Sunday, August 19, 2012

How I Spent My Summer Vacation Worrying About Other People

Oh dear. How to do this without overwhelming myself? Where do I start?

1) Writer's Blog is under construction. And it is called Fight for Your Write (thanks Heidi!). It will be linked to a Facebook Author page, where I will be optimistically referred to as a pre-published author. I can't tell you how badly that little bit of optimism goes against my natural tendencies. But that's what we say nowadays! We don't say "un" published. We're pre-published, by God! Ack. It makes me cringe. I can't help it. I'd rather don black and retreat to my tower to willfully wallow in statistics of unlikelyhood. if believing were enough. Honestly, people. Some of us just can't write - and saying we're pre-published doesn't change that. I mean - technically - my dog is pre-published. And he can't write at ALL. So much for terminology elevating my objectivity.

2)  Did I mention my book is finished? My book is finished.

3) To quote Jack White, I just don't know what to do with myself. Well, that's not true. There is a lot to do around here. But I kind of walk around in this haze of expectation. As if Something Big is about to happen because of #2 up above.

4) Somehow, in between all of the writing delirium - non-fiction kept happening. (It's sometimes referred to as life.) Jules had his surgery. He was a freaking trooper, believe me. And, since I'm sure you're wondering, you should know that I WAS ALSO A TROOPER. I know! Surprising, right? I did really well!

There were 3 surgeons. The one who had the most difficult job was the one who was charged with finding and harvesting fat from Jules' body to plug into his head after the tumor was removed. Jules is 5'10" and weighs 117 pounds. He is all muscle. And he now bears an impressive C-Section type of a scar across his belly. He tells people he got it in a sword fight. Or he'll show it to them when they ask to see his brain surgery scar, just to enjoy the looks of utter confusion.

The surgery was easier than we'd expected, in some ways, and harder in others. ICU was hard. They kept telling me he was okay but he certainly didn't look okay. He looked like this:

If you don't know by now - I am squeamish. I don't like sick or injured things to be in my general vicinity. But let me tell you - I was all over this kid and into his business 24/7.
On his first night in the ICU, the nurse went to give him a dose of steroids directly into his line. She warned me that it might make him nauseous. Well, as soon as she depressed the plunger he projectiled. And he was flat on his back. She tossed me a hose and said, "Suction his mouth!" AND I DID. Brilliantly and heroically I suctioned vomit out of his mouth!

He hadn't really spoken yet - but he looked at me after I wiped his mouth, and he raised one of his beautiful, delicate eyebrows to show how surprised impressed he was by my performance. I knew then that he really was going to be okay. And so was I. Life's a crap shoot - and for reasons I can't explain - I just keep winning. Charmed, blessed, whatever you want to call it. I don't know whether it's because the Universe likes to Smile Upon Me, or if it's because I've just been trotting along unnoticed and have thus far avoided its wrath.

5) Ellie went to Europe. By herself. She participated in two music festivals; one in Innsbruck and one in Vienna. In addition to Austria, she visited Germany, Italy, and Slovakia.  I can't tell you how far the heartstrings were stretched during this month that she was gone. This was a huge, momentous mothering event for me that far surpassed the Going Off to College drama. And you know what a drama that was - you read about it for like two solid years! But this - sending her so far away - it was really setting her free, letting her go, trusting her to be okay, trusting the Universe, trusting, trusting, trusting....very difficult. I somehow kept breathing.

She tries to be really strong around me because any sign of weakness and I'm a melting mess of enormous proportions. I think she's terrified I'll try and force her back in the womb, where really, she should have stayed to begin with. Letting them out is a huge mistake, when you think about it. Once they're out - they want to go to Europe by themselves. Anyway - I could tell she was a little frightened and it killed me. But as usual - she swallowed it down and got on with it. She's always been the bravest person I know. Here she is in being brave in Strausburg.

6) Other notable things happened, as well, but I'm tired of noting them.
Until Next Time!
Sardine Mama


  1. congratulations on the book and the doing great with Jules and Ellie and the others as well probably
    Can't wait to buy and read your book!

    Hug, Jade (from Europe...)

  2. I know it kills you to look at the photo of Jules but to me, he looks well take care of. And yes, he does have beautiful eyebrows. I could use his make-up girl!
    Congrats on the book being finished! I mean, if you have to ignore me for months on end, I'm glad it was for a good reason.
    And Ellie, all grown up. I should have stalked her on F.B. but I don't stalk anyone anymore so I'm glad to see that photo of her looking like an adult. Teaching your kids to be independent! What kind of Mother are you anyway?
    Your Friend, m.
    Great, now I have to decipher your word verification!

  3. A blog post! You just made my day! And it was awesome, as always! Thanks for continuing to share your life and your thoughts with us!

  4. Psst it's Salzburg, not Strausburg. I don't think Strauss has a city named after him, but if he does I definitely didn't go there. :P I love you, Mom. :D


  5. Gah! I thought it didn't look right. How would I know? I was going to travel the world but I had 5 kids instead and they travel the world.

  6. Now I have a dilemma! If I correct my fictional German town of Strausburg to Salzburg then I have to delete these comments and you know how I love comments! Even if they're from my daughter pointing out my ignorance or my own! Of course, I also hate looking ignorant and stupid on my blog. But which do I hate MORE? The lack of comments or the abundance of stupid? I will have to consider this for some time....

  7. Line through Strausburg and write Salzburg next to it. Dilemma solved.
    I love how you get done saying that your son had brain surgery and in the next breath you talk about having a charmed life. Your life is charmed because your gratitude makes it so.
    And that is only one of the reasons why I adore you.

  8. Heidi is so stinking smart.
    And Strausberg? Next setting for your pre-written, pre-published book?

  9. I'm so glad to see you back on your blog! And that your other blog isn't finished. I thought I had been missing out on all kinds of interesting stuff for all these months. Here's a virtual hug for surviving your son's brain surgery, which makes you a hero in my book (not my literal book, you understand):

    By the way, I keep failing the word verification test. Does that mean I'm a robot and don't know it?

  10. My hug was deleted from the above comment. HUG!