Get busy livin’

The day I found out that it was in fact cancer, and how advanced it was, Ben was out of town. I got the news during my kid’s quiet time, and spent the hour crying and texting a few people that knew I was waiting for the results of the biopsy. Despite kind offers from sweet friends to take the kids while I got myself together, I couldn’t, for some crazy reason, ask for that help. Once they woke, I took the kids to a playground so I could sit on a bench and cry behind my sunglasses without them noticing. I bought a movie, let them watch several hours of TV. They got pizza for dinner. I ate my version of comfort food, the junk I never let in my house, potato chips with ranch dip and cookie dough. I drank some wine. I basically checked out.

And then I got busy. I scheduled family photos so that we could have some good ones of my dad and the kids before he started to physically show how sick he is. I pulled my camera out every time Dad was near the children, frantically capturing memories. I made a list of things to do to help make sure the kids wouldn’t forget him. When he was gone. I thought about getting videos of him reading books so the kids could watch them. Record him talking about some of his past history, the stories he has told me a million times that I forgot because, until he is no longer there to tell them, they didn’t seem that important to remember. I’m ashamed to say it, but I started preparing for his death.

A few days ago, Ben casually walks up to me in the kitchen and mentions something he would like to get my dad. Something for him to enjoy during chemo. I literally froze. I stared up into my husband’s face and was reminded why I was so deeply blessed to have him in my life. While I was talking the talk of getting my dad the finest treatment available, while I was urging him to see doctors and be proactive, I certainly was not walking the walk of the faithful. How could God receive my prayers for healing when I was so clearly preparing for those prayers not to be heard, or answered? And how could my father fight the good fight when part of his support team wasn’t truly FIGHTING but had already thrown in the towel?

That day, Ben changed how I was going to cope with this tragedy. I quit living like I was waiting for the end. We began conspiring. Things for Dad’s treatment. Fun surprises. No more moping. I started planning meals and cooking for the family again instead of letting them survive on junk food and sandwiches. I showered. Stopped canceling on friends who wanted to see me. I rejoined the land of the living with a new purpose. Focus on life. On the right here and right now. On the FIGHT.

Dad has an appointment to see a team of doctors at MD Anderson in Houston next week. One of the best cancer hospitals in the country. Dad is ready for the fight.

And now, so am I.

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Not quiet

So Mr. EdelSpot has taken a new job. A new job where he may be allowed to work from home more. Which sounds like a dream. Or it did to me, until I thought back to the times he has worked from home in the past. It goes a little something like this.

“Daaaaaaaaaddy. Oh DAAAAAAAADDY. Why isn’t daddy opening the door. I can see him in there. He is looking at me and mouthing something, but he isn’t coming to the door. Oh well, I guess I could JUST YELL LOUDER!!!! DAAAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYY!!!!! You know what, he can’t hear me because he has that phone up to his head. Maybe if I rattle the door he can hear me. Here, just a little harder and I THINK I CAN GET IT OPEN. Nope, just need to kick the door a little maybe. Here, a big KICK!! What, No, Mom, I need to talk to Daddy. Don’t pull me away from the door. It’s my DAAAADDDDDYYYYY. (Insert shrill screaming as I drag her from the office doors). DAAAAADDDYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Now, flash to 15 minutes later when whatever business call Ben was on has ended.

“LIZ. Seriously?”

“Um, yeah. Sorry about that. See, Beckett had a poopy diaper, so I had to change him and she slipped me. I mean, she saw that moment of weakness when I accidentally got baby shit on my knuckle and was scrubbing my hands clean and decided to make a break for the office door. I thought it might be quieter if you just WAVED YOUR DAMN HAND AT HER SO SHE COULD QUIT SCREAMING AT YOU, but I see how that was not an option. Because you needed your hand to do something important, like, oh, wait, NO YOU DIDN’T YOUR WERE JUST TALKING. So, tell me, why didn’t you just WAVE YOUR HAND AT HER? MY BAD for thinking that was an option.”

Obviously, Ben gets annoyed at my suggestion that he go jump in a lake, and I get annoyed that he thinks I can wrangle my children every time he gets on the damn phone, because that man is on the phone ALL THE TIME, and then we both quit speaking to each other and someone slams a door. And a preschooler or toddler then has to go to the door to peek inside and whisper, “Daddy? You mad? Can I come in? Want to play?” And he gives me THE EYE and I drag both kids upstairs to do something quiet. Like, um, hm, ummm, quiet, let’s see, ummmmmm, yeah. We don’t DO quiet. Guess we will go to Target for a few hours.

And then, as I’m letting the kids tear apart the toy aisle to kill an hour and fielding dirty looks from store employees, I’m all, “Hm. Maybe working from home is going to be a bit of a problem.”Image

Awesome sauce

Things at the EdelSpot are generally pretty awesome.

I realize that if you just glance through my posts, you may see a disgruntled woman complaining about life, her children, her life with her children. That couldn’t be further from the truth and if I don’t say it, I am doing you all a disservice.

I love my life. I love everything about it. From the messiness, to the lack of sleep, to the days I want to tear out my hair or run away to Argentina, I love it all. Because it is perfect in it’s lack of perfection, and it is MINE.

I once met up with an old friend that I hadn’t spent much time with since my children were born. She reads (or used to read) The EdelSpot. And at some point in our conversation, she made an offhand comment about how I don’t even like my own daughter.

Pause for righteous indignation.

Actually, pause for an internal brain explosion. HOW COULD YOU THINK I DON’T LIKE MY OWN DAUGHTER? Clearly, we are not close friends any more.

But the truth is, she had a point. I probably spend most of my time sharing about the latest shit storm or parenting fail over here. But that is because NOT EVERYONE NEEDS A RAINBOW. Seriously, when you are having a hard day, and you feel overwhelmed and you haven’t showered in a few days and you have to yell at  your daughter that if she wipes another booger on the furniture SHE IS GOING TO TIME OUT UNTIL SHE IS 20, the last thing you want to do is see how FUCKING AWESOME another mom is doing. Because then the shame spiral kicks in and  you are forced to pour cereal into a bowl for the kids and turn on some Dora so you can go lie in the bottom of the shower in the fetal position and cry because WHHHHYYYYY????? WHYYYY is it SO EASY FOR THEM AND NOT ME?!?!?!?!

Or maybe that is just how I handle a hard day.

The point is, I actually LOVE my daughter beyond all words. I love my son. I am madly in love with my husband and we have been given riches beyond my wildest hopes and dreams. Are we perfect? Nope, not a single damn one of us. But we have our good days and our bad days. Our good moments and our bad moments. And we support and love each other through this life.

One of the things people say to me is “Thank you,” for being real about the challenges of being a parent. But I’ve realized that maybe I give a really one-sided version of the story. With B’s birthday this week, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how lucky we are. And I decided I need to sprinkle more of the good in with the bad. Even if the good is a little less entertaining, at least it is 100% real.

So get ready. It’s time The EdelSpot blows a little sunshine and roses up your behinds my friends.

Because life is good.

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