Right before Damian got into town, I got sick. Like, reeeeeally sick. Like, I spent the whole night laying on the floor while Waits just watched iPad Netflix and systematically unwrapped every single bandaid in a jumbo box. Good times.
The worst part was that after almost a month of single-mothering all on my own, Damian wasn’t even able to take Waits when he got to town. I was so sick (of the achy and nauseous variety) and man, trying to parent when you feel like crap is pretty much the worst thing ever. And then just as I was starting to feel better, Waits got sick. We arrived home after dinner at my godparents, I got out of the car to open the gate and when I got back in, BOOM, vomit bomb had gone off all over my poor baby (and poor car).
Ugh. I got him out of the car, trying to comfort him, got him undressed and got us into the shower. All cleaned up, I parked him in front of the iPad (again) and went outside in the dark to clean out the car. Came back in, got Waits into bed and of course . . . VOM. Oh boy! And I’m such an amateur, first time mom here ya know? It took me a round [or two] of this before I figured to stash the barf bowl next to the bed. We got pretty good at catching it (go team!), but not before we had to take another shower, and not without having to work through every single piece in my [extensive] vintage sheet collection. Good times.
And then, after all that, Damian was supposed to take Waits for a night so I could finally get some down time. But of course, Damian got sick. To quote my journal:
Gotta keep your humor up, right? I’m really not trying to complain here, it’s just that all of this happened in the first week of November, and it pretty much summarizes the entirety of my experience with that particular month.
A bright spot amidst all that bummer stuff: because I needed to work more, Waits started preschool. The most amazing preschool I’ve ever seen (if you’re into alternative schooling), where he spends his days galavanting around an enormous valley in the foothills. The school is almost entirely outdoors, with a fruit orchard and tree houses covered with passionfruit vines. The children have their storytime under the canopy there, and you can just reach up and pluck the passion fruits right from the bush. I’s a magical place. It’s just the kind of environment that Waits needs, and he’s thriving there.
Alas, in keeping with November’s general nasty vibe, Harley developed a case of hives all over his body (you can kind of see his face is all puffed up in these pictures) and we had to make a late-night trip to the emergency vet. Seriously, FML!
Thanksgiving was hard as well. We went down to visit family in Orange County, to be with my Grandma like every year. It wasn’t the same. I was sad and stressed out and I didn’t feel much like feasting. Waits has a hard time in the very not-toddler-friendly houses, and I was not in the most patient place. It was a rough trip.
With our home secured, my overactive worry had moved on, towards “What am I going to do with my life?” [and secondarily, "Aren't I too old to be asking that damn question?!"] As in, career. As in, how am I going to make a substantial income to support this little family of three (Waits, Harley, and I). And I considered it all. I had an open mind because I was seriously so ambivalent. I thought about returning to science and going to grad school like my boss was urging. Or, I thought, maybe I could go to beauty school, because I enjoy doing hair and it’s somewhat creative, and it’s a linear path with a stable job at the end. (But I don’t think I could ever do hair, I simply would not be able to talk to people all day long – way too draining. Introvert power!) And in the same vein as “linear and secure”, I considered going to nursing school. My bio background gives me an edge and our city college has an amazing program. It guarantees a good job . . .
I was feeling really desperate and I was open to imagining anything. Anything to make money.
The only jobs that I actually applied for were animal rights/vegan-related and I was sorely under-qualified. And the truth is that every time I sent in a resume it felt like defeat, because there’s only one thing I really want to do. And that thing is so completely impractical, so totally financially unstable, that it basically seemed like it just wasn’t an option.
On November 29th I posted to Facebook:
I’m having one of those days where I keep having to pull over to the side of the road because I’m so inspired; jotting down phrases and emailing myself ideas. Typing out opening paragraphs on my little phone, and this evening even some poetry! (what?!) These days I’m desperately figuring out how to make money, scheming a new life plan and trying to be practical. Every job I apply for breaks my heart a little more, because really all I want to do is write. Truly and with all my heart, I just want to write!
December, coming soon . . .