Dancing on marbles

Life is one big precarious attempt to not tumbling ass over teakettle, I am now convinced. And I’m trying to see the joy in the slapstick of walking boldly across a slick path made unpredictable with hundreds of marbles. Because every time I’m posed to post on this very spot about something lovely, I’m walloped upside the head with something decidedly unlovely.

And every time I want to wallow in the unlovely, something decidedly lovely distracts me.

You are likely aware, if you’ve been reading here for a while, that my gobsmackingly awesome children are finally starting to get along. Wise friends with three boys told me that once the little guy hit Four it would get better. And it has (with all the caveats about the fact that three people in the same house, none of whom has much emotional control, are rarely in the same mood and on the same page). Sometimes, now, when the first pats of butter-yellow light slip through their blinds and plop onto their beds each morning, Peanut and Butter wake up willing to engage in silly, playful interactions rather than surly, bickering nastiness. Sometimes. And that has increased the quality of life around here immeasurably.

Part of the boys’ getting along more probably roots in the fact that their Dad and I are being much calmer now that we’ve decided not to live together. Less struggle begets less struggle. So far. When there is tangible paternal-absence and marked maternal-lack-of-running-time, when the there might be a struggle or two. See the above metaphor about making steady progress along a marble-strewn path.

I’m sure that, in part, the boys’ kindness to one another stems from a fabulous trip to Boston. We walked the Charles, we spent our tourist dollars at Marathon Sports on Boylston. We ate good food (my GAWD I’ve missed Red Bones) and we practically lived on the T. We cheered for marathoners until we were hoarse. We even offered our fluffernutters to the many, many police working the course on Patriot’s Day. (One indignant Statie told me he already had his peanut butter with jelly, thank you. And then I believe he was fired for inMassabordination.) We spent time like a family, and it was good for everyone.

Part of the increased sibling harmony also stems from a deep sadness that has stilled my otherwise frenetic pace. The death of my friend has brought a rather large dollop of “I don’t care about anything any more” to my endless to-do lists and my frantic need to prove myself worthy through incessant activities.

As we made it through the memorial, we found out that a mutual friend, who was diagnosed with leukemia around the same time Jay had his first surgery, has relapsed. This little boy, who spent kindergarten in Children’s Hospital enduring rounds and rounds of chemo, and whose family learned a gratitude few of us will ever fathom, enjoyed first- and second-grade without cancer. Now his leukemia is back. He’s going through a couple of weeks of chemo before a bone marrow transplant.  We’re all trying coming together as a community, again, to get people checked, at no cost, to see if they’re matches for any of the many Americans in need of bone marrow. And maybe, if enough people get the free test, we can find our little guy a match!

So that’s exciting. If you’re one of the people who’s into bright sides and finding the joy of surfing the marble-covered path to tomorrow, it’s enlivening to have a purpose. To help. To appreciate and breathe and put one foot in front of the other. Nothing brings me out of “what’s the point” like a bone marrow drive.

Go hug your family. Email your friends and tell them you love them. Take a deep breath each morning, and relish what’s good.

And consider being tested to see if you’re a match for, and can help give a great life to, a sweet little boy.




4 thoughts on “Dancing on marbles

  1. Ugh. So sad to hear about your friend and the little boy. Increased harmony at home is good. I hope you are taking good care of yourself. It sounds like a helluva time. Glad Boston was good to you!

    • Yeah, it all seems like capital-L Life around here lately, except it’s mostly Life adjacent and regular lower-case L life and I feel I’m maybe overdramatizing a little considering what other people go through.

  2. My mother passed away from AML (Acute Mylogenous Leukemia/Lymphoma) just about 3 years ago. A BMT saved her life and if it wasn’t for GVH disease and the cruel debilitating side effects, she would most likely still be here today. I am on the Bone Marrow Registry but am not of German or Asian decent, so I’m not sure how much help I can be of. Sending prayers his way. From someone who understands. Sending light, love and healing energy to all <3

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. Sincerely.

      Believe me, your thoughts of light, love, and healing are fabulous contributions to Baylor’s cause.
      And being on the Bone Marrow Registry is a wonderful way to be an kind and engaged member of this planet. I’ve always been an organ donor, but now I’ll be on the bone marrow match registry, too. I had a colleague donate bone marrow years ago, and it was a very challenging process for him. Now that the process is substantially easier and less invasive, I’m glad AML affected someone I knew to force me to realize that saving a life is an amazing reason to reassess where I set the bar for “too much” to save a life.
      Remedied. Registered. And really hopeful.

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