Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Mike and I have spent the last thirteen and a half hours taking care of our sick boy.  He caught my stomach flu.  Here is the necessary survival kit for kids twelve and under:

5 movies
6 pair of clean underwear
4 T-shirts
3 warm blankets
5 large towels
facilities for 3 to 4 loads of laundry
2 glasses of water
12 small garbage can liners
1 box of Clorox wipes (since Mike hasn't had it yet)
2 parents on a skewed sleep schedule

Last night, I was beginning to feel normal and we had a decent evening at home.  I naively believed it would continue, that we were over the hump.  How wrong I was.

Here is something I wrote then: 

I am not a quiet person. Among other nicknames I wasn't fond of as a child, I was called a chatterbox most frequently.

So you could understand my consternation when I tell you that over the weekend, Nick bought a Bluetooth that works for his PS3, his phone, and his iPod. You don't get it yet?  Now, there are moments when I walk into the living room and Nick is playing a game and wearing his new headset and this will broadcast everything I say. He wants me to be quiet so I don't mess up his game. I find it difficult to see the mute indicator on his ear because he's growing his hair out again. 

Usually, around this time of year, people have given up chocolate or wine or Frito's for Lent, something I see as a misguided attempt to recover that New Year's Eve resolution they let go of the second week in January.  I wonder, does God really need me, more than anything else, to be thin?  Is that so?  I usually abstain from any of these choices out of rebellion.  I am not an ascetic.  So it surprised me that this year, when Lent arrived, I felt the need to be silent and listen. Well, hell. It's hard to run a household on mute. Isn't it funny that when I kept failing at my mission, the Universe stepped in to deliver a louder message in the form of a Bluetooth?

Mike and I are sitting here, whispering about combining our REI dividend, and Nick said, "You know it's on!" Oh no.  It will not be like that.  Not in my house.

Just now, I told him he won't usually get to decide when his headset is on mute or not. He's okay with that, but it's still strange having this control over my voice as if he's a CEO on a conference call. I think this is going to call for balance.

My lesson here is that I need to learn not to always interrupt what game time he has with my chatter, most of which is not necessary.  It is my quest to learn to be silent and listen. 

In the wee hours, I spent silent moments, watching my boy, murmuring some sympathies, handing him tissues, changing the liner in his little garbage can, bringing him fresh linens, and watching movies I've seen before.  I knew there was nothing I could say or do to take any of this experience away from him.  If I could have, I would have shouted from the rooftop.  Am I beginning to learn my lesson toward silence?  I'm still trying, but I'm not sure you can change a magpie into an owl. 

Thank you for listening, jb

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