, they could have saved some of that money for, say, they're electric bill and bought her a bag of shiny bows and tissue paper but the dolls and loud electronic toys are good too.

Oh, sure... I was going to be all sarcastic about the mid-week Mother's Group that I hosted. But the 11 women and all 11 of their kids under the age of 15 months (plus a pre-teen niece of one of the women that I was informed was coming an hour before the party got started) were terrific guests and are invited back again this summer when we can keep everyone outside. So there were 25 people in my house that day... So what? I'm a lucky person to have access to that many other women with kids Chicky Baby's age living so close by. I've already lined up her senior prom date. How many moms can say that?

And, lastly, because of the number of people parading in and out, I've had to put in more hours cleaning my house this week than I have in an entire year... But I'm thankful I have a home. I complain about this money pit occasionally, but we have a roof over our heads and four walls to (mostly) keep the cold out. Honestly, the house really did need a full floor to ceiling cleaning anyway.

Just so I'm not misunderstood, I'm not becoming high and mighty. Oh, far from it. There will be plenty of complaining on this blog in the future. I am human, after all, hear me whine and bitch. But for today I need to acknowledge just how fortunate my family is. I've had some bad luck in the past, but as of right now, right this minute, my family is happy and healthy and that needs to be celebrated.

Is it gauche to give some of Chicky Baby's gifts to charity? Probably. Instead I think I will be finding a worthy charity to give other things to. Time, mainly. I think Julia needs to learn early in life just how lucky she is. And I need to remember that as well. Often and regularly. Hopefully, in the future, I won't need a tragedy to remind me.

25 comments:

J's Mommy said...

Funny how life works that way! But it's good that you took the moment to reflect on all that you DO have. I had a similar moment this weekend when I heard that a friend's newborn was in the NICU with a collapsed lung. He's fine now but you never know when life can take a turn for the worse. Kudos to you for recognizing that!!!

Pattie said...

It is so easy to get stuck in our own world...insulated from tragedy. The reality of life serves as a reminder to us all to hug the ones we love. Who knows what tomorrow brings. Thanks for the reminder about what REALLY matters.

Jess Riley said...

I always have to give myself a reality check when I start to get all verklempt about stuff. Thanks for the reminder! You're a pretty cool chick.

something blue said...

You are so thoughtful and grounded. I admire that in you. Life is way too fragile.

Hooray that your spring cleaning is done. And seriously, why does every children's toy have to be so frickin LOUD?

Kristin said...

what a tragic reality check... thank you for reminding us to focus on what truly matters.

rhonda said...

I really needed that reality check today, thanks!

Mother Bumper said...

You rock. You do not sound high and mighty - I like the way you articulate and reading your post today made me hug Bumper even closer. She too is going through her "no one but mom or dad" phase and this post reminds me how lucky I am. Thanks.

Christina said...

Yep, I give myself a reality check like that every week or so. It's so easy to fall into the poor-me trap and think only of the bad things. But then something like what you described comes along and reminds us to be grateful for what we do have.

And thanks for giving me my weekly reality check as well. :)

Mommy off the Record said...

Thanks for the reminder to appreciate what I have in life. I was reminded of this the other day when I read the story about the little boy who dialed 911 twice to tell the operator that his mother was having trouble breathing or something and the operator thought it was a hoax and didn't send anyone right away. By the time the paramedics finally got there, she had died. Just horrible.

Heather said...

So sad. I almost lost my mum to a very similar accident (minus the pregnancy) so at a very young age I learned life is pretty short and I still try not to sweat the small stuff. I figure I'm more lucky than 99% of the people in the world to have a place to live that keeps out the elements, a guy I'm crazy about who's crazy about me, my health, and a family who loves me.

Now, back to the spring cleaning at my house! (ah who am I kidding, I'm totally having a bubble bath instead!)

sunshine scribe said...

Thanks for that very sobering reminder. I really appreciated reading your post today. I was feeling sorry for myself for a crappy day at work and you put it right back into perspective.

Glad the birthday week from hell is over and - no - I don't think it is gauche to ship a few of the extras off to charity.

Thanks for this post. As usual, you rock

Mom101 said...

I agree that every so often something comes along that puts everything in perspective. I will also say, however, that problems are all relative. We are entitled to have our issues and our anxieties and our stresses and our vents, even if they're not life and death situations. It's what makes us human and you should never feel guilty for being just that.

Even so, it's good that you found an occasion to take inventory of your blessings. We should all do so more often.

Gina said...

Gracefully put... Love this post!

And "Tick" doesn't need any work... I am loving that nickname. My boy is starting to get like that and it's okay...

Izzy said...

I never thought you were complaining :)

But that story is way sad and certainly does give one pause.

margalit said...

I saw that drunk driver being arraigned on the news tonight. Man, he looked like he could barely believe the mess he was in. Two counts of vehicular manslaughter? He's getting off very easy.

kvetch said...

I don't think it's bad to give some of the gifts to charity...but certainly giving your time is wonderful too. I also think its important that children do not feel bad for what they have, or guilty that they are fortunate. As always, it's a balancing act!

mothergoosemouse said...

I actually do call both girls "Tick" sometimes - it's an abbreviated version of "Tickety Boo", which is one of my favorite expressions used by a former co-worker of mine.

How about "Chicky Tick"?

What a tragedy (the pregnant woman and her baby). Such events do put life in perspective.

Petite Mom Blogger said...

It seems like all you need to do is turn on the news and what we think as stressful or bad actually isn't so bad afterall.

MrsFortune said...

The Tick! I love that show.

Last night I was totally bitching about the job. And the fact that BOB hasn't popped. I need to get my priorities in order, no? Thanks.

reluctant housewife said...

I read that story as well. It broke my heart.

Carrcakes said...

Sometimes you need to bitch and vent as a mother and it's totally warranted. It's also nice to be reminded of how lucky you are. Thanks for the reality check.

Blog Antagonist said...

Great post! It's funny how life will sometimes give you a whopping does of perspective when you need it.

Still, we all need to gripe now and then. Better to get it all out than to have a psychotic break, right? ;?)

Bridgermama said...

Frickin' wake-up calls. I swear I rarely had them when I was a partying fool. Now I have them all the time.
I think the important thing is that we now recognize them when they come our way and that we live our lives accordingly.

HeatherJ said...

The wake up calls hit me much harder now that I have kids.

mo-wo said...

Since I am insensitive twit.. I guess I'll ask...? Is your house too clean?

You know I have this fantasy life now wherein I am some sort of slacker Mom. I get takeout 5 times a week and don't care what my house looks like.

It is not working. How 'bout you?

(I am quite sure 8 out of 11 Mom guests left, Man her house is tooooo clean.)