Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life in Moments

Today (Tuesday) was a strange day.

The day started with me sending off Secrets of Skin and Stone to Sarah. I'd gone through revisions and it was ready... so I did it. I took a deep breath and did it. Sarah let me know that she'd received it and was excited to check into it... and then she told me to go have a cupcake and get back to killing chickens. (Apparently, she follows my Twitter feed.)

I got on Twitter and goofed off most of the day. Some of it was spent trying to figure out how to kill chickens quietly and violently. (For the book... always for the book... I swear.) Some was spent just talking with friends on Twitter who I've neglected to work on revisions and so on. I wrote a very little. I researched some. I mostly did nothing. It was a fun nothing, but mostly nothing.

At just after two p.m., I got ready to take Nanaimo for a run. I'm still trying to convince him the gentle leader leash is okay... but he hates it with his very being... so it took a while. Finally, I had it on him and we were off. We'd reached the end of my street and just turned onto the next street when someone out working on their lawn asked what kind of dog Nanaimo is. I told him and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a streak of black as his dog bolted from the front porch and ran across the street towards us. A moment later, he'd lunged at Nanaimo's neck with a snarl.

This isn't the first time Nanaimo's been attacked on our runs. I've brought it up on Twitter before and everyone told me that I needed to contact Animal Control because I did NOT want to be in the middle of a dog fight. None of the previous attacks were anything like this. Not at all. It was violent and loud and went on and on and on. I pulled Nanaimo, who wasn't fighting back at all, away and the other dog would just find a new way to attack. The owner was calling his dog's name and trying to get him away... but it was completely useless... his dog was determined to rip Nanaimo's throat out.

I've heard the phrase "I don't have a dog in this fight" and never appreciated it. I totally had a dog in this fight, and he was getting his tail kicked because he's so sweet. Despite all the advice not to get in the middle of a dog fight, I dove in the middle and kicked the other dog away from Nanaimo. His owner got a hold of his collar and pulled him away asking me, "Are you okay? He's never done that. Are you okay?"

I must have looked like crap from just shock. I nodded and pulled Nanaimo home despite his desire to just go for a run anyway. The other dog had ripped out tufts of his fur... but Nanaimo wanted to go for a run. My dog is goofy and insane and completely nonviolent. He would have just sat there and been ripped to shreds.

After putting Nanaimo back in the yard, I collapsed on the front porch swing and just started shaking and sobbing.

It was awful.

I've been trying to go running without my heart meds because my heart rate is at a normal level for exercising now. It wouldn't stop racing. My hands wouldn't stop shaking. I couldn't stop crying. I cried and cried and cried and hoped that no one delivered a package and found me sobbing on my front porch.

Finally, I pulled it together enough to go check Nanaimo more thoroughly for blood. He was fine. Patches of fur had been pulled out, but he has lots and lots of fur.

Then, my kids came home... and I really thought I was better. We were both fine. It was just shock. I was fine.

Fine. Fine. Fine.

B brought in this large box... of baby formula samples. I somehow managed to get on this baby/pregnancy mailing list and yesterday it was loads of coupons and a gigantic baby catalog... today it was a formula samples. (Unbeknownst to me, I've been on this list for a while, but the husband has been throwing things away because it upsets me so much.) I broke down crying again... and I just couldn't stop. T was confused and asked me why I was sad. (Typically the kids don't notice our emotions because of their social issues, but I was crying that hard.) I told him about the dog. I didn't want to go into the fact that I wanted more kids, I'm turning 35, and I continue to have miscarriages despite contraception and our decision not to have more kids due to the autism risk... it was too much. B never seemed to notice... she was mostly too excited about the strange new package in the mail... and jump-roping. (She is very into jump-roping.)

Then, I noticed how strange T was looking and he said, "I want a ding dong! You need to get me a ding dong because I'm the one with the headache." His eyes were dilated but at half-mast and he looked spacey. I got him a ding dong... to wash down the ibuprofen and antihistamine. I figured it was a sinus headache. By the time the husband was home, T had a fever of 101. He wanted me to sit in the corner of the couch so he could tuck his feet under/behind me and snuggle down in the blanket. T has grown moody lately, so having him quiet beside me especially after such a sucky day... was nice. Sure, he was sick and a little grumpy, but he was also warm and snuggly. Sue me, I liked it. Even covered in germs, he's a cute little guy.

His fever went down enough that he got to go drop off his Tron-style Pinewood Derby car. This was a huge deal for him and his dad... they've worked on it for weeks. It looks fantastic. I'll post pictures sometime soon. Next Tuesday is race day. Today was just getting it weighed in and measured.

By bedtime, T's fever was still hanging at 100 degrees despite all the ibuprofen. Unfortunately, the sugar in all the medicine syrup made him hyper. When he is hyper and miserable... he pesters everyone by poking them... especially B. *sigh* Poke. Poke. Poke. "Stop it, T!" Poke. Poke. Poke. "Stop it!"

My night might have ended on that note, but B did something for the second time... something that makes so many other moments worth it. As I stood up to go downstairs after prayers and reading, she got up and gave me a hug goodnight... for the second time... spontaneously... in her life.

In. Her. Life.

When I say hug, I actually mean affection basically. This is the second time in her life that she has spontaneously shown real affection towards me. The second time in my life that my daughter has chosen to hug me.

In. My. Life.

I think it's the jump-roping--as weird as that sounds. I think it's helping her to organize her thoughts.

Honestly, I hate the jump-roping. It's repetitive... and the constant whap-whap-whap of the rope makes me want to do harm to myself. And she's constantly asking us to count for her. "Count for me, Mom." "Count!" "Okay, again. Watch!"

I like the hugs, though. They make me feel like a real parent. Sadly, I haven't felt like that much with my kids. I've felt like a crusader, a caregiver, a teacher, and a therapist... but not as much a parent. It's hard to feel like a parent when you've done so much of the other roles.

So, that was my day: the moment when I sent off the finished manuscript, the moment when the dog lunged, the moment when I read my name on the label for the formula, the moment when T tucked his feet behind me and snuggled down, and the moment when B hugged me. Life is lived in such moments... there are things in between, but your mind and heart remember those moments.


  1. Your post made me cry. I'm pregnant so that may not mean that much, but what a day! Sorry about the formula people they got me the day I found out I was pregnant and I was like "What the heck! Leave me alone!" Congratulations on the good parts of your day! And I'm sorry for the terrible parts of your day. I Love you!

  2. I just have to say...that post was powerful. I can't relate personally to most of it, (except that damn mailing list...I'm on it also, and apparently I'm hispanic because it's all in spanish!!WTF?) I digress, the point was I felt you. I felt your pain and your frustration in this. It made me feel very alive to know that regardless of the cause of the pain and frustration, we all are really going thru the same things everyday. Thanks for sharing.

  3. WOW. That's a lot for one day. I'd be bawling too. I'm glad you got snuggles and your second hug ever on such a day as that!!

    P.S. Is it your birthday? If so, Happy Birthday!
    My Blog

  4. Jaime, Miriam, and Nicole, thank you. *hugs*

    Catherine, it's not my birthday, but I wished a happy birthday to Michelle Wolfson today... is that what you're thinking of?

  5. I think I mis-read something on Twitter then. Ha.