This morning we set our alarm and woke up with plans to change just a tiny bit of the world.
I posted this picture to Instagram and my best friend made a comment that I was such a good mom and my kids would remember days like today.
Instead of her kind words touching my heart and reassuring my efforts, however, I read…"bla-bla-bla…" and thought, "Well lets just hope she's a liar."
I could have left this alone.
Left you with a picture of my sweet boys spreading holiday cheer…
You would have probably agreed with her, and maybe offered a little pat on the back too.
But I am not into liars…
And my kids deserve to know that I failed often…
because one day their wives will too.
So here's the real story::
There is a little girl in our community asking for donations so that she can send care packages to our troops.
It certainly sounded like something we would love to be a part of--
a chance to teach my kids about the greater good…
helping a little soul reach her goal...
I mean this certainly had my name written all over it.
So we set out.
My mom had asked me for 2 tiny measly items and I needed trash bags-- but the majority of our trip was going to be spent picking out 15 items for each of my boys to give.
Well, my boys were terrible.
They wanted in the basket,
they wanted out of the basket,
They wanted things for themselves,
they smashed our goods,
they made the trip rather miserable,
and pretty much all 30 items were picked by me in frustration and haste.
Just as we made it back to the car and loaded into our seats, I realized I had everything for the soldiers care packages but forgot everything for me and mom.
I'll come back.
I headed to meet the mom of the little girl with our stuff, went straight from there to the embroidery lady's house and took a few Christmas presents in and then swung back by my house to pick up my charger and get the oldest one something to eat…
because he was 100% sure he was going to vomit from hunger.
I got the charger, and was pulling out of our neighborhood as he remembered that he was still starving and I remembered that I forgot the damn snack.
So I called Lance.
We had planned on meeting him for a late lunch, since he was going to get off at 2:00 today but I asked him if we could just come early and eat there with him at the store.
He had already eaten.
He forgot we were coming.
No big deal….
I can certainly eat without him.
My kids car seats are still buckled into the very back row of my car since my parents rode with us to ICE and they now are capable of doing that kid-thing where one touches the other and one screams out about it and when you look up no one is touching anyone so you aren't sure if one is lying or being dramatic so you just yell "STOP IT!" at everyone and turn the radio up.
But we made it there.
Just as I am biting into my kids meal, Beckham somehow sloshes his orange Fanta (yes, he gets Orange Fanta, sacrifice a lamb in my name if you don't mind) all-- over-- me.
Like it was dripping off my arm and there was a puddle under my chair.
I wanted to cry.
Not only because it probably ruined my favorite hoodie…
but because I am now the single mother of two, who's children have zero table manners, sitting in a pile of orange liquid, while eating a kids meal, with the look of misery on my face.
I am sure the 20 men from some semi-pro hockey team didn't notice-- or care… But in my head they all did, and they thought, "I'm glad my wife has it all together".
So I left, and headed to Kroger for gas.
It was about 63 degrees below zero and I somehow parked in a wind pocket, pulling breezes just shy of 80mph.
The stupid thing won't read my rewards card and somehow my pump started counting money (and gallons) before I even had it into my car-- and before gas was even coming out.
As I am trying to do my best limbo moves-- popping from the heat of my Tahoe to the chills of Antarctica, a burst of wind grabbed my door and slammed it into my knee.
Really bad words.
And fell to the ground.
It really hurt.
Maddox was trying to unbuckle to get to me and save the day-- and I was honestly thinking about taking down an innocent bystander just for the thrill of the kill, at that point.
I pull out of Kroger and head straight to Starbucks.
because I deserved it… and I don't believe in drinking and driving so vodka was out of the question.
My kids spied the McDonalds next door and asked if they could have ice-cream.
They didn't 'deserve' ice-cream, but I didn't deserve anything shy of a punch to my throat after my cussing spill at Kroger so I obliged and decided I would just get coffee from there.
I'll let you guess how many minutes it took before the boys had melted ice-cream all over the leather in my car…
it'll be more fun that way.
It was all over their clothes too…
And since neither of my kids like to be dirty-- they didn't want their ice creams anymore either.
So I called Lance.
He said to just wait around for him and he would be off in just about an hour or so and we could go do something fun.
"Like go to Cabela's." he said.
"You can just go to JCPenney's and kill some time." He added.
I honestly couldn't decide which sounded more fun?
...being kicked in the face with a steel toe boot or either of the two options above--
much less both, while still drenched in orange soda and sticky milk product.
So we headed home.
Maddox went to play with the neighbor for about an hour and Beckham and I snuggled up and watched an episode of Word World, and the world seemed to be coming right again.
But then Maddox came home and my kids went back to being two cats fighting for space and Lance called and said he was just going to "run by Dick's and then Cabelas."
I really didn't care.
Although I did envy his extra hour alone.
I wasn't mad at him.
So I sat down, with 3 loads of clean clothes and started separating and folding clothes while I caught up on my Real Housewives.
Lance came in the door and immediately asked what was for dinner.
