This little treasure sits on my bookshelf. The card reads “Live to the point of tears,” a quote by Albert Camus. I fell in love with the card the moment I saw it and it fit perfectly inside a secondhand frame I’d also fallen in love with. The saying reminded me of how I’d like to live my life: a joyous adventure with no regrets and lots and lots of good memories.
This past week has been a good memory, and by good I don’t mean wonderful and fabulous. It’s more like it may go down in history as one of the most exhausting, frustrating, put-me-in-a-straight-jacket weeks ever. Oh, I am currently living to the point of tears, but not those kinds of tears.
Don’t get me wrong, I know my problems are inconsequential compared to most so I rarely dedicate a blog post to them, but when I found myself asking, “Is this REALLY my life?” on more than one occasion, I thought it fitting to write about why I may run away tomorrow and never come back…or at least not come back until the kids are grown and the husband is out of MBA school. Here’s why.
- Discover Livi has an adult louse crawling around her scalp. Call the pediatrician and confirm but feel better because it’s not an infestation. One shampooing should do the trick.
- Drop Madison off at school and hit Walgreen’s for lice shampoo. Spend far too long trying to figure out which $@%*& box to buy.
- Discover an adult louse in George’s hair while looking at lice shampoo boxes. Exclaim, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” loud enough everyone in the store can hear.
- Head home and proceed to de-lice the kids. Listen to them cry as I pull that fine-toothed lice removal comb through their hair. Look forward to doing it again in 7 to 10 days.
- Pack everyone’s bags and finally shower.
- Take 5 hours to drive to St. George thanks to traffic.
- Attend “Tarzan” at Tuacahn, which would normally be thoroughly enjoyable but find it less so because a 2 1/2-hour play is hard on kids who’ve been sitting and sweating in a car for 5 hours not 20 minutes before the first gorilla walked on stage.
- Wake up desperately hoping Livi will sleep better the next couple nights.
- Who the heck knows. I think it involved swimming in a frigid pool, cold even with the 102-degree weather. It may have also included a nap and a few chapters of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
- More swimming and shivering and sweating at the pool.
- Enjoy a few blissful moments at a fabulous playground.
- Face reality when Nathan tells me he thinks he saw another louse in George’s hair. About lose it thinking I have to spend another $20 and de-lice my son’s hair while on vacation.
- Visit the St. George LDS Temple, which looks gorgeous lit up at night.
- Leave the temple grounds, cross the street and hear a loud thump followed by Madison and George in tears. Turn around and notice both have fallen down, hard, after stepping off the curb into a storm gutter (sloped rather than flat).
- Realize Nathan is going to help her and immediately turn on my heels. Storm to the car, totally annoyed because someone had to go and get hurt while on vacation.
- Quickly remember it’s not a vacation if the kids are along for the ride. (Family vacations often involve strange rashes, trips to InstaCare and vomiting. Why not add lice and sprained ankles to the mix?)
- Stop at Walgreen’s for lice shampoo, ibuprofen, an ace bandage and a bag of peanut butter M&Ms.
- Watch Madison hop on one foot part way, crawl part way to subzero pool. Try to have sympathy but give up. Come to the realization (again) I’m a horrible mother.
- Clean the condo. (Stripping beds, scrubbing bathrooms and cleaning floors is what truly makes a vacation a vacation.)
- Eat some yummy chips & salsa at Panama Grill. Discover I never again want to use the bathroom at Panama Grill. Gross.
- Drive home.
- Take Madison to Dr. Pete and learn, via x-ray, she has a moderate to severe sprain and some funky benign cyst we needn’t worry about.
- Indulge my growing grumpiness in a Big Mac meal from McDonald’s, large Diet Coke included of course.
- Agree last-minute to bring goodies to a Childhelp.org meeting that night. Bake a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies and peanut butter swirl brownies and try not to eat them all on the way to said meeting. (Stress will make me do crazier things.)
- Receive a call from Madison at 10pm on the way home from the meeting. Listen as she tells me she thinks she found a louse in her hair while showering. Exclaim, “Seriously?!?!” into the phone and hang up.
- Spend a good 1 1/2 hours de-licing Madison’s hair.
- Open the garage fridge and find a can of Diet Coke has exploded inside due to partial freezing. (You think I would have learned the first time soda went “pop” in my fridge.)
- Clean caffeinated slush out of the fridge and ponder the meaning of life, or at least why in heaven’s name everything always has to happen at once.
- Mow the lawns because one daughter has a sprained ankle and the other has so much else to do she’ll throw a royal fit if I remind her she needs to mow the lawn and I can’t deal with any royal fits today.
- Take some aggression out on the dandelions scattered here, there and everywhere in said lawn.
- Check Lauren’s hair for lice. Find one. Spend 1 1/2 hours de-licing her hair.
- Open the garage fridge and discover a can of Fresca has also exploded all over the inside, though a bit better contained this time. Take every last $&%@ soda off the shelf and leave them on the garage floor.
- Consider making a paper chain that counts down the minutes until I leave for a girls’ trip to L.A. with my mom and sister.
Amidst all this I’ve been lucky enough to vacuum nooks and crannies, do about a hundred loads of laundry, comforters and all, plus sanitize hair brushes, combs and clips. Nathan and I also sported the lice shampoo last night just to be safe. (Fortunately we are lice-free but the image of us picking nits out of each other’s hair reminded me of our recent 2 1/2-hour Tarzan experience.)
Oh, and I’ve been averaging about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night, worked out once and have my last sprint triathlon on Saturday morning. It’s going to be awesome.
Living to the point of tears? It’s more like hysterics.