and here you have it.
I got to spend about three hours with Magnolia June this morning so that her mama and daddy could take Owen and Gibson to the doctor. The theory that all they had was a bug was becoming less and less believable as the sick-days went on. And guess what? They both have Strep.
I do think that Gibson may have started out with a virus because his cousin had it too. But then when Owen came down with a fever yesterday and then Gibson started vomiting...well. Time to go see the doctor and so they did and now they're getting their antibiotics because you don't mess around with Strep.
So I got to hang out with Ms. Magpie and she smiled for me and chortled for me and fussed at me and we had bottles and changed diapers and outfits as was required and went outside for a little while. She loves the shadows dancing around her and the sweet breezes. She fell asleep in my arms and it was a wonderful three hours.
Before everyone else left the house, I asked Owen if he thought I would do okay, taking care of his sister.
"Yes," he said, quite seriously. "But if you have any problems, just call us."
I assured him that I would.
How I love that boy.
When I was on Dog Island and Jessie was staying here she told me something that I already knew which was that my refrigerator really needed cleaning out.
"You have three open jars of peanut butter in there," she told me.
So when I got home today, I did clean out the refrigerator and guess what? I had FOUR open jars of peanut butter in there. I have to keep it in the refrigerator or the tiny sugar ants get to it. And sometimes I just can't find the open jar and then I open another one and well...so it goes.
I threw out a bunch of stuff and cleaned everything and combined half-empty jars and bottles of things and cleaned out all of the bins and the shelves. Then I took the trash and recycle, including all of the emptied out containers and did a little laundry and so forth.
I never did get to any ironing.
The world will not come to an end, I feel certain.
The fact is, I have come to enjoy ironing and I will get to it and it makes my husband so happy and he is a handsome, tall man who deserves ironed shirts and if I don't mind doing it and it gives me an excuse to watch trash TV, why not?
So. I have had several days in a row of almost no anxiety or depression. I am scared to say that out loud. Here's the crazy thing- I feel so good.
Not just in the head but in the body as well. And I'm not nearly as exhausted all of the time and, truthfully, my mind feels much clearer, less muddied and muddled.
I have often found myself apologizing for "anxiety brain" just as one would admit to "pregnancy brain" or "chemo brain."
I'm here to tell you that of those three, I know from personal experience that at least two are as real as my feet. I feel quite certain that the third one is too.
It's such a beautiful thing to feel this way. Oh, sure, I still wake up with my morning angst. That's just me. And I'm still having the crazy dreams but they amuse me more than disturb me. I wake up from them more entertained than filled with horror.
And although I do always take note of the beauty around me whether it is that of my grandchildren or my children or my home or these trees or the way the light moves around the yard as the day passes, it's like the filter that I have to go through to truly appreciate them is removed and the beauty goes straight to my heart.
This does not feel like mania. It just feels like contentment and a sort of peace.
I may wake up tomorrow and find it gone and if I do, well, there you go.
But for now, this moment, I am certainly appreciating it.
And if you asked me why this has happened, I could not tell you except to say that it somehow started on our ride from the dock to the house on Dog Island. I felt that familiar terror and my heart was beating too fast and my breath was starting to come ragged and I realized with such tenderness that my body was simply trying to warn me that I was about to go to a place where I had suffered greatly before.
Suddenly, I truly understood this and felt calm and I gave myself a sweet little mothering talk about how smart my body was but that this time was different and history was not likely to repeat itself. And that was it.
I sincerely doubt that I am "cured." Hams are cured. Kids are cured from Strep if they take their antibiotics.
I am most likely just a little bit healed.
And that is good enough for now.
Okay. Change the subject. You want to see something crazy?
That egg! What the fuck is that? I found it in the hen house when I went out to collect the eggs today. Not only do I not understand the shape of it, but I do not recognize the color of it. It is not the pale green of Miss Camellia's egg or the darker green of Miss Mabel's small pointy egg and it is not brown and it is not white. Who laid that funny, huge, ivory-colored, misshapen egg?
It looks as if it must have been terribly painful to lay it.
And do you suppose those markings are a secret message?
I do not know.
I do not know shit about that egg or why I've had these sweet good days or how Owen and Gibson got Strep or why Maggie smells so good or why I go to sleep every night with Jack cuddled up next to me and wake up with Maurice in his place.
It all just is and if it is not mine to know, then it is certainly mine to wonder.