Message received

After three weeks of stress, both emotional and physical, a lot of skipped meals, too much coffee and alcohol and general self-neglect, I finally got the message about self-care that several of my friends were trying to drum into me. I won’t get into all the sordid, ugly details except to say that while the mind thinks it can override the body, sooner or later the body will give you a wrestling-style smack down and let you know who is really in charge. So, I got it, and I’m working on it. And yes, Summa really is a great hospital, as you’ve heard.

I spent almost all day yesterday sleeping, and not doing a whole lot else. And staying out of the heat, and rehydrating, and other general self-care things.

Today was a bit more productive. I made pancakes for breakfast – chocolate chip no less, with fruit and sausage, and then got the bathroom clean and the sheets all changed. Took my son to the E side and met a dear friend for lunch, who has a gorgeous, very well-behaved baby that made me very happy for her and very glad my son isn’t a baby anymore, as he was never that well-behaved. Still isn’t, but at least I don’t have to carry him everywhere now and tote along big bags of junk everywhere, all that baby stuff that you need all the time. But hers was sweet and good and I dare say was flirting with me, which is pretty precocious for a six-month-old, and I loved every minute. Took son to Big Fun for the first time and he spent a really long time picking out a single item that I said I would buy him, as long as it was less than $4. He settled on a plastic action figure guy of unknown origin, who he named Victor. His wing says he was made in China for McDonald’s. That’s about as close as my son will get to getting a toy from McDonald’s, so I hope he enjoys it.

We went to get mommy a much-needed coffee up the street after Big Fun, and ran into more friends. It’s times like this that I really feel like Cleveland is a tight-knit community and amazed at how long I have known some of the people here. The AC was broken in the coffee shop so there weren’t a lot of people there. I hate AC, use it selectively for the kid in the car, but never turn it on at home, so I thought it was just fine in there and we sat down and I had my coffee while the boy had a juice. Then we trucked back to the W side to see a play written and directed by yet more friends as mounted by a wonderful children’s theater company in town, Tailspinner. If only my son liked these shows as much as I do. I told him that next time I would leave him at home if he would rather, as all he does is fuss and fidget during these plays and ask when it will be over, but he got all mad and said no, he wanted to go to the next one.

It’s another busy week ahead. The kid and I leave Thursday night for our annual sojourn to Wisconsin to visit my sister and her family for a couple of days. It can be driven in a day, but not when you are really tired and alone with a 5-year-old, not easily anyway, so we break up the trip and stay overnight in South Bend both ways. He’s so familiar with the hotel there now he remembers what they have for their free, shitty breakfast, and that they have a pool, and that we have to go in and get the big rolling cart as soon as we get there. We’re leaving in the evening on Thursday, which may or may not end up being a mistake. I will pack us a picnic dinner that we’ll have about halfway there, as neither of us eat fast food and decent road food usually involves a significant, lengthy detour that I don’t have time or energy to pursue. If all goes as planned, we will arrive in Madison in time for me to take him to his very first fireworks show, ever.

I generally avoid fireworks. My father died on July 4th and there are bad memories associated with fireworks going off and him slowly dying that night that I’d rather just avoid, but it’s selfish not to let the boy experience it and find the joy in them I used to experience when I was young. Last year he caught a few out our hotel window and was very excited, and I realized I was being selfish, so we’re going up earlier this year so he can see them for real.

Doing the best I can, and trying a little harder.

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