Monday, September 24, 2018


Good Monday morning.

Let's start with the good news. LSU is still undefeated, & they climbed to (I believe) No. 5 in the polls. So, yay. With Alabama looming & other things on my mind, I am sad to report the usual joy a top-five ranking would bring me is somewhat dampened. 

I am in a bit of an emotional state, & I will explain the reason(s) for that forthwith. I told you last week I was frustrated with myself because I've been floundering lately in my attempts to organize myself & my time & my life. The first casualty of all this disorganization is my precious, precious reading time, which has been & continues to be almost nonexistent. Coming off the summer months, during which I was able to read regularly since I could afford to stay up until two in the morning, my current reading drought is particularly distressing. 

A handful of the readers in my life listen to audiobooks. I have always resisted this idea. I am a words person; I want to see the words. I like to sit & read; that's sort of the whole point of reading to me, but I may have to consider an audiobook or two soon in order to sufficiently immerse myself in some fiction that I so need in my life right now. I didn't get much of this month's book club book read, & I doubt I gather with the ladies tomorrow night. I know, I know; the sad news just keeps coming this morning, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel, so keep reading. 

Since I haven't managed to read anything new lately, I am going to remind you of a series I read several years ago back when I had the discipline to finish an entire book. My dad recommended a Hugh Howey book titled Wool. Wool is the first book in a three-book series. The three titles are Wool, Shift, & Dust. The premise of the series is that something terrible has presumably happened on earth; the situation is so dire that people have resorted to living in silos that are buried in the earth. The books are outside the scope of what I usually read; they are a mix of science fiction & dystopian, I suppose, but they are well written, & the series is one I may one day reread . . . when I am eighty & no one needs me to take them to soccer practice or piano lessons. 

I've certainly forgotten many of the details in these books, but today & for the past week or so I've been thinking a lot about the second book in the series, Shift. It is a well-titled book, & it's probably my favorite book in the series. The author does a lot of world-building in the first novel, Wool. Once the characters & the world are firmly established, the second novel, Shift, includes a lot of flashbacks that serve to detail for the reader the events that led to the world into which we're immersed in Wool. The whole time you're reading Wool you are thinking, What in the world happened above ground that forced people to bury a silo underground so they could live in it? I know this is what I was thinking. So, Shift answers those questions. Shift details the gradual, well, shift, that occurred that led to the odd but fascinating circumstances to which the reader is introduced in Wool

Change happens gradually. If you're older than, say, twenty-five you have undoubtedly woken up one day & thought, How did I get here? When did this happen? I had these thoughts repeatedly last week. In my mind I was writing a novel similar to Shift, a series of flashbacks that detail the moments, the events, the days during which seemingly mundane things happen that collectively add up to significant shifts in life.

Last week was a cascade of events that, taken individually, were not remarkable, but the whole week snowballed into an emotional ball of stress that I didn't handle as well as I could have.

A short jaunt through last week . . . I promise I am leading up to something with these mundane details.

On Monday afternoon Reagan had her weekly piano lesson after school; the kids & I arrived home about five-thirty. Tuesday is the one day during the school week on which we can usually just go home & stay there, which is very important to our mental health. Trey left town Wednesday & didn't return home until late Thursday night. What this meant was that I was alone in my efforts to get the kids to church Wednesday night, get them home & in bed, get them back to school Thursday morning, & get Reagan to her soccer practice Thursday night, all while appearing put-together & prepared for the classes I teach on Thursdays. 

I tried to take a few pictures of Reagan at her first soccer practice, but my efforts were thwarted by Henry's insistence on taking pictures with the plastic toy he got in his Sonic meal that served as Thursday's dinner. 


On Friday I picked the kids up from school & immediately headed north to my Papaw's house. He turned ninety-two on Friday. 

Fun under Papaw's carport: 

I spent most of Thursday & Friday in my car. Thursday went like this: I drove the kids to school. I drove to a coffee shop to work until my ten o'clock class. I drove to my class. I drove to Reagan's school to help her with her insulin for lunch. I drove to my twelve-thirty class. I drove home because I had to feed the dog before picking up the kids since the kids & I would not be back home until after seven o'clock due to soccer practice. I drove to the school to get the kids. We sat at my sister's house, quickly ate some Sonic, & drove to soccer practice. 

The driving Friday was also dog-related; in order to get the kids from school & go straight to my Papaw's house I had to make a trip home during the day to feed the dog. I also went home Thursday & Friday to check on Sophie (the dog) because she vomited several times Wednesday night & into Thursday morning. She is fine now, but she only weighs about seven pounds & so when she vomits more than once it's concerning due to dehydration fears. I wanted to make sure she was drinking & peeing lest I add "visit the vet" to the week's to-do list. 

I am not looking for sympathy; I am documenting for you (& for Trey, if he's reading) & for posterity in general why I have decided WE ARE MOVING. 

