February 22, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
I have oodles of lemonade to make.
You know the saying, When life hands you lemons, make lemonade? Let’s just say that this week we are making tons of lemonade (all natural, organic lemonade, of course!). The husband and I were snuggled under our warm down duvet last evening and we nearly said at the same exact time, “I’m so glad this week is going to be over!” This has been a long week between the poo, the poo, the poo, my dog, the poo and my backyard. See, that’s the best part about weeks (and months and years). You get to do it over again next week. And so on, and so on, and eventually you run out of time. Which is why, no matter how badly I feel and no matter how awful it gets, I try to think about tomorrow. Sorry if I’m channeling Scarlet O’Hara, but tomorrow is another day. And another chance to change things for the better.
Whilst throwing together dinner last night (homemade guacamole, quesadillas, salsa and beans) I received my daily call from Darling alerting me that he was on the way home and that I would, in fact, get out the door in time to tutor my bright young client. Except this call was different. Darling sounded very upset as he told me he’d be a little later than expected. It seems that in the stop-start traffic of rush hour, he skid on a pile of rock salt (of all things!) put down for the impending storm and slammed into a car in front of him. The other car (a volvo) had three people in it, on the way to the son’s cello lesson, complete with a $4,000 cello in the trunk. The mother was a physician and insisted on calling an ambulance. Darling was quite shaken and they were concerned that he was in shock. He checked out fine and they allowed him to sign a release stating he did not want transport to the hospital (I still think he should have gone). The other car? Nary a scratch. Like, a teensy dent with a broken piece of plastic. Our humble ’98 Honda Accord with 180K miles? The front end is pushed in, accordion-style. The irony of this is that just last week we made the decision to do some maintenance to the car, replace the tires and drive it for another year. Even more ironic? We also dropped collision since the value of the car was below the deductible we’d have to pay. The car is drivable (barely) but we are not sure if it should be driven.
This is the call I have always dreaded getting. For years I have felt that when my husband goes, it would be poetic justice that he goes in a car. The man thinks of nothing else. Well, erm….he thinks of a few other things. But mostly thinks about automobiles. It’s all he watches on television, it’s all he wants to do in his leisure time and it’s nearly all he talks about. He even tells Bugaboo, “Bugaboo, if you go on the potty, Daddy will buy you a Mazda Speed 6!” Funny man. We all know who the car is for. The thing is, I have this recurring nightmare. I have had dreams (vivid dreams, more vivid than the ones were I have to use the toilet in public) that the get a call that makes me a widow. I wake up in a panic, sweating, heart thumping and cling to my husband. He laughs off my dreams but it really is not that funny. I can barely do this with a husband, how can raise these boys without him? It’s a good thing I do not have to worry about that right now.
I have a good life (even with the poo, the dog, the backyard and the post-mortem car). I am extremely blessed, very fortunate and one happy gal. I have a nice house to call home, a loving a supportive husband (who has a good job and enables me to stay home) and two happy children. Others look at us and wonder how we do it and sometimes pity us. I look around and smile and think, “We’ve got everything we could want or need and more!” I’m content and comfortable. Really! Even with the poo, even with the swamp in backyard, even with my dog being ill, even with the car being toast. I’m happy. I’m loved. I have tons of family support. I’m a rich woman, indeed.
Look, without seeming all preachy and sappy (too late) I just have to tell you this: Life is too short. Being sad and depressed and feeling like crap because your life ain’t working out the way it is supposed to? What a waste of time! I will admit to occasional feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy. In fact, just yesterday I took Bugaboo to a playgroup with old friends of mine and had to endure two hours around children the same age as Bugaboo who are registering for Kindy. That was killing me. Until I realized, “HE’S AN AWESOME KID! SO WHAT IF HE’S EATING THE CAT FOOD AND PLAYING IN THEIR TOILET!” He still enjoyed himself. I had six mommies keeping an eye on him and I got to drink a cup of tea because I seriously had a village helping me raise my child.
Enjoy life now while it last, folks. I ain’t trying to depress y’all. I’m just sayin’. It doesn’t get much better than this. Appreciate every single moment of breath you have above ground. Live in the moment. Chase your dreams. Call the people you keep meaning to call. Be content with the choices you’ve made (no matter how much you want to regret them) because they brought you to where you are today. And, above all else, please learn to make lemonade.