Death By Neti Pot
I’ve missed my goal for 31 days of writing, but I’m giving myself grace, too, as I slowly recover (yes, still!) from all of my sickness. Two rounds of pneumonia, one in September, one in October. On that note, two things:
1. Breathing through your nose at night is a luxury I will not take for granted again. Nasty mouth-breathing makes me feel like Gollum in the morning.
2. I have to apologize to Neti Pot and company. I tried it a couple years ago and disliked it, because the experience was like willingly drowning yourself in a chlorinated pool. But, when you are 32 weeks pregnant and can’t take decongestants or nasal sprays, well, you’re pretty grateful for it.
September and October are golden months, warm and sweet and crisp like a Jonagold apple. I feel like I have lost them. I gave hugs, did homework duty, read books, but otherwise coasted through the months on the wings of a million tissues. Fun things happened, we took trips, saw old friends, and through it all, I felt only half-present, like a hologram of Ashley.
But I find the best way to make up for lost time is to be fully present in the now. Grateful, humble, small. I have a toddler turning two this week and only seven and half weeks left before Susanna Grace arrives. I don’t have time not to be grateful. I am still chained to a Kleenex box, still on antibiotics, still submitting to willing death-by-Neti pot, but I’m pulling long at the straw of life anyway.
- seeing three of our living grandparents yesterday and the awkward sweetness of blending toddlers with nonagenarians
- how my grandmother asks to brush Abby’s hair and Abby lets her, whispering to me later that it felt really good
- how my shy grandfather asks Abby for a hug because he’s just so glad to see us at his door
- holding brand-new, tiny, delicate 8 lb baby niece
- how love after three kiddos is sharing the driving on the three hour afternoon car ride home
- all three kids crowded around the table doing various crafts and coloring (together without fighting) and giving mommy and daddy quiet, exhausted time to sit on the couch when the car trip is over
- Isaac tugging and tugging at my office door to get out then turning to me in resignation with the toddler-voice observation, “it’s hard work, mommy.”
P.S. Fun bit of random trivia: The voice of Smaug in the upcoming second installment of The Hobbit will be played by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch (of Sherlock brilliancy and Star Trek villan Khan). You’re welcome.