I had an Ariel-on-the-rocks moment at some point during all my driving Thursday & Friday. 

This is maybe my favorite moment ever in any Disney film. She's watching Prince Eric from afar, & she declares, I don't know when, I don't know how, but I know something's starting right now . . . watch & you'll see, someday I'll be, part of your world. She hoists herself on that rock, the ocean spray explodes behind her, & she melodically announces her intentions . . . it is just perfection. 

Anyway, my moment in my Toyota Highlander was less dramatic than that, but I firmed up my resolve to do something - - to convince Trey to do something - - that I once thought I (we) would never do. 

The plan is simple. I want to sell the house in which we currently live, & I want to buy & move into a house that is not miles & miles away from the children's school. Yes, we would be moving a little further away from both sets of our parents, but you know what? We never go to their houses during the school week because there is no time

On the weekends & in the summer we will simply have an extra five or ten minutes in the car when we drive to their houses. We go to school five days a week. Reagan's extra-curricular activities are near the school. I could run home & feed the dog & put food in the crock pot in five minutes instead of it taking me almost an hour round-trip to "run home." I could take the kids home after school for several hours before soccer practice, feed them actual, real food, have Reagan finish all her homework, & then flit merrily back to the school in time for soccer practice. I could run home to meet a plumber or the bug man or whoever else we've summoned to the house. So many things would be less of an ordeal. It just makes a lot of sense. 

Finally, all (or nearly all) of Reagan's friends live a good distance from our house & closer to their school. If & when she wants to sleepover at or even visit her friends' houses, I want to be as close as possible (like probably on someone's couch in the case of a sleepover, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it). 

As you recall from this summer's events, I am willing to part with our current house. It is a good house, it is. It is not working for us right now. Last week I remembered that I only discovered our current house online when I, on a whim, googled houses for sale in a zip code I hadn't previously searched because I just assumed we would not move there. It was a tiny shift in thinking that led me to the house in which we've lived for the past seven years. Believe it or not, sometimes I get so entrenched in my own thought processes & my own assumptions that I close my eyes to possible solutions, good solutions, to issues I am attempting to resolve. 

So, to sum up, last week was busy for me & the kids, & it solidified for me that it is in our best interest as a family to move across town. There are aspects of this that just make me want to curl up in a ball & cry; moving is so hard, but, but, it will also force us to deal with some of the extraneous clutter in our lives. First things first, we have to get our house ready to put on the market.

I want to close today by sharing something Reagan made for me over the weekend. The stress of last week unravelled in an ugly way on Saturday night; I made a mistake for which I continue to feel extreme regret. Saturday I bathed the kids early & decided to take them to my parents' house & watch the LSU game there. After her bath, I put a new sensor on Reagan's arm. We are in the habit of changing out her sensor every weekend so that it is up & running come Monday morning when I leave her at school. A sensor lasts right at seven days. If she's wearing a sensor, her blood sugar is constantly displayed on her pump screen, which makes the day much easier for me, Reagan, & her wonderful teacher. 

Reagan is usually wonderfully mature about her equipment, both the pump itself & the sensors. She & Henry were being especially loud & irritating at my parents' house Saturday night. During all their roughhousing I think she must've hit the sensor on something, & it came loose. The sensor is inserted in her arm with a needle that is then withdrawn; once a sensor comes loose it is not possible to reinsert it. She came to me to show me that the sensor, the expensive sensor that had been on her arm for about an hour, had come loose.

I did not react well. 

There are a lot of things I could say to try & explain my behavior. Last week was long & stressful. I have one living grandparent who turned ninety-two Friday. My grandmother, my dad's mom who passed away this past June, would've turned eighty-five yesterday. The already busy, stressful week ended with me mired in my thoughts about the gradual shift in my life from being surrounded by four loving grandparents to watching them gradually fade away. The generation that birthed & raised my parents is slipping away. It's not something I often think much about, but for a variety of reasons it was sitting on my heart this weekend at the end of a week to which I was more than ready to bid farewell. 

Anyway, I felt terrible about the way I reacted to the lost sensor, & then, then, Reagan brought me this on Sunday morning before we left for Bible class:

(the back:)

I do not deserve her. 

Moving forward I am resolved to convince Trey we have to sell our house & we have to move closer to the kids' school. I am resolved to get rid of some of the junk cluttering our house both because it will make the house more appealing to buyers & because it will improve my mood & mental health. I am resolved to immediately begin reading the October book club book so that I am not consumed with self-loathing at the end of October when book club meets. I am resolved to take deep breaths & try & take the ups & downs of diabetes in stride, remembering that Reagan is a child who already deals with a very adult disease & she doesn't need or deserve anything but love & support from me where her disease is concerned. 

Come back next week & we will talk more about why you or someone you know should buy our house. 

Have a great week. 


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