Not like a jackwagon, but just the innocent question, "what are your plans for dinner"… and I calmly shrugged my shoulders and smiled-- because I was now "off the clock", and it just hit me that me that we have these things that I am responsible for like cooking and laundry and scrubbing toilets that are and will always be 100% my responsibilities because I am the only one with a vagina in this house-- so I didn't really care what they ate, and the shrug seemed more appropriate than listing the things that I just wrote.
He grabs some power tools and tells me he needs me to come hold the fence against this wood so he can screw it back together, so I pretend like I wasn't enjoying my moment of adult time (even if it was laced with laundry and parenting) and I do it.
But not without rethinking all that I just listed before, and wondering how my private parts have to magically flip gender when I am needed to assist in power tool adventures…
and not without being cold.
Because it is still frigid. And windy. And I still despise both of those things.
So while I am holding up the large piece of lumber that probably weighs 4 pounds less than myself, I hear Beckham screaming.
Beckham rarely cries-- He has a pain tolerance unlike anyone I know.
But this wasn't even a cry.
It was a blood-curdling scream that I would assume one makes as they enter the jaws of a Great White.
And I could hear it crystal clear from the back yard with the door shut.
So I ditch Lance, run inside--
and I find Maddox in the utility room, holding the door shut with one hand and devouring as many vanilla cream stick thing-cookies as he can fit in his mouth before this party is busted.
I don't even care though.
Because it is now 5:05 at this point and I already have 2 calls and my friend from work is texting me to let me know that they have been sending my pages to her so more are on their way.
And Lance is still outside trying to fix the fence, and my kids still hate each other, and every other call is someone who doesn't have their prescription so it isn't a quick fix on my part, but rather a couple of phone calls or looks through the computer.
I sat down and start calling but I couldn't get caught up.
Now hold on to your seats, this is where this story gets nasty.
Lance rounds the corner still decked out in his Mountain Hardwear and Sitka and bypasses the fighting children and says, "were you not coming back?"
oh hell no.
(^if you didn't read that in your best thug voice, back up and try it again.)
I lost it.
I told him about how busy call was and the type of calls I was getting….
I reminded him that I am now at work where I would be for the next 6 hours and I can't be everybody's everything all of the time.
I pointed out the behavior of the kids that anyone aside from Helen Keller wouldn't need broken down for them and asked him to handle that…
And I slid over a quick re-cap of my day, which included no trip to any fun girl store by myself-- much less two.
I reminded him how I handled his stressful day just a few days earlier and the things I told him and how I coddled the entire situation for him and offered praise… and wondered why he couldn't do the same for me when I was "falling apart".
He handles me always with a laugh in his voice and sometimes it calms me and other times it mocks me-- but he kept repeating the words "falling apart" as if to say that I was being a tad dramatic and then he says….
catch the drama--
Lance. says, "it can't be that bad Holly, I just saw you were on Facebook."
So I grabbed the pen sitting in front of me and threw it at him.
Let's get this clear.
I didn't dig for a pen made of metal or one that looked sharp…
I just grabbed the BIC in front of me and tossed it his way while stating that if had no way to help my situation, than at least take himself out of it.
I didn't rear back with my best baseball throw or accurately place my whizzing pen.
But despite my lack of athleticism, it did hit him.
And he fell to the ground like a 10 point buck...
Which just made me even madder.
I believe I even said something like, "Okay, okay, okay… can you please take that dramatic episode out into the hall way and close the door. I have 10 patients holding… and that's pretty much my max."
But he stood up and blood was literally dripping from his ear.
I kid you not.
Of course I felt terrible--
but I am not Katniss!!
He knew that I had no intentions of piercing his right ear-- but he certainly wasn't a Care Bear about the whole escapade either.
He went on and on about how bad it hurt and what if it had been his eye---
He wouldn't wipe the blood off so my terrible action was just staring me in the face over and over.
He wouldn't accept my apology…
Or get out of the room,
And I still had people to call back so I had little time to even devote to this madness.
I knew that I had failed literally every single person that I have encountered today…
It was all me.
But other than going to sleep, I had no way to start over-- and could only push forward.
So I closed my bedroom door and started calling people back.
Lance starts telling the kids that they are going to Sonic and and then I heard him ask Maddox, "are your seats still in the very back of mommy's car?" and when Maddox told him yes, he said, "oh, well B can just stay here with mommy-- it is too hard to get y'all in and out all the way back there.
And even though I am desperately wanting to win my husband's friendship back, I opened the door and said, "over my dead body… You're all going."
And they left.
I got caught up on call and ran over to WM to pick up my mom's two things and my trash bags and then I sat in the parking lot of WM telling my mom all about my day.
And we laughed.
And I cried.
And of course more calls came through.
And I finally returned home to Lance-- sitting at the table with 2 crying boys and he says, "I have never seen them this tired. I think they just need to go to bed."
Which I think was his way of saying, "your day probably really did suck."
and then he said, "I know you said that you didn't want anything, but I bought you some tator tots with cheese just in case"… which I think was his way of saying, "I know you really didn't mean to spear my ear with that pen, and I now accept you apology even though I won't really ever say that out loud and you really don't deserve it because you still threw a pen at me, which is admittabley crazy."
We gave a care package to some troops today.
Woo Hoo Holly.
But if you made it to the end of this madness that I call my life, you can clearly see that everything is not as it appears, all of the time.
I do not deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.