Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Everyone Knows I'm In Over My Head

I heard a loud crash and then silence so I ran into the bedroom to make sure Grady and Shawn were alright. Grady was sitting on the bed, happily chatting away, but Shawn was lying down, groaning, blood pouring out between the fingers he had clasped against his forehead. I've never seen that much blood in real life.

I am squeamish. I look away during the bloody parts of Grey's Anatomy and I cover my eyes during CSI. Violent movies rated higher than PG-13? I don't watch them. Books with graphic violence or gore? I skip ahead and don't read the disturbing passages. I accidentally saw a quick glimpse of the Sons of Anarchy tattoo-burny-offy scene when Shawn was watching it and I literally screamed from shock and then dreamt about it for a week. I have a weak stomach and my nerves are laughable.

The following half an hour is a blur. Somehow I managed to get ice and a towel on Shawn's head, call Shawn's mom and ask her to come babysit Grady, and drive Shawn to the hospital without vomiting or fainting. I don't remember any of it.

The emergency room was a mess. A full moon and fireworks season and a nearby gang-related shooting contributed to the crazy. We sat for hours, Shawn bleeding from the head and me coming down from the adrenaline rush. We made it home about three hours after we left. Shawn's got a headache and he'll definitely have a sexy forehead scar but he's okay (and he got his tetanus booster so ... silver lining?)

We have (had) a large picture hanging over our bed (like 5ish feet by 3.5ish feet.) Grady was puttering about while Shawn watched television and somehow managed to climb up on the pillows high enough to reach the picture frame. He pulled it off the wall and somehow managed to escape being hit (thank you, higher being) when it crashed down ... onto Shawn's forehead. We are so lucky. We're lucky it didn't hit Grady. We're lucky it didn't fall 2 inches lower and hit Shawn's eye. We're lucky we live so close to the hospital. We're lucky that every part of last night's ordeal was covered by our awesome Canadian health insurance. I mean, obviously I feel a little luckier than the guy with the super-glued forehead lump and the pounding headache but I think we can both agree that last night could have been a lot worse.

Now please excuse me while I go baby-proof our already baby-proofed home (seriously - Grady is the master of disaster. All baby-proofing tips are welcome!)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Tried To Stop The Current Changing Of The Leaves

We took a quick holiday up to the mountains. We stayed in a cabin on a lake that looked like glass. We drove until our phones said "no service" and our link to the outside world was severed. We didn't explore on foot because of the cougars in the area but we took the truck up an old logging road and felt like the last people on earth.

We are tiptoeing around each other lately. Trying to figure out who we are as a family and as individuals. It was nice to just be us for a weekend. We ate too much cheese and an obscene amount of chocolate. We read trashy magazines and did not a lick of exercise. It was exactly what we needed.

We're home now. Savouring being in our own bed, in our familiar space, but missing the mountains a little bit.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Will You Remember Me

We are seven years old and she joins my grade two class partway through the year. She's a little intimidating, having a halo of blonde curls and being from a different province (Winnipeg is glamorous when you're too young to know any better.) (No offence intended, Winnipeg.) She lives down the street from me and that's enough to make us best friends.

We are twelve years old and we spend every weekend eating giant bowls of popcorn and watching Anne of Green Gables. We escape our giant families (I think I have it bad being one of four kids but she's one of seven so I don't complain too loudly) by hiding out in my family's trailer parked in the driveway, playing cards and talking about boys.

We are fourteen years old and she decides to cut off her beautiful curls in favour of a pixie cut. I go to the appointment with her and afterward, as we walk home and she cries because she thinks she looks like a boy, I desperately try to think of a way to fix it. I suggest that she dye her hair strawberry blonde. I convince my olive-skinned, green-eyed, naturally blonde friend to dye her hair red. It is a disaster, obviously, but she doesn't hold it against me.

We are sixteen years old and she is confident and beautiful and funny. I am awkward and anxious and sweaty. She brings me to parties with the cool kids and gives me my first alcoholic beverage and when we are in drama class playing that stupid game (the one where you have to sit on someone's lap and say "baby, if you love me won't you please please smile?" and if they smile you win and you get to sit down, and if they don't crack a smile you have to continue around the circle, sitting on lap after lap, growing more desperate) she saves me by faking a smile whenever I jump into her lap, even though I know she's a pro at keeping her face controlled. She is never awkward or uncomfortable and I am a little envious of her poise.

We are nineteen years old and she is in love - in Australia - and I am in love - in Vancouver - and even though we don't talk as much as we used to, when we do talk we pick up right where we left off. When my heart is broken, she sends me long, beautiful emails full of gory details of what she'd like to do to the boy who's done the breaking.

We are twenty-one years old and we go to bars every weekend and drink rye & gingers and then stumble home to my creepy little apartment on Fraser Street. She holds my hair and rubs my back when I drink too much and I make her macaroni and cheese for breakfast the next morning. She is by my side when I meet Shawn and she is by my side when I decide to leave Shawn to move to England.

We are twenty-five years old and she organizes a superhero-themed bachelorette party for me. After I am drugged by some loser at the bar, she sneaks into my hospital room (wearing a Robin costume) (yes, like Batman and Robin) even though she isn't family and holds my hand despite the fact that I am unconscious and don't know she's there. Two weeks later she stands beside me when I marry Shawn. She holds my hand in the car and she whips out a stain-remover pen when I get melted chocolate on my wedding dress ten minutes before the ceremony.

We are twenty-eight years old and she is moving to England. We drink wine and eat cheese and I tell her not to fall in love with some bloke and she tells me not to get knocked up. Three weeks later I will be pregnant. Months later she will be in love.

She is coming home next week. Just for a visit, not forever, but that doesn't matter. She is a forever kind of person. We may only have a couple of months together before she flies back to her love in England but it is enough time to eat bowls of popcorn and drink wine and talk about boys.

Monday, 1 October 2012

I Love You When We Fail

It's my birth month. October 12th is my 30th birthday and I think I might be having some sort of crisis. Am I making up for a missed quarter life crisis? Is this my midlife (depressing thought!) crisis?

I officially left my soul-crushing job two months ago. I've been ... floating. Coasting along trying to figure out what I do next. I don't have a plan. I don't have goals. It's troubling.

Part of the problem is that I'm not exceptional at anything. I'm good at some stuff. I'm alright at a lot of stuff. But I'm not very good at anything. Nothing jumps out as the Thing I should be doing. I feel passionless. I can't find the drive, the spark, the whatever.

I stumbled into my last job 7 years ago. I stayed because the money was so good but I gave up so much of myself. I left feeling all used up. I don't want to fall into another job because it's easy or convenient or safe. I want to feel passionate about what I'm doing. Or at least not hate it.

Months ago I was trying to think of what I could do to mark my 30th birthday. I considered training for a race (but my knees quickly vetoed that idea.) I tried to plan a trip (but then I quit my job and our disposable income disappeared.) I couldn't come up with anything until tonight when I was rocking sweet Gus to sleep. For my 30th birthday I want to become un-stuck. I want to un-stick myself. I want to make a plan and then I want to follow that plan and I want to end up with a job that I love. I want to find what I love to do and then I want to do it.

If anyone knows how to do that please let me know because I'm terrified.