How Gratitude Provides a Window to a Windowless Room

When your son goes to the nurse on Friday morning and complains of dizziness for the third day in a row-you run out of your school.

You take him to the doctor.

When the doctor orders blood work you take son to the hospital and they fill 8 vials.

You help him pee in a cup and it gets all over you.

You talk non stop about Legos.

You try not to cry so he’s not scared.

When they fill eight vials you promise a Lego set-the tree house one.

When you promise a Lego set you end up at Miller’s Toy Store-and sushi for lunch.

He has to poop.

You love Miller’s for having a bathroom.

Then you pick up your daughter and bring her sushi too because she is babysitting.

She has lost her voice and is supposed to debate four 90 minute rounds the next day. You think she’s insane but say nothing.

Then you buy cupcake mix for your son’s birthday party.

Then you pick up your daughter’s out of town debate team guests -and the luggage of their 12 friends, and drive it to the high school.

Then you take the guests to dinner-sushi again.

You realize you are insane to be eating sushi twice in one day so you just order sake-but end up eating dinner anyway.

When they are hungry-you bake brownies. They are gooey and gluten free.

When you are hosting a debate tournament you wake up at 6:30 am to drive your daughter and her three guests to Starbucks.

When your daughter forgets her files, you bring them back to her, in your pjs, and pick up the dog from your parent’s house.

Then your husband takes your other daughter and your dizzy son, to the cardiologist and the eye doctor, to rule out a heart condition and vision problems.

Ruled out.

You get into your favorite Soul Cycle class. You feel guilty going but know you would be insane not to go. You use the hairdryer in the locker room to dry the sweat out of your hair because you have no time to shower. When class is over you eat an entire container of blueberries in your car for lunch. You drop one on the floor and never find it. You drive back to the high school to serve lunch to the debate team and hundreds of guests.

Then when your other daughter makes travel lacrosse, you drive her to her first clinic. In Mount Vernon. At the Underdome.

It’s cold and you have to wrestle her into the slightly dirty sample uniforms to try for size. You sit on the ground, eat a $12.00 salad, smile and nod.

You drop your daughter off at your not-so-dizzy-anymore son’s basketball game. You feel guilty missing it but you do.

You get your nails done. You realize you would be insane to skip this. You need this. You pick a blood red shade of red.

When this is over you can finally sleep. Mid nap debate daughter calls. She is winning her second debate but needs her laptop charger so you bring it back to the high school and stay to serve dinner. You aren’t supposed to watch her in these closed rounds but you do anyway. You sit quietly in the back of the classroom and breathe. And smile. This is good.

You clear dirty plates and recycle sipped on water bottles. You cringe at the thought of 1500 plastic water bottles but say nothing. You wrap up the extra burritos and give them to the custodians for the night shift. They are so psyched! This too is good.

You walk to Starbucks with the ginormous coffee server thing from the morning. You carry it through a door of this high school you attended in 1994. You think that’s just insane.

Then you take the debate girls home. But first you buy everyone frozen yogurt.

When you get home you bake 30 organic cupcakes from scratch. You realize you are insane.

You wake up at 6:30 am and take the debate girls back to Starbucks. Again.

You make the frosting from some sketchy organic mix you begged your mom to buy because she’s awesome and you’re insane. It’s putty like. It’s 6:45 am. You add milk. You put away groceries and adhere frosting to cupcakes.

You smile and nod as your six year old not-dizzy-at-all-anymore son strategically places candles on all 30 cupcakes. Some are stars and some are stripes. He asks about coyotes and DNA.

You host his party at a robotics place in town and realize you are not insane to never ever host a birthday party at your house ever again. Like never ever again. You are also not insane to have only invited 8 children.

You go home and clean. You miss your daughter’s first basketball game because you just can’t even. She scores six points. You apologize for missing it.Your husband asks you to cook dinner and you think he’s insane to even ask but you do anyway.

And then, when you think you might just collapse, you get a call to host two more girls.

Sure you say because you realize that you actually are insane. Your parents pick up the dog. You thank God for them. You will pick up the debate girls at 8 pm in your pajamas. You ask if they are non-smokers. The adult on the phone laughs at you. You say nothing. You think it’s a really good question.

You love your family.

You thank God you have to go to work tomorrow and that they aren’t building that pipeline and that you don’t know anyone in that warehouse in Oakland.